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Anatomy smells-for the ladies

Discussion in 'Underrepresented in Healthcare' started by UVABranch, May 9, 2008.

  1. UVABranch

    UVABranch one of 6000
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    ok, so I know this may sound a bit random, but I've heard/read so much about the anat smells getting into clothes/hair/skin/shoes....that I wanted to ask the experienced females how they have handled it.

    I'm already planning to resurrect several pairs of old scrubs and tee's from HS and college, break out the old pair of sneakers (or maybe buy some crocs despite their affect on my vanity :)). But does this require daily/ or twice daily hair washing? I generally do it every 2-3 days....but the time it would take would take away from studying. Would braids work, or is that a disaster waiting to happen??:eek:?
     
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  3. da me ka don

    da me ka don Not in your P.I.'s lab!
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    Daily hair washing is just not an option:mad:
     
  4. MsJLewis

    MsJLewis Retired Pre-med
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    I was wondering the same. I wouldn't be able to wash my hair everyday (it takes 2 - 3 hours to do it properly)! I was thinking of wrapping my hair before class and then wearing a scrub cap. But that's just one random idea I had and I don't know how many students do this. I don't want the only dork in a scrub cap...
     
  5. UVABranch

    UVABranch one of 6000
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    I usually have braids but I haven't for the past few months...and I want another 6 inches so my plan was just to have braids all year (since I do them myself). But I never thought about the anat problem :-\ And since I'll have anat during PARP this summer, I'm also guessing heat/humidity and anat are not pleasant combinations....

    EDIT: I may have have to go au natural and have it back in a half curly half frizzy state until I learn how to manage it. Maybe with some curly pudding! I'll look into that this week :) Hopefully though a current/past med student can offer some suggestions.
     
  6. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    If you dissect, you are going to smell like formaldehyde period. It goes through double gloves and the fat stains your clothing. It is virtually impossible to keep fat stains off your books and papers but try your best. You can change but you still continue to smell like "freshman perfume" until Gross Anatomy/Neuroanatomy is completed.

    My advice is to double glove and wash your hands immediately when you leave the anatomy lab. Change into your street clothes and leave your anatomy clothes at school. You also need to wash your hands again after you change and use an alcohol-based hand cleanser after your final wash.

    Avoid wearing contact lenses in the Gross lab as they can soak up formaldehyde fumes even if there is an exhaust system. You are much better with glasses anyway as they are protective against splashing.

    I wore a bandana for most of my time spent in the Gross Lab as I have very long hair. I just didn't have the time to wash my hair daily and the smell is still there anyway.

    The good thing is that you get used to the smell of formaldehyde and the Gross Lab and after a short length of time, you just don't mind the smell unless you are going out for the evening (doesn't usually happen in medical school anyway).
     
  7. MaddieMay

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    Advice from my ER doc sister - put your hair in a bun, it keeps the max amount of hair covered, spray your hair with Febreeze when you get out of Anatomy lab and wash your hands with lemon juice.
     
  8. MSKalltheway

    MSKalltheway I got the magic stick
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    I'll agree with njbmd- there's really no way to avoid smelling like formaldehyde. Changing immediately after class, double gloving, hand washing, and a doo rag/bandana are the best ways to go in lab. I don't recall having any of my female classmates having issues with the smell after they got out of lab for what its worth.

    I wish someone told me about contacts soaking up formaldehyde before I took anatomy, then again, that really wasn't my biggest issue. I was dissecting the face once while wearing my contacts and managed to flick a small chunk of fat right onto my contact :laugh:

    PS While we are on the subject of anatomy, just remember blunt scissors, a blunt probe, and rat toothed tweezers are all you need to dissect. A scalpel should only be used for incisions into skin...dont let your classmates tell you otherwise!
     
  9. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin
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    a few tips:

    1) Get scrubs solely for anatomy. Wash them in bleach/detergent every couple of days. Keep then at school if possible when you are not taking them home to wash.

    2) Put your hair in a bun WET and go to lab. Some how this helps keep your hair from smelling.

    3) Swimmer's shampoo- use it as both bodywash and shampoo. Works much better than regular soap or shampoo.

    4) Nitrile gloves as first layer (next to skin) and over top latex. The latex is cheap an can be replaced a few times during lab.
     
  10. caliprincess

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    Also, another trick with the gloves is to double glove w/ nitrile gloves and soap. Before putting on the second pair, lather the first with soap, and then put on the other pair of gloves. With the soap in between, your hands won't smell nearly as bad. Also, if you can buy a lab coat do so...it will both preserve your scrubs from juices/fat/smell as well as your uncovered forearms.
     
  11. UVABranch

    UVABranch one of 6000
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    I just heard about the soap thing...I'll will be using all of these suggestions!
     
  12. olecranon

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    I took an anatomy class while wearing braids and the smell STUCK in my braids. I had to wash my braids a lot and looked like a fuzzball by the time class was over.

    Good idea. Also, have a special set of sneakers and a lab coat for lab, too. Throw everything away when class is over.

    I tried this and it WORKS. You can get nitrile gloves from Wal-Mart for about $5/box. Keep a few pair in your pocket during class.
     
  13. MSKalltheway

    MSKalltheway I got the magic stick
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    Hopefully you wont even have to buy nitrile gloves, as I would think your schools should be mindful that latex allergies seem to be getting more prevalent (or maybe I'm just noticing them more). We had either both nitrile and latex available to us, or only nitrile.
     
  14. Miss Alyssa

    Miss Alyssa Member
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    Would a headwrap with thick cotton work? I think I can sacrifice one of my wraps for anatomy...

    Lys
     
  15. litldime

    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Ha! I never thought of this issue until now. I am planning on getting braids so I don't have to waste time doing my hair. One thing I do is spray my hair with a moisturizer that is made of water and glycerine. I'm thinking since it coats the hair it might deflect some of the smell since the moisturizer had first contact with it. I spray when I go out before I style. My hair is slick and not wet and it keeps the smell of smoke to a minimum. I understand that the fumes from the anatomy lab would be much stronger. I plan on doing this and wrapping my head with a heavy wrap, maybe even a couple of times. I am going to pose this question on my hair forum (I know, I'm a dork) and see what they say. Check it out. Its www.blackhairmedia.com. I've learnt alot from them.
    I'll keep everyone posted. Please keep coming up with ideas.
     
  16. Miss Alyssa

    Miss Alyssa Member
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    When I saw glycerin, I knew you were on the hair boards. lol

    Lys
     
  17. litldime

    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    haha! hey its a good way to pass time at work along with sdn.
     
  18. olecranon

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    this is not necessarily true...some schools (like mine) don't provide ANYTHING for students except for kits, scrubs (we had to return them and they disappeared fast) and vicks vapor rub. we had to buy all of the extra stuff including masks, scalpel blades, scrubs (for those who didn't get the hospital ones), safety glasses, shoe covers (the floor does get nasty and slippery...several people "skated" during lab), lab coats, and gloves.
    most groups shared the cost of the "extra stuff."

    as stated earlier, you WILL stink no matter what you do...you can't avoid it (especially during the last weeks/days of class...which are horrible b/c the cadavers are really starting to decompose). but wearing a lab coat helps A LOT!!! nitrile gloves are a necessity!!!
     

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