Nursing School Questions/Concerns

  1. ]Hello,
    ]I know many people have asked questions about the amount of blood seen in nursing professions; however I have not found a definite answer. I am truly interested in becoming a Nurse Esthetician and possibly even a FNP who works in a Med Spa, Plastic Surgeons office, or Laser Institute. I am a senior in high school looking to apply to Nursing Programs next fall but am nervous about the blood, cuts, and surgery I may have to witness in nursing school. The sight of an open wound does make me queasy. Do you get to choose your clinicals? For instance would I be forced to take part in a surgical or ER clinical?
    ]Thanks for all your help!
    ]Aly :redpinkhe
  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   Freedom42
    You'll see blood. Lots of it. Lots of vomit, stool, sputum -- any body fluid you can think of. And don't get me started on the varying forms of stench.

    The good news is, you will get over it. I'm a former sympathy vomiter (oh, you're vomiting? me too) who threw up twice on my first day of med-surg clinicals. My classmates found it hilarious until it was their turn. At least I wasn't the one who fainted. Seriously, you do get over it. Don't let a phobia stop you from pursuing a great career. (Most do get over a particular fear, but if you don't, you'll often find a colleague who's willing to step in for you; after all, s/he has probably got a phobia of her/his own.) If anyone had told me that I would one day drain the sputum from a patient with a perforated esophagus without batting an eye, I'd have laughed. But I can do it now, and so can you.

    No, you don't get to choose your clinicals. We had to observe in OR on two occasions. On the yuck scale, wound care is far worse than OR.
  4. by   jazz_is_my_game
    ^ (pointing to above post) ....and there you go!

    Good luck, OP, with your schooling.
  5. by   Cherish
    Wow never heard of a Nurse Esthetician. What do they do? Are they the ones who give laser treatments to remove scars and hair?

    Someone out there tell me something a Nurse can't do
  6. by   GPatty
    Yep.. you'll see a little bit (or more) of all of it.. and nope, you don't get to choose your clinicals.
    Good news is... eventually, you'll be able to do things you never thought possible (which for me is suctioning...) !
    Good luck!
  7. by   cursedandblessed
    the most blood i saw was in the maternity ward, byuckky stuff.
  8. by   Multicollinearity
    Maternity, yes. I remember one of my classmates leaning against me when he was trying not to faint during a c-section. Talk about a lot of blood...
  9. by   ruthere04976
    If you work in surgery you will smell burning blood, which is a really bad smell. You'll see wounds (the first amputated toe stump I saw almost did me in). But you get used to it and soon you'll be taking care of the most putried smelling wounds (like an abdominal wound from a perferated intestine) with your best poker face on. Go for it!
  10. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from Freedom42
    I'm a former sympathy vomiter (oh, you're vomiting? me too) who threw up twice on my first day of med-surg clinicals.
    I used to run medic duty with another paramedic who had the same problem. Blood - no problem. Feces - no problem.

    If, however, the patient puked in the back of the medic, my partner would be hanging out the back door, puking his guts out also. Poor guy!

    Smells - nothing quite so nice as a GI bleed. yuck!
  11. by   Always_Learning
    Hey there!

    Just a thought and maybe a tip for you...if you are nervous about looking at wounds/blood/etc., practice! By that I mean get yourself some dermatology texts and practice looking at the nasty stuff in the comfort of your own home (open wounds, anyone?) There are also lots of medical documentaries that show surgeries, and all of this will at least get you somewhat used to the images, at least.

    The smells are another matter, but there's always Blistex...a little of that under the nose is not noticeable and you can only smell Menthol...hehe!

    Best of luck to you!
  12. by   SoClose!
    I can say I was nervous about the same things before I went to nursing school. But in my case, I quickly learned that 1) things don't bother me HALF as much as I thought they would, and 2) we watch way too much TV, lol. While you do see blood and such in a hospital, things usually aren't quite as dramatic as we see in gory movies and such.

    I think what gets me through "icky" stuff is knowing that, "someone has to do it!" In most cases, the caring part of you will overtake the squeamish part.
  13. by   Patchouli
    i'm one of those who has never been bothered by guts and gore. as a matter of fact, the grosser the better. except for vomit. never fails. however, during my preceptorship (icu), i got to suction, clean, and take sputum samples from traches. eeeewwwww!!!!!! sputum (phlegm) and i don't get along. i have learned to suck it up (no pun intended). you need to find a way to distract your brain a little when you do or see procedures that bother you. you also shouldn't shirk away from them, because the more you see/do them, the tougher you get. i dig my fingernail in to my palm when something is particularly phlegmy (like sputum samples and such). the pain is enough to take a little focus away from the slurpy suctioning sounds. good luck!
  14. by   Patchouli
    wanted to add a story about my ob clinicals. three of us were able to watch a c-section. i was there with the nurse assigned to the infant, the two other students were there with the mother's nurse. anyway, after the baby was out and dried one of the nurses brought the placenta over to show us "shiny shultz, dirty duncan, etc). then, she was like "who wants to hold it"? she started moving it around before finally putting it in the container. one of my friends who was not normally bugged by anything, hadn't eaten breakfast yet. she had become woozy, and had to leave teh room because she became hot. so, point being, even those that have iron stomaches have days like that as well. you'll be ok!