someone tell me it gets better after RN school??? - page 2
Im half way through my 1st semester of 4 and Im hating nursing school! Is this normal??? For one, our clinicals are being done in LTC rehab and I HATE it. Bed sores and bed baths, incontinent... Read More
Nov 4, '10 by wishinguponastarLPNEveryone poops, everyone pees, and everyone has genitalia and it is all part of nursing. I currently work with a nurse who is very intelligent however refuses to get her hands dirty in any kind of way. She won't even start an IV or do lab draws! Once we had a patient who was vomiting and she made the charge switch her assignment bc she was going to be sick if she went in the patients room. I hate to be the one to say it but I think we could do without nurses like this. Do yourself a favor and go into hospital administration or something.
Nov 4, '10 by Altra, BSN, RN GuideQuote from rnintwoI guess those labiaplasty procedures are out ...my thinking going into nursing was to be a plastic surgery or derma nurse. Ive also toyed with the idea of maternity. Do these sound like they would be a better fit?
I thought nursing was giving out meds, talking vitals, talking to patients, holding their hand, educating them, etc...I didnt think bed baths/feces/urine were a major part of the job but where I am in LTC it is constant.
OP, in my experience, many nursing students are uncomfortable in their early clinical rotations in LTC. The vast majority of them do gain some comfort level with dealing with the human body - all of it - with a little time and experience.
A minority find that nursing is just not for them, and better to realize that sooner rather than later.
Good luck to you.
Nov 4, '10 by BlackheartednurseWell it does get and it doesn't depend basically how you look at the situations,on one hand you start getting "real" experience and you can put theory into practice finally but then again you still need stay current on a different health topics to expand your knowledge,you have more autonomy (the mean instructor is not breathing down your neck) but then again you also are held responsible for your actions (chart,chart chart every little thing you do!!) It feels really cool reading a case study and actually relate to it through your previous patient interactions,the words,vital signs,diagnoses are no longer a theory to you,you actually see it through the nurse's eyes,let me tell it is such a cool feeling!! Then you take care the richest of the richest and the poorest of the poorest (one of my nursing instructor's phrase) Now I understand what she means,I have taken care (I work home health care-I started backwards kinda akward for a new grad) and I have taken care of poor people and did stuff that would be considered "nasty" by some nurses like putting lotions on a 80-years old men scaly,flaky,dead skin legs/feet while he was spitting up to the garbage container and chewing on tobacco...can you imagine anything grosser?? But I also felt like a real nurse at times like those,giving the care to the poor,undeserved,forgotten in a way,you get a sort of fuzzy feeling when a family member tells you you are the best nurses her dad ever had.
Nov 4, '10 by ByrnowtIt's so early in your training and it sounds like no one told you what to expect.
I can honestly say it did not bother me. It's much easier to care for intact skin than skin broken down as a result of neglect. Don't think of these substances as gross but as some of the amazing physiologic functions of the body. You will notice that some of the smells and visual observations, while not pleasant, will be valuable clues as to what's going on with your patient. Give yourself time to adjust. Are those the only issues? How do you feel about blood, saliva, purulent drainage, diaphoresis, nasal discharge, gangrene, earwax, genital discharge? Some of these will be more prevalent in the acute care setting. I think every nurse has a body byproduct they hate. Mine is sputum....16 years and I still cringe when I see it! I have noticed that many of the students these days are not interested in doing direct patient care. Do the staff nurses have to pratically push you in the pt. rooms? If you are more interested in chatting, hanging out in the nurse's station and reading charts, you may have to rethink your plans.
Nov 4, '10 by lilacloverDon't worry, I hated it at first too. I remember my first clinical experience in school was also in LTC and I went home the first day crying. The next day I threw up. I couldn't eat for a week because I had no appetite after seeing some of the things I saw. People in my class told me I shouldn't be a nurse if I couldn't deal with it.
4 years post graduation and I now absolutely love nursing and can't think of anything else I would rather do. Not to mention I think I am a pretty damn good nurse at that! It may not seem like it now but you will get over it, at least to some extent. I promise you that because I don't know of anyone who was as disgusted as I was to change a pad or a bedpan. I don't even flinch over these things anymore.
Also keep in mind I don't have to do this stuff half as much anymore since I graduated. When I did work in LTC the CNA's mostly dealt with it. I worked in surgery in the hospital and dealt with it some but to to the extent I did during my first clinical. And now I work as a cosmetic nurse and never deal with it.
Don't give up! Just bear with it for now and realize that when you graduate you can chose to work in an area where you don't have to deal with it much and even when you do it is only a small portion of your job.
Nov 4, '10 by SlightlyMental_RNQuote from laurenicoleRNHa, no. Unless you also want to clean up the feces that's been smeared in their hair while they're delusional. Or have someone going through DTs wave their penis at you like a sword, while trying to bat you away, all the time you're trying to administer an IM injection. Seriously--all true.consider psych nursing
Nov 4, '10 by weluv3This is the exact reason that I fear I won't do well as a nurse. I have 3 kids, so have seen the poop, pee, barf...but don't like it...and how will I do when I do it for someone who is NOT my child or family member?
