Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You never forget your first

It's true for any number of experiences. First kiss, first love, first bad grade (not that newFNP would know anything about that), first abscess I & D. Now, let me go on the record as having stated that newFNP likes gross stuff. But what newFNP does not like are gross smells. Seriously. NewFNP has never eaten ketchup because she is repulsed by its aroma.

Here is the sequence of events:

12:30 patient: mucopurulent cervicitis
12:45: lunch
1:15 patient: abscess

The smell. Holy shit, the smell. First of all, it was an ass abscess. Top of the rump, right gluteal fold. Second of all, there were 5 of us in the small MF-ing exam room. Me, the patient, her sister, the super-MD I work with, and my favorite MA who lives for nasty procedures. Again, the room is small. The room was also hot. And did I mention the stench of the abscess? Can you see where this combination of forces leads?

So, prep, anesthetize, cut, express, express, express, express, express (you get the idea), whiff, feel faint, get hot and clammy, realize you are about to hit the deck, call for back-up, sit, regain composure, express, pack, cover. Try to get the smell out of your memory. Try harder. Keep trying. Visualize the relative beauty of the cervicitis. Thank the heavens for bullshit URI appointments.

And a tip: for those who are also new to abscesses, my MD told me that the pH of the pus weakens the effect of the lido so numb 'em up somethin' good! Happy draining!


Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

That sounded soooo yummy!! A friend of mine told me to use Vicks under the nose to cut the smell. I have a very strong stomach but strangely enough, the smell of GI bleeds just make me want to puke!! Check out my link page! You're on there...

HypnoKitten said...

Nasty! Ugh.. makes me want to wretch just thinking about it!

I put a link up to you from Mediblogopthy. Feel free to pick up a NurseBlogs logo badge if you like. :)


mitchsmom said...

I heard about the Vick's thing too.
I've never done it though... I take the "mouth breather" approach -even though my husband made me think twice when he said you can't do that because then the air isn't getting filtered... dammit I wish he would just let me go along without pointing these things out!
I'm about to graduate with my BSN & hope to go on to NP (or CNM) school so I'm happy to have found your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

I read this posting on Monday. That night, for the first time, I dreamt smells. God awful, nasty smells. You've given me yet another reason to be glad I'm not in medicine - not that one picks a profession based on olfactory considerations but jeesh... I'll remember to suggest the Vicks trick to the nurse (a wonderful, dedicated, but grossed out nurse, no doubt) should I ever have an abscess.

Anonymous said...

you can also put a bit of perfume, lotion, ect. on the inside of a face mask (if you have one). Pt's thinks its because of fluids, not smells, so they're not embarrassed...