I have been a nurse since May of this year. Prior to nursing school, I worked as a Vet Tech for about 15 years. I have always from a young age been fascinated by medical stuff, and vet med worked for me at the time. As I gained knowledge in veterinary medicine, I began to look toward more challenging roles. I ended up being promoted to manage an animal hospital in the city I live in now. Although the pay was great, the work sucked. I missed being "in the trenches" with the hands on patient care, and I was bored with animal medicine after so many years. At the time I decided to resign and go back to school for something, my father got diagnosed with terminal metastatic stomach cancer. I spent the next 7 weeks helping my dad so my mom could continue to work to retain their insurance. I remember the staff at the oncologists office, and the hospice nurse who came to the house were so caring and supportive, and there for us no matter what time of day or night. Yes the family was sad and grieving when my dad died, but the nurses we worked with in that 7 weeks helped us make it so much easier for my dad and us. It left such an impression on me that I knew that I wanted to be a nurse after that. I enrolled in college and started the next semester. I have relatives in the health care field, and they all said that I should work as a CNA before deciding, but I had already made up my mind. I did work as an aide in my first year of nursing school, but it just confirmed what I already knew: This is the career for me.
My point is this: I don't have an iron stomach. Some things really gross me out and they always will. I cannot be in the same room with someone who is vomiting because I will vomit. I have a hard time with sputum. And, never ask me to do something that involves eye surgery (I don't know why, but I can't handle it). But, although these things bother me, I can still do my job as a nurse, I have just found ways to deal with it. It does get easier the more experience I get. I can even deal with a pt who is projectile vomiting without puking myself.
The upside that makes up for all the yucky stuff I have to deal with is this: When I leave the hospital after my shift, I know I have given the best I have to offer to help my patients. I don't always like my patients (or their families), but I have treated them well and given them the care they need. I have eased their pain. I have saved their life due to my assessment of the situation. I have cared for a dying patient as if they were my own family member. I have helped the dying patients family accept the inevitable, and shown them that although it is a time to mourn, it can also be a time of celebration of a family member that was special.
It is a hard job that we choose to do. I do occasionally sound negative. Mostly it is just because I need to vent, not because I hate what I do. I love being a nurse. I wouldn't do anything else. Yes, the pay is good, the hours can be good as well, but I think that I would do this even if it didn't pay well and the hours sucked because the rewards far outweigh the negative things.
If you just want the fat paycheck, choose another career. If you really want to make a difference in the lives of others, and you have a caring nature and have the ability to be empathetic, then nursing may be the career for you.
If you have never worked in the medical field, I definitely would recommend working or volunteering at a hospital just to be sure it is the right path for you to take.
Your weak stomach may or may not get better with experience, but I know nurses who have worked for 20+ years that still get grossed out by stuff, so don't let that stop you.