Episode 42: Poop Phenomenon, Marijuana, and Mistakes We’ve All Made as Nurses

In this episode, we are going to talk about poop, the poop phenomenon, mistakes we’ve all made as nurses, and marijuana; what legalization means to nurses.



Marijuana Legalization

For all the nurses out there Marijuana has been legalized in the state of Illinois.

What does that mean for you?

“laws generally do not protect employees from being fired due to their off-duty marijuana use. In fact, many of these laws expressly state that they do not affect an employer’s right to continue to enforce zero-tolerance workplace drug policies¹.”

“Employers are not required to accommodate medical or recreational marijuana use in the workplace. Employers may fire employees who test positive for marijuana, even if the use was off duty and for a medical condition with a valid medical marijuana card¹.”


Qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in Illinois include²:

  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Cancer
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II)
  • Dystonia: movement disorder in which a person’s muscles contract uncontrollably.
  • Fibrous dysplasia: is an uncommon bone disorder in which scar-like (fibrous) tissue develops in place of normal bone.
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hydrocephalus: is the buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain.
  • Hydromyelia: refers to an abnormal widening of the central canal of the spinal cord that creates a cavity in which cerebrospinal fluid (commonly known as spinal fluid) can accumulate.
  • Interstitial cystitis: is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain.
  • Lupus: is a long-term autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue.
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome: is an autosomal dominant condition affecting the nails, skeletal system, kidneys, and eyes. Skeletal features include absent or hypoplastic patellae, patella dislocations, elbow abnormalities, talipes, and iliac horns on x-ray.
  • Neurofibromatosis: is a genetic disorder of the nervous system. It mainly affects how nerve cells form and grow. It causes tumors to grow on nerves.
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy: is a disorder that causes lasting pain, usually in an arm or leg, and it shows up after an injury, stroke, or even heart attack.
  • Residual limb pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizures (including those characteristics of epilepsy)
  • Sjogren’s syndrome: it attacks the glands that make tears and saliva. This causes a dry mouth and dry eyes.
  • Spinal cord disease (including but not limited to arachnoiditis)
  • Spinal cord injury with an objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia: degenerative changes in the part of the brain related to the movement control (cerebellum), and sometimes in the spinal cord.
  • Syringomyelia: is the development of a fluid-filled cyst (syrinx) within your spinal cord.
  • Tarlov cysts: are fluid-filled sacs that most commonly are found at the base of the spine
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) 

The Poop Phenomenon and Passing Gas at Work


The poop phenomenon is a nursing phenomenon that occurs when you notice that your farts smell like your patient’s poop/farts, or the hospital.

Another phenomenon is why your farts smell worse in public.

First things first: Passing gas is completely normal, and everyone does it every single day. Basically, farts are the result of gas that gets built up in the digestive tract. After eating, the bacteria in your gut get to work on breaking the food down into nutrients. This process doesn’t always produce a sickening stench, because the gases produced from most foods are actually odorless. But certain foods result in the formation of sulfur-containing gases like hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, so when it builds up in your colon and eventually gets released by a fart

So which foods can take to straight-up atomic levels? Cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts), onions, eggs, meat, and beans, are the most common culprits. finishing off a meal that’s extra high in those noxious, sulfur-rich compounds, like a bean and veggie burrito, is a surefire way to empty the room. 

Foods made with sugar substitutes like xylitol or sorbitol (such as sugarless gum, ice cream or cookies) also tend to pose a problem. Your digestive tract can’t break these sweeteners down, so they hang around in your gut for longer and ferment, which can result in gas.

Culprits for stinky farts:

    1. Sulfur and raffinose containing foods: meats, eggs, beans, quinoa, soybean, rice, chickpeas, oats, cheese, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale.
    2. The bacteria in your gut
    3. Food intolerance: celiacs, lactose intolerance
    4. Sugar alcohol
      • Acesulfame Potassium – Sunnett, Sweet One
      • Aspartame – Nutrasweet, Equal
      • Saccharin – Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin
      • Sucralose – Splenda
      • Stevia/Rebaudioside – A Sweet Leaf, Sun Crystals, Steviva, Truvia, PureVia
    5. Constipation

Sulfur is a key component in most proteins since it is contained in the amino acids methionine and cysteine.

Rookie mistakes we’ve made as a nurse

    1. Not clamping the end of the aline when exchanging the tubing
    2. Forgetting to unclamp the NG and pushing too hard
    3. Forgetting to clamp the ng and yea
    4. Flushing a line with neo
    5. Detaching a pressure bag without deflating it
    6. Couldn’t get a foley into went to grab an infant straight cath

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