someone tell me it gets better after RN school??? - page 3

by rnintwo

9,503 Visits | 57 Comments

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 patients, feces and urine everywhere,... Read More


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    This 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?
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    many 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
    Purple_Scrubs and April, RN like this.
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    In 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.
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    I 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...
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    Quote from rnintwo
    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.
    If this is how you truly feel, I don't think you deserved to get that coveted seat in your nursing program.

    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.
    April, RN and nedlloyd like this.
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    Not 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!
    Miss_Piggy.RN and kool-aide like this.
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    I don't mind all that stuff. If dealing with nursing school will get me into the ER, then i don't care. I'll do it, and I am doing it
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    Quote from frogkissingnurse
    bodily fluids and nakedness is part of the job discription. it may be awkward at first, but you do get over it and you just learn to deal. i'm finishing up my last semester of nursing school and i still come across new things that are kind of gross like rectal tubes, but you just suck it up, hold your breath and get the job done with a smile on your face. the patients don't like it any more than you do. if you don't think you can deal with it then you may really want to consider doing something else.
    i agree rectal tubes are the worst. i still cannot get used to them. i don't think anyone likes cleaning poop but if it was your family member then wouldn't you want someone to do it for them. i always think of that when we are stuck with a less desirable chore. it does get better hang through the first semester. i just think some of it is a shock at first.
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    I hate to break this to you, but LTC is by far not the grossest place you can work, and plastic surgery can be absolutely horrifying, at times. You are gonna need to develop a pretty strong stomach to work in that field. Don't forget, plastic surgeons don't just do nose reductions. They work on burn victims and all kinds of trauma patients, plus some wounds. Dermatologists work on some pretty nasty situations, too--I'm not very familiar with their work, either, but google up some scleroderma pictures, eczema, psoriasis, discoid lupus, or skin cancer and see what you think about that.

    Moreover, there are huge benefits to being able to do personal care for your patients. For one thing, I'm of the strong belief that you should never ask your aides to do anything you can't do yourself. How can you supervise people when you don't know their job? And performing personal care is your best chance to assess your patients and see how they are really doing. At least once a week for every patient, I try to change them or walk them to the bathroom or whatever, just so I can eyeball them for myself.

    You can get used to this stuff--the question is, do you want to? That's a question only you can answer. You might watch some of the surgeries and shows on Discovery Health or poke around on the Internet and see what nursing is really about, not what TV shows seem to teach people nowadays. I hope that helps
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    Just do what most want to be nurses do to avoid those aspects of adult care, head to NICU, just kidding... With the current and future market the LTC maybe your only choice upon graduation. Really it is all about attitude, this is the reality of nursing, the choice is yours.


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