Scutwork and cleaning up other people's bodily fluids...


Membership Revoked
15+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2001
Visit site
I've heard some nasty horror stories that may be untrue regarding how med students/residents and even fully trained doctors are expected to clean up their patients and handle their bodily fluids in non-medical ways.

For example, are med students/residents told to wash or clean up homeless patients? I thought nurses usually did that stuff. Is that common practice or does it just happen once in a great while if there happens to be no nurses on the floor?


Senior Member
Partner Organization
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2002
Visit site
I'm not sure what you mean by handling bodily fluids in "non-medical ways", but that sounds scary to me!

I'd say cleaning wounds and stuff is ok, but hopefully you won't have to be cleaning other things/ Urine/Stool, is pretty nasty!!

Winged Scapula

Staff member
Lifetime Donor
Apr 9, 2000
  1. Attending Physician
Well if it soothes you any, I have NEVER been asked or told, or even expected to clean up patients/homeless people, etc. Matter of fact, nurses are often suprised when I clean up after myself (for example, when looking at a wound, removing a chest tube, doing a bedside procedure), often attributing it to my femaleness.

If a patient has a messy BM when I'm in the room, we call the nurse - never once has someone said (at least in our presence) that we should have cleaned them up, or asked a medical student to stay. I HAVE helped clean up a patient vomiting in the Trauma Bay or CT scanner, but to be part of the team, not because I was asked or made to.
This thread is more than 18 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads