Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gagg-a-roo, It’s Spraying C-Diff!

Last night I was working at the hospital and had to empty an ostomy bag on a patient with C-Diff. 
After I gowned up and entered the patient’s room, I could see that the patient had a bunch of junk food wrappers lying around.  One of the wrappers was a cheesy popcorn bag, so I wasn’t too surprised when beginning to empty the ostomy bag I could see floating orange food particles. 
What I didn’t see coming was that at one point while I was velcro-ing the bag back together a little mist of a squirt of liquid jumped up into the air towards my face and I couldn’t dodge it. 
YUP, you guessed it, a little dot of the ostomy juice got on my face.  I tried to hold it together and not run out of the room screaming.  Instead, stoically I closed the remainder of the bag and pulled the blankets back up to the patients chin. 
I got to the bathroom in a slight rush-walk and dumped the ostomy contents into the toilet.  I ripped my gown off and started washing my hands, and moved onto scrubbing my face with soap and water and even wiped my hair around the frame of my face. 
YUCKO!  I was so paranoid that I hurried out of the room without telling the patient goodbye.  Isn’t it funny that a patient with C-Diff who has an ostomy bag doesn’t have a full face mask precaution along with gowning up for the aides taking care of them?  Maybe other aides or nurses are more skilled at turning their heads at an angle when emptying ALL ostomy bags, and from here on out, I will be too.


  1. Knowing nursing this probably happened right before lunch break.

    Girl wear a full mask next time. You do not need permission, precaution signs are limits, you can over gown. I wear face masks into many patients rooms who are only on contact precautions, because they are coughing or something.

    Second is this patient able to eat cheesy popcorn and junk food in their hospital room, but unable to do change their own colostomy bag? Do not let patients con you into doing things they can do for themselves. Trust me many will try to get you to do everything for them, even when they can do it themselves.

  2. Way back in the dinosaur age that was my nursing training...we were actually told NOT to wear gloves when changing an ostomy bag because it would "make the patient feel dirty"....hahaha.

    Glad things have changed, because I couldn't live without gloves (non-latex of course) nowadays what with all the new bugs that have mutated into this generation.

    The full masks are great although slightly hot.
    And I agree with NPO (of course!)

  3. Even if they don't have one... now you know. Fake a cold and get a face mask if you have to! Ah goo... we have all been touched by such special moments!

  4. NPO-my first meeting with this patient for the evening was to have this encounter, so I didn’t think to grab a mask. And I’m not sure why she didn’t change her own bag; maybe she was new to the procedure and unsure how to work the Velcro opening, either way YUCKO with a capital Y.

    CC-how funny, I can’t imagine wearing gloves would make a patient feel “dirty” when changing the ostomy bag. But those days they probably didn’t pound all the worries into the students or nurses. I agree with you that the mutations must be worse now-a-days.

    Christine-Got it, fake a cold and get a mask. Thanks.

  5. Ohhhh...myyyyy.... *shudder*

    Ick ick ick ick ick. ICK.

    (yep, I'm sure that's helpful...but that's about the only reaction I've got right now...LOL)

  6. EEEWW...I've had C.Diff and I know how gross that is!! I've been sprayed and splashed with such gross things too. One time I started an IV - and somehow blood shot out.....right in to my eye!! Now who wears a full face mask to start an IV? Total random. gotta love this job :)

  7. Ick! Eww! Yuck! Sorry, any sort of body fluid in a spray makes my skip crawl.

    At least you didn't end up with C. diff - I assume :).

  8. I somehow missed this post, Zazzy! All I have to say is "disgusting," with a capital "D." Rock that face mask, sister!

  9. OMG ok I have to say as a pre-nursing student (please Jesus let that happen this Spring) I was TOTALLY grossed out by this post. It's posts like this that seriously make me 2nd guess this calling lol.

  10. Oh. My. GAWD!!! I would've turned in that stethascope right there and then! :(

    Thanks so much for linking up at Medical Monday! So happy to *meet* you :)

  11. I guess that should be the first thing to be taught in school...Close the mouth and turn your head when dealing with bodily fluids! I couldn't do what you do. Found your blog on the MMBH. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thanks for linking up with Medical Mondays, although I don't know if I will ever be the same after this post:-)

  13. That is NASTY! It makes me want to go wash my face too...
    here from the blog hop :)

  14. I always wear a mask even if I'm told I don't have to. I can't imagine what I would do if I got it on my face!