Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Me, to the doc who just saw my 45 year old patient presenting for two days of constipation: "Hey man, you want me to go ahead and call the fire department, or would you like to?"

Doc: "Uh, why exactly would we call for the FD?"

Me: Oh, well, you ordered an enema. I figured his butthole must be on fire, and I wanted to make sure that was taken care of by the appropriate people.

Doc: "Not funny."

Me: "Incorrect. That is hilarious. But the sentiment stands; I'm not doing a soap suds enema on this patient. You can change it to literally anything else, but unless I see flames I'm not going anywhere near him with that SSE."

I told the doc later that while I was in fact trying to be funny, I didn't want them to think I was blatantly ignoring their orders for the sake of being rude. I did, however, want them to recognize that ordering an enema as a first line constipation treatment on a completely healthy patient was ridiculous.

Seriously though, dude hadn't even taken a colace before coming in. He sure did get discharged with a bottle of mag citrate though, and NO ENEMA.


Old FoolRN said...

Decades ago there was an enema for any ailment. Febrile? an ice water enema was the cure..Brr. Widely used in L&D to hasten labor - Have you ever administered a 3H (high,hot,and a heckuva lot)to someone experiencing contractions? Not fun and one of my reasons for hating OB. Mineral oil enemas prior to disempaction to lube things up. works like a charm.

My all time favorite was an M&M (milk and molasses) enema. In the bowel this combo formed gas which served to literally blast stool out.

I think that sometimes young nurses are a bit gun shy of enemas, but they had a colorful history in nursing practice.

Shrtstormtrooper said...

I'm just envisioning a rocket launch off an M&M 😂

I have no qualms about giving enemas when needed - but I am adamantly against the idea of one to someone when they've got no previous history, no bowel issue currently, and no attempt whatsoever of attempting relief prior to coming in. Call it my soapbox issue...my soap suds box issue!

Old FoolRN said...

Maybe a soap suds enema issue? You are absolutely right. I think enemas were overused in the past out of desperation to do something for the patient. There were very few "cures" back in the good old days.

Nicole said...

Oh my! The medical terms :-D

Shash said...

Good call.

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