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Karin Lillis

Karin Lillis is managing editor of EndoNurse magazine and a contributing writer for Infection Control Today. She has more than 20 years of experience in health, news and business publishing-from community-based daily newspapers to clinical nursing and other magazines. She graduated from DeSales University with a degree in English/Communications.

Are Koreans More Comfortable with Bodily Functions? Farting Doll Says 'Yes'

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Endoscopy technicians and nurses do important work, but it doesn't make popular conversation at cocktail parties or on dinner dates.

"Please pass the gravy. Thanks. So what do you do?"

"I clean fecal matter off endoscopes."

"I clean fecal matter off endoscopes" would likely be followed by persuasive information about how important it is to properly clean medical equipment, and that sentiment may be followed by how properly cleaned medical equipment keeps patients safe from infectious disease. That's a worthy explanation, but the squeamish among us wouldn't even hear it―most would likely stop listening after "fecal matter."

Same sad situation for endoscopy nurses.

*Cute date takes bite of chocolate pudding and asks, "so what do, what is it ... GI endoscopic nurses... what do you do?"

"Well, among other things, we assist in inserting endoscopes up the rectum to look for illnesses."

Gulp.

"Rectum" makes people think "poop" and "poop" does not put most of us in the mood for chocolate pudding, or any kind of food. Other people, however, aren't grossed out at all over the human body. They can talk about scabs and lesions all through Sunday dinner and still want another plop of casserole. Talk of toots and pee and poop does not bother them.

For example, in South Korea, the evacuation process is publicly celebrated. In a city near Seoul there is actually a theme park dedicated to toilets and toilet content. This theme park includes statues of people pooping, and boasts murals of happy turds fraternizing.

This theme park may not be for everyone, but it is likely helpful in potty-training exploits and in removing embarrassment from bodily functions. Another helpful resource? A tooting, pooping doll, which also happens to be made by Koreans.

So, if you're a GI endoscopy nurse or technician and you long to talk with someone who will not be grossed out by what you do, and who may even get excited about it, consider finding someone who has visited Korea's toilet theme park, or who has bought a sweet little farting doll.

The "go on," response will surely be better than eye rolling or a frenzied change of topic. And if even that conversation goes cold, show the farting-doll commercial. It can't lose. It did after all go viral, and not just in Korea. 

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