Weak Stomach - Where Should I Work?

  1. 0
    I know I couldn't cut it in a nursing home or similar. What do you all recommend for someone who is not so good with vomit, snot, poop, etc?

    My husband has a pilonidal abscess that I've been taking care of for about a month now. Before this, I never had any interest in medicine. I didn't think I could handle it. I'm not going to lie - when the doctor showed me how to do it, and I actually did it, I nearly passed out soon after. I've had to do daily changing/dressing and haven't had any trouble since the first time.

    But I know I cannot handle hearing and seeing someone vomit, and snot omg...I can't even look or I gag.

    Is it possible for me to do any type of nursing?? I'm extremely compassionate and caring. Just have a weak stomach.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    You DO get used to body fluids. It just takes time. Many, many of the people you see working in health care used to be grossed out by the stuff, but you develop an "immunity" to it.

    There are no such jobs in nursing were you will not be exposed to any "icky" bodily fluids. Health care is gruesome work, especially CNA work.

    If you can't stand the "blood and guts," you could look into clerical work in a health care setting.
    KimberlyRN89 and Poi Dog like this.
  4. 2
    Blood, guts, snot, mucous and lots and lots and lots of poop. LOTS of poop. A lot.
    rustyspoon and KimberlyRN89 like this.
  5. 2
    Yeah, I will say that you DO get used to it. But honestly, there are no settings in nursing where you aren't going to see & deal with "gross" things - Vomit, poop, blood...they're all a big part of this field.
    KimberlyRN89 and Poi Dog like this.
  6. 0
    I know there's no avoiding it altogether, but are there areas of work where it is less common? I would think it is MOST common in Hospice or nursing home type situations, right?
  7. 0
    Actually I would think that the hospital would have a lot more disgusting things on average, like people with infectious, oozing sores that smell rancid, and a greater potential for colostomies. The facility that I work at has people of every care level, and when people come in from the independent living into our SNF they came be in pretty bad shape compared to the people in our nursing home. Nobody in the nursing home has bed sores, and I've only had one person vomit on my shift.

    Have you thought about becoming a medical assistant? I think that might be a better fit.
  8. 1
    I agree with the above posts. There is vomit, poop and mucus involved in the nursing field. And if you deal with it enough, you get immune to the smell/idea of cleaning it up. But again, there is the option of medical billing and coding or administrative work if your stomach is too weak to handle these situations. If you can handle blood, you could look into becoming a clinical medical assistant.
    KimberlyRN89 likes this.
  9. 0
    Seeing things and touching/cleaning things are different issues for me. I don't think I could clean human feces, vomit, etc on a daily basis.

    Help me to get the big picture, please. How would an LPN's day to day duties differ from a CNA's?
  10. 0
    I am in the same boat as you. I worked at a LTCF this weekend and I do not want to clean up poo or do pereneal care. You can find a job being a support associate at an assistant living place. I know I worked at 1 place and my friend worked at one too where you went out to the person's house. They had development disabilities so they needed 24hr care but no ADL care. I made sure they had dinner, took a bath ( unassisted), remembered to take their meds.

    I know here an STNA with no experience can make 11.hr. A support associate makes 9.50 - 10/hr. So that $1 - 1.50 an hr difference isn't worth the lifting, bathing, and etc.

    I know in my city the gooddwill is hiring, RMS of Ohio is hiring and some other places too. So you do have options. For me, the STNA was a pre req to nursing college so I had to get it, but I have no plans on being an STNA.

    Hope this helps!
  11. 0
    You can try being a nonmedical caregiver for a local homecare agency to see how you like it. In theory you can tell the staffing coordinator there your limits & they will not assign you to clients who're likely to need body fluid help. In reality, though you'll be at someone's home by yourself so if your client gets sick you WILL have to suck it up & help him or her. Just a little cautionary warning there!

    Home Instead is a national chain, so they may have a location near you. I would say it's a pretty decent way to try out caregiving (if you like elderly people) and see if it's a good fit for you. Good luck!


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