Nurses grossed out by spit/mucus - page 7

I'm starting this thread in hopes that I will read of some techniques to help me overcome my aversion to mucus. I can deal with foul BMs, emptying JPs and NG tube containers, draining clotty... Read More

  1. by   needdynurse
    Quote from SoulShine75
    I have a vomit phobia that I hope I can overcome. Mucus, blood, poo or urine doesn't bother me but if I hear someone gag I freak out. I don't know why. I have always been this way. My family makes fun of me because they know this is a phobia I have and they're wondering why I'd dive right into a profession where people will hurl from time to time. lol Because I love it, other than that whole puke stuff. I hope I'm not making a mistake. I second guess myself sometimes but thinking about when I was a NA at a nursing home and I delt with that so I think I can handle just about anything. I'd just turn my head while cleaning it and pretend it was spilled food. ICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :imbar
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    Sounds like you have your prioritiesin order.The fact that you worked in a Nursing home gives you a one up on green students.During the course or after
    you graduate,you may find that suctioning and phlegm doesn't bother you as much as you think."DON'T KNOCK IT UNTIL YOU HAVE TRIED IT" R P N / R T.
  2. by   JenniferNRN
    Quote from needdynurse
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    SUCTION JELLO=SIMILAR TO MUCOUS

    Which is exactly why I HATE Jello! Bleh!!! I have to agree with the majority here...mucous, spit, snot....all the worst. I have gagged repeatedly reading this thread! I work in labor and delivery and you can bring on all the blood, poop, placenta, meconium stained amniotic fluid, and vomit and I'm fine. But give me someone hacking up juicy stuff and I'm done for.

    We once had a pt who had an uncommon ailment in pregnancy of overproducing mucous. Previous shift told us that she drooled so much that she kept a towel by her face and it was soaked. Needless to say, we pretty much had to draw straws to figure out who would take care of her. Thank goodness I didn't because I don't know if I could have kept my gagging under control.

    God bless those who can work in areas we can't.
  3. by   Priti
    Quote from needdynurse
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    This is fine,sounds like you work as a team,just as it should be.
    Let me propose a question--What if you were sent to another unit for a day and these issues presented themselves to you,what would you do?????
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    Just something to chew on.Second question -Why did you become a Nurse
    when these things bother you.What did you do as a student,when these
    things arose,and they would?---NRSDUG
    as i said i try my best not to look. the thing is i do not just leave the patient alone sometimes if i have to take care of them i just simply tell them of my problem so that my reaction won't be offensive to them. there was this one time is was on maternity ward the patient vomit i took care of her but when i arrived in the sluice i just started retching it does not really happen often and i try my best to keep it in i look away try not to inhale and speak and just get it over with quickly.

    after leaving school i just happened into nursing that was not what i really wanted to do but right now i am in it and i love what i do so that was not a thought before entering, dealing with the dead weighed heavier on my mind than vomitus.
  4. by   JudyPRN
    I have never been able to handle vomit. If I hear/see someone vomiting, I have to move them over so I can join them. Cleaning up after one of my kids threw up was just as bad. I hate it so much I haven't vomited in years. But one of my jobs was on a cardiac step down unit. I discovered that my head nurse hated mucus so we worked a trade, I suctioned her patients, she cleaned the vomit for mine. It worked well for as long as I was there. Even after 33 years in nursing, I can't stand vomit.
  5. by   missmercy
    My hubby told me early on in our children's existance that he was not going to be able to assist in clean-ups if the guys "hurled". I was somewhat sympathetic -- but figured that he was maybe exaggerating a bit when he said he just COULD NOT clean it up. It only took one time of having toclean up a little kid mess AND a big daddy mess to absolve him from "barf duty" (his term) He cant even handle it if the dog vomits . I am a true wimp when it comes to loose teeth!!! It just grosses the daylights out of me ! I had massive reconstructive jaw surgery, braces twice etc -- so maybe that is what has triggered this aversion. Hubby thiks it is hysterical that I can clean up nasty vomit, gooey kid snot, deliver babies, get spiton, ppoped on and bled all over and yet I can not pull a loose tooth. I figure we all have our Achile's heel~~ mine just happens to be teeth. EEEEW!
  6. by   nocturnal
    Quote from rnmi2004
    I'm starting this thread in hopes that I will read of some techniques to help me overcome my aversion to mucus. I can deal with foul BMs, emptying JPs and NG tube containers, draining clotty purulent foley bags, etc. but I have the darndest time keeping my cookies when it comes to snot! I was once helping a bilat AKA wipe his behind after the most awful case of smelly taffy doo-doo and had no problem until he asked me to dab at the clear snot dripping from his nose. I almost puked while doing so. What is wrong with me?

    The usual Vicks/peppermint oil/other scent under the nose won't work here, because mucus (usually!) has no odor.

    The last two semesters of clinical rotations, I have specifically asked to be assigned to a trach client just so I can force myself to have to deal with this. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) there have been no patients suitable for me at the facilities I've been at. I am approaching my last semester starting the end of August, and then hopefully I will be off to med-surg. I know at some point I am going to have to deal with this.

    Is there hope for me? Does anyone have ANY suggestions?
    my only suggestion...."embrace the snot within grasshopper"
  7. by   missmercy
    Quote from nocturnal
    my only suggestion...."embrace the snot within grasshopper"
    Someone has been watching too much cable TV!!! My husband quotes "grasshopper quipts" frequently!! Scarey, very scarey!!
  8. by   nursemike
    One of my favorite nurses was suctioning a pt once and for some reason I had to be there--can't really remember why. She noticed me turning green and started talking to me about anything to distract me. It helped, a little. Doing suction myself grosses me out, too. It's definitely the sound, although sputum on me is a solid 6.0 on the urp scale, too.

    I've never suctioned a trach. I've never barfed in clinicals. Coincidence?

    (The urp scale is the barfing equivalent of the Richter scale.
    An urping event of <3.0 is rarely sensible--one may recognize that something is gross, but has no conscious need to puke. An urp score >7.0 entails actual vomit, but may be delayed. 8.0 is instant and usually projectile. Somewhere around 6ish is where you are making actual urp noises.)
  9. by   tommycher
    One morning I got this in report on a pt who was elderly, unclean, and obnoxious, "We needed a sputum sample, so I gave him a cup, put it on his bedside tray by his drinking glass and asked him to spit into it when he coughed up sputum. At 0300 I heard him coughing, so without turning on the light asked him if I had a sample yet. He answered, but his words were garbled. I turned on the light, and sure enough, there he was, drinking from the glass full of sputum! His mouth was full of it!" I nearly gagged all day long as I could not for the life of me get this image out of my head!

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