Down to the nitty gritty...

  1. 0
    Hello Nurses!

    I am strongly considering going back to school for Nursing. As I tell my friends and family my idea, I get the usual comments about how gross it is. I am aware that there is a fair amount of time dealing with bodily fluids and such, but can you give me a better idea of it. Do you constantly have to clean up vomit, urine, feces, blood, etc? Do you have to change and wipe the behinds of adults a lot? I am primarily interested in Pediatrics and Women's Health, so I realize that that area may have a different set of "gross" things to handle. Can you shed some light on this subject for me?

    Thank you!

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  2. 20 Comments...

  3. 4
    every human, no matter their age, will have waste and may vomit. Period.

    As for "a lot", that certainly depends on the patient. I would say that most situations are manageable.
    JenRN30, anotherone, loriangel14, and 1 other like this.
  4. 5
    I've been a nurse for mumblemumble years, and I haven't wielded a washcloth for patient care for more than twenty. If it's something that really worries you, you can always look forward to the day when you change jobs so you're not doing direct care anymore. However, you will find as you get more experienced in handling and dealing with human bodies that it won't be nearly such a big deal as it seems to you (or your family) now.

    And what is it with people who when you say "nursing" they automatically think "bedpan"? Just imagine how much you'll be able to educate them with what nursing really is.
  5. 3
    Gross is relative. You get used to it. Your desire to do your job will get you over it.
    JenRN30, Hygiene Queen, and loriangel14 like this.
  6. 3
    By the time you graduate nursing school, you will be virtually immune to bodily fluids, having cleaned up ALL of them (not to mention suctioning trachs and emptying an array of smelly drains) at some point or other.

    Everyone who goes through school has to get through this part; what comes after is indeed something to worry about later. For now--expect it all.
  7. 6
    I'm not sure how much life experience you have, but maybe you have kids. Nursing is a lot like parenthood.
    What if a friend said to you "I want to have children, but I am not sure I can handle changing the diapers"?
    If you were a parent, you would know that diapers is the least part of things. Revulsion at bodily fluids is the least of your worries and can be overcome more easily than you thought.
    What keeps you awake at night is bigger things than that. Like responsibility for someone frail and dependent on you, or worry that you are doing the right thing.
    JenRN30, TurtleCat, VanLpn, and 3 others like this.
  8. 5
    I've been a foster parent to homeless dogs for 10 years. That's a lot of poop, urine, vomit, mucus and hair. I feel it has been a good lead in to nursing school!
    JenRN30, zephyr9, loriangel14, and 2 others like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from DawnJ
    I've been a foster parent to homeless dogs for 10 years. That's a lot of poop, urine, vomit, mucus and hair. I feel it has been a good lead in to nursing school!
  10. 8
    I think of it this way:
    Who the heck will do it if we all run away yelling "groooooooooooooooooss!"?
    Somewhere out there is a human being who has just lost control of her bowels and cannot clean herself.
    Somebody has to help her.
    Nobody loves cleaning up bodily fluids, but if not us, then who?
    I become absolutely infuriated when ignorant people turn their nose up at what I do.
    They can call it "gross", but to me, it just doing what's necessary to maintain someone's health and dignity.

    Not everyone can do it, though.
    I've seen people give it a good go, but just couldn't handle it.
    That's okay.
    There are many areas of nursing that involves little or no bodily fluids.
    BUT you have to get through nursing school first... and there is no avoiding it there.
    GeneralJinjur, GrnTea, anotherone, and 5 others like this.
  11. 0
    There are certainly parts of nursing that are gross, but that isn't all nursing is. If those other parts of nursing appeal to you enough to want to make a career out of it, don't let a little vomit stop you.

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