* * Anonymous Doc: Searching through the trash for... what?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Searching through the trash for... what?

So, I pass by one of the patient rooms and see my intern digging through the trash. Not a recommended procedure for... anything. So I decide to stop and ask.

"Hey, what's going on?"

"Oh, yeah, it's crazy. I'm really sorry."

"Sorry about...?"

"I totally forgot to run a stool guaiac [test for blood in the stool] on patient."

"Okay... well, we can collect a new sample..."

"That's what I'm trying to do."

I pause for a moment to try and put the puzzle together.

"Did the patient go to the bathroom in the garbage pail? Why would he go to the bathroom in the garbage pail?"

"No, no, I'm looking for his diaper--"

"That doesn't make it better. Get out of the garbage pail. You do not have to search through the garbage for a patient's feces. In fact, you should not search through garbage for a patient's feces. Please. Stop doing that. He'll make more, I guarantee it."

"I just wanted to be a good intern."

"I know. Please get your hands out of the garbage and find some sanitizer. Please. Thank you."

"You're sure?"


Because, you know, this isn't a job for the interns, it's a job for the med students (I'm kidding).


  1. hahahaha

    you should have left out the "I'm kidding"

  2. they don't call us scut-monkeys for nothing!

  3. Hmm...I thought hemeocculting stool was a job for nurses. (I am an RN.) And it's important to know that C. Diff is not killed by hand santizier - hand washing is better after any potential contamination with stool.

  4. I second anonymous..I too am a RN and have never ever seen a Dr. or Med student collect a stool sample, we always take care of that. Hilarious that he was digging through the trash, I wouldn't have ever thought to do that! Keep the stories coming, I like to see your perspective from the medical side. :)