The Worst Things Found By A Hospital Janitor

By Lauren Mccluskey 8 months ago

1. The role of a hospital janitor

Image Source / ScientificAmerican
Hospital janitors will probably tell you that they've seen it all.  You will find grotesque and detailed reports across the internet, including on forums like Reddit, detailing the worst and most disturbing objects and situations that they've found whilst on shift.

2. Why is it always the janitor who finds these things?

Image Source / Reddit.com
So it's understandable that medical staff have their fair share of carnage, but why is it that the janitors, who clean the rooms, always seem to stumble upon decay, mystery fluids, rats, and even maggots?  Well, the answer's in the question: they clean up the aftermath of whatever goes on in those hospital rooms, so they're bound to find some gruesome and gory sights.

3. Maggots

Image Source / ScienceDirect
Probably one of the most shocking finds that were reported by one janitor in North America was the presence of maggots squirming around in one hospital bed.  It wasn't because something or someone had been left to decay though.  It was Maggot Therapy -yes, you read that right.  In fact, this therapy is being used increasingly as an effective method of cleaning wounds and treating necrosis.

3. There's no shortage of bodily fluids

Image Source / Reddit.com
Of course, working in a hospital, it's no surprise that there is absolutely no shortage of bodily fluids whatsoever.  So it may not be news to you that janitors across the globe have reported finding them absolutely everywhere.  In fact, one janitor on Reddit reported finding blood on the ceiling!

4. Human Fat

Image Source / Reddit.com
One janitor working in a hospital that specializes in plastic surgery said that they often find strange bodily fluids sprayed all over the place.  In fact, they reported to one forum that, one time, they even had to clean human fat off the walls of the surgery room!

5. Blood

Image Source / Reddit.com
Hospitals are absolutely no strangers to blood, and janitors are often expected to clean up blood too.  It can be hazardous, especially with the concerns surrounding blood-borne infections and diseases, such as HIV, so most janitors in the US are specially trained to deal with these kinds of biohazards and have special methods of disposing of them.

6. Feces

Image Source / CleanLink
Feces are also a common substance regularly found splatted around hospitals, and although they're regularly in the bathrooms where you'd expect, a lot of the time, they're also in the rooms, on the sheets, and unfortunately, even dried and caked on the walls.  Those in the job joked online about their code names for the different consistencies of feces that they've found.  We'll spare you the details.

7. Vomit

Image Source / Reddit.com
Hospitals are places for the sick and the injured, so it's no surprise that vomit is a regular find during a hospital janitor's shift.  But, understandably, not many people manage to contain it, and there has been vomit found pretty much everywhere you can think of.

8. Fingertips

Image Source / Reddit.com
Yes, you read that right. Many hospital janitors have reported finding body parts during their shifts and most commonly, these are fingertips.  And they've been found in some of the most random places, including once right underneath one patient's bed!

9. Bed Bugs

Image Source / Reddit.com
Bed bug infestations have also been reported quite often as 20% of Americans are reported to have an infestation in their home.  The tiny blood-sucking pests are likely to hitchhike on patient's belongings from their home, finally reaching the hospital ready to feed on the blood of anyone they come across.  Pest control is usually called out in these instances but janitors are lucky enough to find the infestations first!

10. Bed sores

Image Source / RichandRich
Many patients in the hospital are pretty much bed-bound, which means they are not back to move positions.  This can cause painful bed sores, that sometimes shed.  Janitors across the US have reported finding scabs and fluids from bed sores on patient bedding and floors.

11. Deceased patients

Image Source / Buzfeed
Unfortunately, patients die, and sometimes they die before the medical staff can get to them.  And because janitors are always around, they're quite likely to find them on occasion before anybody else does.  They, of course, raise the alarm, but it's incredibly upsetting at times, especially when they strike up a bond with the patients who pass.

12. Decay

Image Source / Reddit.com
Unfortunately, sometimes there's a chance that a janitor will stumble upon some sort of decay.  Now this could be on a patient with necrosis, or trash that's rotting in their rooms.  There have been reports in the past of janitors finding the deceased in an early stage of decomposition.

13. Biohazardous waste

Image Source / Reddit.com
Working as a janitor in a hospital means that there's no doubt going to be biohazardous waste that needs handling, and many hospital janitors are carefully trained in disposing of it safely and appropriately.  The bags are color-coded, for example, red is for human bodily fluids and yellow is for potentially infectious waste.

14. Violent patients

Image Source / Reddit.com
Unfortunately, hospitals are no strangers to violent patients, and many support staff such as receptionists and janitors bear the brunt of their behavior. Patients might become violent for a number of reasons, such as being in pain, or due to the stressful environment that is the ER.

