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Enema Queen

While doing a stint in GI Lab, I came to appreciate the hard-working GI staff. GI staff get patients from the floor who are supposed to be fully  prepped for their procedure. Here’s how it really goes:

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On the floor, typically the Nursing Assistant administers tap water enemas “until clear” to prep the lucky patient for a scope. The ambiguity enters with the “until clear” interpretation.  It may mean:

  • The return is brownish  with some clumpy particles which I really did not see. Done. We’ll take it.
  • The Nursing Assistant has called me to the room to view the results of his or her labor one too many times. Done. We’ll take it.
  • The Nursing Assistant did not call me to the room but says it’s clear. Done. We’ll take it.
  • It is one hour or less before change of shift. Done. We’ll take it.
  • It is clear enough damnit. !!! Done. I’m tired.
  • (Escalation of previous point) If they (GI Lab) want the pt any cleaner, they can come down here and do it themselves! ~must declare with bravado~
  • There is a drought (only applies in CA, otherwise you are stretching it). Done.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.47.48 PMIn their defense, GI docs  cannot visualize the intestine well enough unless the enema results are clear.

As for the GI staff, it really is frustrating to get patients time and time again from the floor who are clear … as mud.

What I learned:


  • Hang it high (enema fluid). Reach your arm straight up above your head as far as it will go. That high.
  • Roll the patient side to side until well mixed.
  • Do not fear giving repeat enemas. No, they will NOT get water intoxication. That’s just an excuse.
  • You are not done until it is clear. OK, maybe tinted but clear.
  • OK, a few shreds here and there but don’t push it.

Until next time friend,

Nurse Beth

Here’s some other posts you might like:

The Shift my Mother Passed Away

I Was Suspended

Is there a Queen Bee on Your Nursing Unit?

Uncensored Thoughts of a Nurse Interviewer




About Beth Hawkes (146 Articles)
Nice to meet you! I'm a Nursing Professional Development Specialist in acute care, a writer, speaker and career columnist.

1 Comment on Enema Queen

  1. Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!

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