Tipping My Hat To The Nurses

Here is an interesting article about the “one thing” nurses get grossed out about.  There is no common thread other than each individual nurse has her own kryptonite.  Read the stories and you will realize how disgusting some jobs in healthcare can really be.   I know that after years of being a family doc that few medical things bother me.   Hell, I can eat a sandwich and cut open a rectal abscess at the same time.    That being said, I too have gagged a few times over the years.  So, here’s to you, nurses.   Thanks for all you put up with.  Now if you were only paid more and had less of a patient load, right?  Sorry, that can’t happen because we need to pay all those administrators for doing nothing!  And sometimes they get grossed out, too.  Like when their bagels at the meetings aren’t fresh or milk for their coffee is outdated.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  6 comments for “Tipping My Hat To The Nurses

  1. Melinda
    December 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    As a veterinarian, the thing that is most disgusting to me is maggot-infested wounds under mats of wet fur full of pus….

  2. Richard W. Mondak
    December 14, 2012 at 7:54 am

    It would be too easy to say “getting puked on” and too generic to just say pus, but the discharge from surgically drained sequestra of chronic OSTEOMYELITIS is (was) my Achilles heel.
    While assisting the Chief of Ortho with said procedure on a large tibial abscess (at an overseas Military hospital), I was warned that “this is going to be bad”. It was… we gagged, he took off his mask and gacked into the kick bucket. Of course, being a faithful minion, I followed his lead. Anesthesia didn’t come from behind the screen. O.R. Nurse was miffed at having to find Raytex sponges amidst our effluent (but had left for the scrub area at first whiff). O.R. Tech called us names as we left to wipe faces, rinse mouths, quick rescrub and regown / glove. We finished the procedure without further incident, but 30 years later, I am gritting my teeth at the memory of this “olfactory stimulus => gastric response”.

  3. Cindi, RN
    December 13, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Eyeballs. Prosthetic eyes. Eye…ooze, gunk, crust…*gak*
    After 27 years I could wipe puke and poo and pus off of your guts and help you carry them but if you have something wrong your eye, you’re on your own.

  4. Debbie OR
    December 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I have spent all my working days in the OR. I’ve never worked on the units. (I don’t like sick people). We OR nurses are an odd lot. So I have seen and done things that would make other medical professionals run for the door, and like you Doug, pus and blood can make me hungry. Any good bowel case needing peppermint spirits is a joy. But the thing that will make me gag and I have to close my eyes, is the removal of an ingrown toenail. Nuf’ said. Just thinking about it makes me shiver.

  5. Pat Conrad
    December 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Amen Doug! The nurses are the backbone of the hospital – which doc wants to deal with Tylenol and bedpan requests at 3am? Many times in the ER the nurse has pulled my sleepy peanuts out of the fire with a well-timed question or re-check. Yes, we’ve all worked with some clunkers, as in any field, but by and large they are great.

    And tragically, worse even than their physician counterparts, they have given their public voice to liberal organizations which bleat universally for more government programs, more entitlement spending, more regulation of daily care – with the same glorious results achieved by the AMA et al: more paperwork, less pay, more work, shortages.

    And as the docs become more rushed, more burned out, more patient education and face-to-face compassionate listening will fall to these excellent professionals who will themselves be getting their asses chewed for not filling out the latest core measures surveys.

    • Stacy RN
      December 12, 2012 at 8:22 am

      Oh, Doug, you flatterer. You always know the right things to say to get what you want. Now, what do you want?

      By the way, I don’t remember the last time anything made me sick or grossed me out. I am one of the few nurses I know who can easily deal with emesis – copious amounts of emesis. But there is one thing that freaks me out so much that I literally have a full body reaction to even seeing it: touch eyes. Can’t even think – ahhhhhhhhhwwwwwwk.

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