Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The First Thing in Nursing School That Made Me Want to Vomit (reprise)

Back in July we learned all about nasogastric tubes and how the good nurse aspirates for stomach contents before flushing or delivering medication through the tube. In order to do this, you have to use a giant syringe to draw up a couple of tablespoons of stomach contents (vomit, blood and bile, oh my) via the tube, squirt out the contents into a basin, dip a pH stick into the sludge and then draw the sludge back into a syringe and instill it back in the patients stomach via the tube. This is decidedly vomit-inducing. I had 2 patients in pediatrics with NG tubes but the protocols are different and we didn't have to do this for kids.

No such luck for adults.

So tomorrow I have my first adult patient with an NG tube and will likely be performing the above procedure every 4 hours. I think I will wear a mask for two reasons: 1) If I vomit, there will be some barrier between myself and the patient and 2) If I manage to keep my breakfast down, the mask will slightly obscure the horrible expression on my face.

The forms are in for our next rotation which will be coming up in a month: Psychiatry. Our choices include the schizophrenia floor, the mood disorder floor, the eating disorder floor, the general psychiatry floor, the geriatric psychiatry floor (please oh gosh not this one), the pain floor etc. How many floors can this horrible hospital possible have? My carpool friends and I chose mood disorders but who knows if we'll get our first choice. It might turn out I'm force feeding 90-pound adolescents this spring. I certainly hope not.


Blogger DD said...

I continue to find your posts amusing, but (needless to say) I also worry about you: you are so delightfully, and so ingenuously, open-minded. Since you already know my main concern, I won't reprise it here. But please do me a favor and check out my post on Eli Lilly. These things seem to have a lag (I'm new at this--can you tell?), so it should be up Wednesday the 26th:

1:44 PM  
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