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.  :)


  1. That's funny.
    I was just looking at a picture on DA and the photographer thought it was a bedpan hopper. So I googled it and this was the first item from the search.