Nov 4, '10 by headinsandRNmany dont find jobs right away in nursing. that means that at times, we take jobs that are not our "dream jobs" or ideal jobs.
take a pause here and ask yourself could you get used to doing this type of care for a couple of years if you had to
Nov 4, '10 by DDdoveIn maternity you will experience a nauseated/vomiting mother, lots of cleaning genitals/ sometimes feces during birth, and urine that may shoot up in the air during pushing. Everyone has trouble at first but you get use to it and appreciate a good bowel movement, good urine output, and feel better knowing your patient is clean and comfortable because you did it. I always thought about my mother or father in that position and try to be the nurse I would want them to have.
Nov 5, '10 by Sarah010101I remember back in my LTC rotation I was a very unhappy camper about the whole urine, feces, genitals etc. Actually.. that was back when a catheter was SO scary to me. Through nursing school you evolve I think. You see things so often it and do it so often that it is no longer a big deal. To me its just another penis.. its just another bum.. its just another vagina.. no big deal. You get over the shyness and the scariness of other people and their bodies.
I have noticed while being in surgical I have only had to "clean up" one patient who's bowels were not able to be controlled about half way through a procedure in the OR. Honestly.. as gross as it was.. (you dont think the OR staff cleaned it up do you?) <---- at least not at the facility i work at, but it was so gross.. and my entire thought was.. this patient is going to wake up in this MESS.. and SHE is the one who is going to feel disgusting. People are thankful that we can handle all sorts of messes.
Urine, feces, genitals... it comes with the job.. eventually you start treating these things as just part of someones body.. like an arm or a leg... Believe it or not I am not a fan of doing oral care on my patients.. but i do it because it makes them feel good.
Many of us have unrealistic views of what nursing is when first starting school... and it is ok, it is a huge learning process...
Nov 5, '10 by kool-aide, RNQuote from rnintwoIf this is how you truly feel, I don't think you deserved to get that coveted seat in your nursing program.Bed sores and bed baths, incontinent patients, feces and urine everywhere, It was all I could do not to have an anxiety attack right there.
Unless you get a change of heart, I think you should not pursue nursing. If you DO become a nurse and ever work in a field where you occasionally or frequently get an incontinent pt, guess what, they will be able to SENSE your disgust with them while you're cleaning them. That's not fair to your pts at all.
None of us love peri-care but we do it because it makes the pt feel better. If you can not see the bigger picture of nursing, I don't think you should continue in this field.
Nov 5, '10 by ChristaRNNot sure how to respond best to this.... yes, I think things get better in some ways after nursing school but not really in the way you are hoping for. You'll be hard pressed to find a job in the hospital (or most places in my opinion) if you aren't willing to get your hands dirty. I have worked Peds and med-surg/float in my career and have needed to do the dirty work in all of my jobs - actually my first Peds job 4 years ago was an all RN unit so we answered EVERY call bell and changed EVERY diaper. Now before you think "babies butts aren't the same" as many people do, remember it's not all cute little babies, we have many total care bedbound MRCP patients who can provide a mess as big as any adult with all their antibiotics and tube feeds. I will in a week and a half be transferring to PICU which again is primarily an all RN staff and will once again be doing pretty much every bit of patient care. I'm looking forward to it. Now of course I would never say that I am exempt from finding some things in those diapers pretty disgusting (we all have those moments) but our feelings have to come in a distant second to the patient's need for good care. Imagine also how embarassed and degraded some of those patients, especially adults or even teens in my case feel that they need someone to do that care for them. I have worked on medsurg, peds, postpartum, rehab, Geri-psych, ED and all had their yucky moments (Mom-baby can involve cleaning alot of lochia and clots before mom is able to get up and do it herself). Geri-psych patients didn't always have the best hygiene and many times I assisted CNAs with showering patients for the safety of everyone involved. Even back in my home health rotation I did some bathing and colostomy changes (that can get messy). I THINK in the hospital you may be most likely to avoid diapers and baths working in the OR but anyone who works there please correct me if I'm wrong, I know the OR is certainly not for the weak of stomach or easily disgusted and has their own set of body fluids and tissues to deal with. If you are dead set against patient care I think you'll need to look at places like doctor's offices (but I'm sure they have their moments too, having never worked in one). Try in your practice to see things from the patient's perspective and realize that everyone sees something that grosses them out at some point but NEVER let the patient see it on your face or hear it in your voice and NEVER NEVER become one of those RNs who feel that call bells, baths and changing patients are the CNAs job, you certainly won't make too many fans at work that way. I hope that when you get out of school you are able to find a job which you love but remember in this current economy that you will very likely have to start out in a job you don't love to gain the experience for the one you will. Best of luck to you!