15. Infections

Image Source / TrikonClinicalWaste
Some patients are either admitted with infections or develop them whilst they're in hospital and sometimes it's the janitors that might come across them before or after the medical staff have begun to treat them.  Some infections can cause an odor and perhaps puss and other bodily fluids.  Their bedding and clothing need to be changed regularly in this case.

16. Sharp objects

Image Source / Reddit.com
Janitors have to be careful when they come across sharp objects on their shifts, including needles, syringes, and other sharp medical instruments. They pose a risk of injury, infection, and contamination if they are not disposed of properly. Would you like to be a hospital janitor?

17. Medical waste spills

Image Source /Mtascutnethospital
Accidents happen, even amongst the medical profession, which means that accidental spills of blood or other medical waste can occur.  This can be potentially dangerous and is considered a biohazard.  Therefore, janitors have said that they act quickly to clean them up.

18. Hoarders

Image Source / ResponseBioClean
Patients with prolonged illnesses who stay in the hospital for a long time.  And some of these patients are hoarders.  Unfortunately, janitors are faced with cleaning their room amongst an accumulation of objects.  This makes it incredibly difficult to maintain the standard of cleanliness they need at all times.  Sometimes, these hoarding situations can become confrontational too.

19. Rodents

Image Source / Reddit.com
Pests are a regular occurrence at hospitals and this includes rodents like rats.  And it can be horribly alarming when you see one because it means that you have a problem, especially in a hospital.  So janitors must be on hand to try to resolve this problem with the support of pest control quickly.

20. Excessive filth

Image Source / Reddit.com
Some patients have been reported to unfortunately live in unsanitary conditions, meaning that sometimes, they might leave the room soiled.  This means that janitors will have to go in when they leave, or even when they're still a patient, to provide some extensive cleaning.

21. Chemical spills

Image Source / ParksideHospital
Hospitals use lots of different chemicals for the purpose of cleaning and sterilization and sometimes, these are spilled in an unfortunate accident.  Janitors who regularly handle these chemicals are specially trained and must handle them with care and clean spills up in a timely manner to prevent harm.

22. Traumatic accidents

Image Source / MichiganRadio
As part of the job, janitors might be required to clean up after really traumatic accidents.  It might be that there was a mishap inside the surgery room or a malfunction of the equipment.  Either way, the janitor would be required to clean up blood, tissue, and other substances after the event.

23. Crime scenes

Image Source / USAToday
Janitors on shift in the emergency rooms and trauma centers might find blood and evidence that might be evidence as part of a crime scene.  A crime might have even taken place at the hospital itself and the janitors might be responsible for witnessing the scene.  These could have been violent incidents or accidents.

24. Emergency surgeries

Image Source / Science.org
Janitors also encounter the aftermath of emergency surgeries and are often required to clean them.  And they can get super messy, especially as the surgeons are usually conducting life-saving surgery.  This means that they're likely to be required to handle blood and other types of surgical waste, as well as deal with the risk of sharp instruments.

25. Parasites

Image Source / Reddit.com
Janitors in hospitals have spoken about seeing parasitic infestations in some rare cases when hospitals have an outbreak.  It's obviously an unwelcome find for anyone, but particularly for janitors who have to address the decontamination and extensive cleaning when required.

26. Personal items of the dead

Image Source / SabaCares
It can be quite emotionally draining, and sometimes, janitors have found that finding items that used to belong to a now-deceased patient can be heartbreaking.  This is especially true when they have had a good rapport and bond with them.  Finding their items can be upsetting and acts as a reminder of the person who has gone.

27. Expired or contaminated meds

Image Source / Reddit.com
If a janitor finds expired or contaminated medication, they're responsible for disposing of it properly and safely so it doesn't pose any harm to staff members or patients at the hospital.  Depending on the meds, this can be a rather unpleasant task if they're the type to spoil.

28. Heavy objects

Image Source / Reddit.com
Janitors complain sometimes about the heavy lifting involved in their jobs so when they find something that needs moving, like someone's belongings, hospital beds, equipment, and other furniture, it can be quite a difficult and unwelcome task.  It's especially challenging when the hospital is busy.

29. Common Safety Hazards

Image Source / Reddit.com
Hospital janitors often encounter lots of challenging and unpleasant situations that they have to deal with in their work, and a lot of the worst things that they find are when they're carrying out their routine cleaning.  But they do go through extensive training and come to expect it all as part of the job.

30. Emotional toll

Image Source / Reddit.com
This doesn't mean that the worst things that they find don't take an emotional toll on them.  One janitor on Reddit mentioned being devastated when one of the patients in his ward passed away suddenly.  Others suffer from PTSD when they witness crimes or traumatic events and accidents.

What To Read Next

Load More