Well, consider some of the factors you've mentioned. You were in the hospital with your husband -- you were already more vulnerable emotionally because of your concern for your husband. You were "taken unawares" because you didn't plan to be there, with a vomiting person, etc.
I fully believe that in a different situation, you'll react differently. Meaning, in a situation where you:
1) expect to be caring for ill patients
2) have access to AND are required to perform personal hygiene and/or use Personal Protective Equipment
3) treat patients to whom you have no personal connection
You'll be much better off AND you'll be able to do you work at work,
you probably won't be so emotionally involved.
I had my first patient care experience a few weeks ago. The lovely 81 year-old-man repeatedly said to me: "Tell me if you're uncomfortable." or "Tell me if I embarrass you."
This patient was the perfect gentleman. He in NO WAY, or at NO TIME was inappropriate or inconsiderate. Yet, he needed help with daily cleaning, etc. Suffice to say, we got through his morning care and he ...yet again...apologized if for anything that made me uncomfortable. After thinking a bit, (I am a 41 year old student btw) I said to the patient the following:
~~ Thank you for your kindness and consideration, but please don't worry about me.
~~ My concern as a nurse, even as a student, is to assist in daily cleansing practices. When I examining his skin, or any part of his body, I focus on finding clean, healthy skin...so that the patient is healthy and happy. If I find an issue with the patient's skin, then I'll treat it, and hope to return the skin / and the patient/ back to a healthy state.
~~I also said that I'd really like to ensure that he was comfortable with me. I'm only there to make his life better and to assist with ensuring everything with or around him, increases his health.
*** you might find it interesting that 10 years ago, I'd barf everytime I changed a baby's dirty diaper - even my own baby!
What I said to the patient is very true...when looking for health and wellness (or other issues that affect a patient) my personal feelings really were left out in the parking lot.
gotta go for now!!!!
Fellow future nurse!