Jacke Vance

So, I am working on putting together a bunch of infection and prevention presentations and it got me thinking of all the stuff we touch in a day, as a nurse. I mean pretty much anything that has come out of anybody, we’ve had an intimate experience with it. 

Even though we deal with all kinds of body fluids and secretions at work there are still some things that exceed expectations. Think about it, there are things a nurse will touch that no one else would ever touch.

We get spit on, peed on, pooped on, vomited on — and that’s just job expectation.

Think about what we touch as a nurse! Phlegm, nasty mouths, C-diff diarrhea, vomit, fungus in skin folds, disimpacting stool in patients, bug infestations (on the body!), maggots in wounds. I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’m nice that way!

It doesn’t bother us. We are desensitized. At this point, we could probably clean a bottom with one hand while eating a protein bar with the other (because we don’t really get breaks anymore, so time management is important, people!).

By the way, I can’t handle mucus. I’ve had gangrene legs tossed at me in the OR but, no, I can’t handle mucus. We all have something, I guess.

But I realize that I have done something as a mother I have never done as a nurse. I have never pulled a booger out of a patient’s nose with my bare finger but as a mom, yeah. Been there, done that.

So, maybe nursing isn’t so gross after all!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.