FAR ROCKAWAY, NY – A 24-hour quarantine of 18 medical students and 15 interns was called off after CDC officials confirmed that the fumes experienced at rounds this morning in fact came from a post-call resident. Initially thought to be an act of terrorism, CDC officials cite “bad overnight hygiene” as the reason for a smell that caused 6 episodes of syncope.
A third-year medical student, Shelby Atkinson reports, “Something just wasn’t right when I got to rounds this morning. I mean, there was the usual smell of gangrenous ulcers but there was something different hanging in the air. I thought to myself, is this what melena smells like? It’s only my third week on the floors.”
Atkinson was one of 6 present at rounds this morning to experience blurry vision, dizziness, and fainting when exposed to the smell. “Everything went fuzzy and I just went BAM! When I regained consciousness, my first thought was, is it me? I’ve worn the same bra since this rotation started.”
After being exposed to the smell, yet unaffected by it, one brand new intern states he is a changed man. “I will never forget the way my fellow interns’ eyes rolled back into their heads before they hit the ground. I had never responded to a real emergency before this. I am proud to say though, that I am the one who shouted, ‘Activate Emergency Response!’ as indicated in the ACLS algorithm.”
The post-call resident in question was not able to be reached for a comment. However, a spokesperson from the hospital cites “long hours, too many patients, and poor hygiene among residents” as contributing factors to today’s quarantine. He states, “Too many residents think they can just go days without showering and nobody will notice. We gave them a pamphlet at the beginning of residency about showering and deodorant. We even gave them a goody bag with sample-sized personal hygiene products, just like you get in puberty class in middle school but some of them refuse to acknowledge this serious issue. It’s a shame too see so many go down that path.”
What’s more is that it’s not just personal hygiene that is at stake; many residents rely solely on cafeteria food as nourishment, rarely get outside, and subsequently become malnourished. A study done in 2014 showed that 85% of female residents reported GERD and chronic constipation as two of their biggest time sucks. “I’m always having to text everyone to see if they have any Tums. Then I become constipated from all the extra calcium. It’s a vicious cycle that leaves little time for showering. When I do get time to shower, it’s really the only time that I have to masturbate, so I’m not going to waste that time washing my hair.”
Lead policy makers at hospitals around the country plan to instill checklists to be completed by overnight residents that include things like “brush teeth, wash face” and require all residents to log water intake and to take fiber supplements.” Let this be a cautionary tale to all medical students and interns that personal hygiene in residency is no joke.