Monday, December 19, 2011

Bedpan Hopper II

Ok, now that you know what bedpan hoppers are and how they operate I would like to share my funniest moment as a student nurse.

It's 1976, , age 19, fresh out of high school and a very young and green LPN. I spent my first 14 years in nursing as an LPN before later going back to school to become an RN.

I had just removed a cold, steel bedpan from beneath a patient.  It was filled over the top of rim, with soft, mushy stool.  Being tiny and petite at the time, it was all I could do to lift it, I'm guessing it weighed close to 10 lbs.  I placed a towel over the top (as taught) and of course, it was also now laying directly on top of the largest BM I had ever seen in my young life. 

I carried it down the hall to the dirty utility room and opened the shoot on the wall and slid it in.  Imagine my horror when I discovered I had just shoved a fully loaded bedpan down the laundry shute and not the bedpan hopper!  I realized my error immediately...and I just froze, trying to think of a way out of this situation.  Well, there was NO WAY OUT, the damage was already done. 

I was shaking, trembling...sure I was going to be kicked out of the nursing program at that point.  I knew I had to inform my instructor and went in search of her.  She was such a dear old woman, Mrs. C, was nearing retirement and was one of the kindest souls in nursing I had ever encountered. 

Having found her, I must have had a panicked look on my face as she pulled me aside into an empty patient room and closed the door.  I relayed what I had done....and she busted out laughing.  I mean, she was doubled over with laughter as I just stood there, relief coming over me that she wasn't angry. 
The first words out of her mouth was, "Oh Dear....".  Anyway, it was all good, the hospital laundry department was quite forgiving of a new student nurse.  :)

Bedpan Hoppers

I began my nursing career in 1975 as a student nurse in the LPN training program.  I remember being scared to death as I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Actually, if the truth be known, I kind of felt that way for the next 30 years of my career, never quite sure what I was getting into because a nurse never knows what's behind the next patient door from day to day.

Bedpan hoppers:  For you young nurses, you probably have no idea what these are...and thank God you don't. 

A bedpan hopper was a device that was used to wash the old steel bedpans.  After your patient had a BM, you covered it with a towel...and carried it down the hall walking briskly past your fellow smirking co-workers, past the hospital chaplain, past new post-op surgical patients arriving to the floor, past Mr. Smith who was being discharged and past visitors all the way to the end of the hall to the dirty utility room.  Trust me, the towel did nothing to combat the odor eminating from that heavy  pan filled to the brim with 9 days worth of compacted stool. 

In the utility room, there was a steel door bolted to the wall that opened and allowed you to slide the bedpan in, you closed it and pressed the button, waiting for "the hopper" to clean your bedpan.  Then you had to carry it back to the patient's room, all wet and dripping with...liquified fecal matter, because they never did get completely clean. 

**And...most 1975, there was no such thing as disposable gloves for the nursing staff. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nurses Who Drink Tea....

This is a sweet little porcelain teapot, microwave and dishwasher safe, perfect gift for a nurse for graduation or any occasion.  A link is provided below. 
Nurse Porcelain Teapot
(To See Price and Purchase Options Click On Link Below)*


Nurses Everywhere!!

Just wanted to take a moment to say hello to all of you.

My name is Gigi I am an RN, currently in semi-retired mode.  I've been a nurse for over 30 years and worked in various aspects of the field, ICU, Trauma, CCU, many years in dialysis, LTC, Nephrology physician's offices and hospice.  I guess you could say, I've been there and done that!  But it's all been fun and certainly a learning experience all along the way.  I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. 

As you all know, nursing is a difficult profession for the most part with high acuities, staff shortages and politics.  Did I mention politics?  :) 

I've learned, the key to survival in the field is the ability to get along with people, co-workers, patients, their families and physicians as well as various members of the medical team.  It all has to mesh and blend...some days that happens...some days it doesn't. 

In 2006, I began teaching myself grahic design, at home on my computer.  I knew nothing about it, couldn't draw a stick person (I still have trouble with those~~smile) and starting making t-shirts for nurses.  I bought a heat press and set it in the basement...and sold several thousand on Ebay for a few years. 

I now have over 4000+ designs for nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, medical assistants, physicians teachers, postal workers, pharmacists and many other professions.  You can find these unique designs on t-shirts, mugs, hats, tote bags, iPhone cases, iPad cases, cards, framed art, posters, key chains, buttons, Ked's shoes, Rickshaw bags and even porcelain teapots. 

(To View Price and Purchase Options Click On Link)* 

I have 10+ internet stores and have provided the links to a few below:****