Catching Poop

While I was working toward my nursing license, I worked as a CNA in a nursing home for about six months.

On the Brain Injury hall on night shift, the only staff member present is the CNA. Your job is to keep the patients comfortable, and every two hours make your rounds, reposition patients, change their attends (the politically correct word for diapers), and clean them up as needed.

So this one patient, roughly 400 lbs, tracks just well enough to roll himself over on his side with some help and encouragement – but otherwise, is nonverbal and pretty out of it. I get him rolled over on his side, and his attends are soaked. Great. Get them peeled off, and am just happy that there’s no poop – with him, it’s usually everywhere. So he’s lying there, on his side, nothing under him but the sheet. Then I hear it. Just a tiny little “pthhhffftt” of air, but I know what’s coming. If this guy poops on the bed, I’m going to need to roll him back and forth a dozen times to get the bed changed, get him clean, oh shit, here it comes, what can I do….

I caught the poop. Gooey, orange-brown, horrible smelling poop, into my (fortunately) gloved hand. No, it’s overflowing! Slid my other hand under just in time. A quick transfer of my double handful of poop to the trash can, a couple wipes, clean attends under him, and the crisis was averted.

However, to this day, I can’t eat Jack in the Box’s special sauce. Same texture and same color, even down to the tiny flakes of red peppers in it.

Never complain about your job to a nurse, or odds are, they’ll share a story like this one!

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