Nursing Student concern

  1. Alright I have a concern... I have worked in a medical center for over 5 years now. So I decided that I wanted to be a nurse and started nursing school this fall. I am in my first quarter and start clinicals next week. My concern, smells bother me to the point I gag. I can take the blood, guts, needles, trachs, sputum, anything without an odor. My 2 things are stool and vomit.

    My question to you all, is are there any effective ways to deal with this other than "you just get used to it"? Some things I've heard are using vicks vapor rub in your nose, or peppermint gum, etc. What works for those of you with these problems. I am sure eventually you do become immune to it, but for now this is all new to me. And getting through clinicals is a big deal. I love every aspect about nursing exept this one thing, and I don't want it to keep me from this goal...

    Thanks for your help...
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   nurz2be
    Vick's Vaporub and Mentholatum work well. Just be cautious about not using too much, in case you have a patient with respiratory issues. You can check this when you do your chart check prior to patient care. Good luck....
  4. by   thyme39
    Really strong mints. But, I have had clnical rotations in med-surg and OB and am now doing one in Peds. I have changed quite a few adult diapers and was surprised that it didn't bother me. I thought it would but the smell wasn't as bad as I thought. I am worried about vomit - afraid i will vomit myself if I smell it. So time will tell. Be sure to tell your clinical instructor about your concern. I believe it is common among nurses to feel that way. That is why nurses often switch off - you do my blood and sputum and I'll do your vomit and feces. The preservative they used in biology used to get to me at first too. But after a while it wasn't so bad. Just hang in there. Good luck.
  5. by   texas2007
    I've learned to breathe through my mouth really well
  6. by   NewbieSheila
    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement.. I appreciate it!
  7. by   Zookeeper3
    peppermint candy, keep in your pockets, then breathe through your mouth, many mints are very strong as well. I'd be worried about skin irritation and nasal irritation from the vapor rub under the nose. you get one GI bleeder who goes every 30 minutes and your skin will be raw.
  8. by   CVICURN2003
    Altoids!!!
  9. by   Natkat
    I can't think of any better advice than "you'll get used to it" because.....you will. You will be so busy cleaning up the poo you won't have time to get the mentholatum or mints or whatever it is you want to try. Besides after a couple of whiffs you don't notice it as much anymore. And really, it's NOT that bad. Believe it or not you will smell much worse things than poop.

    A nurse put it this way and it's so true......it's just poop.
  10. by   NewRN2008
    I agree with you guys... i cannot do vomit for some reason.. i havnt had to do that yet w/ a pt. I never thought poop would bother me either, but i had a pt that couldnt contol it for anything and i cleaned it up. I did gag once, but tried to breath thru my mouth, which doesnt always work for me cuz i feel like i can taste it then..NASTY i know, but true...Our clinical instructors do let us chew gum if we need to, but not like a cow, and then throw it away as soon as we can.

    GL! and like everyone else says...you'll get used to it! and if not, you will learn to live with it... lol.. sicko's we are!!

    -H-
  11. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from texas2007
    I've learned to breathe through my mouth really well

    But don't the really bad stories always begin with "My co-worker who was breathing through his mouth...."
  12. by   leslymill
    I've learned to breathe through my mouth really well


    That won't work for me. My desire to releave myself through emesis is entirely cognitive and worse than any nicotine fit.

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