someone tell me it gets better after RN school??? - page 5

by rnintwo | 10,355 Views | 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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    OP here, thank you for all the feedback!

    I am very aware (now) that new grads are having such a hard time finding jobs and it has crossed my mind already that I may have to take ANY job when I graduate and I HAVE noticed that LTC seems to always be open (cant imagine why) and yes that is causing me anxiety. I would be miserable working there and I pray I am never in that position. I went into Nursing school set on being a Plastics Nurse and did not know until I was fully vested in school and lots of $$ deep that the job market for nurses was so horrible and that I might not be able to go straight into Plastics or Derm. I was fed the idea that Nursing was a recesssion-proof job and that employers were bending over backward to hire you! So now here I am, I have put too much $$ and effort to make that a reason to quit now but what to do about having to face working in another area,one which might go against what I can stomach?

    Nursing school is a learning experience. As much as you think you can prepare for 'what to expect', you really cant possibly know how youre going to feel and react until you are there and experience it firsthand in the flesh. I have never been someone who is squimish about blood, Ive changed hundreds of baby diapers and never had even a moment of issue with it, however I do have an issue with cleaning up a strange adult's feces and urine and bathing their genitals. What can I say, Im just not cool with it, wish I was but Im not. I also have always been someone who gags when I smell vomit. Maybe I just dont want to work with sick people. Are these things enough of a reason to not become a nurse?? I dont know, I dont think so but Im not sure which is why I posted. Surely there has to be areas of Nursing where this isnt required except in the rare instance. Hospital Nursing is not the only choice you have as an RN. Obviously there are many other things you can do with an RN degree. As I said, my intention is to become a Plastics or Derm nurse. I dont see myself having an issue with all the blood and I can avoid bedbaths and cleaning genitals except in the rare instance of a labia surgery and even then I dont think its nearly the same thing.
  2. 1
    Quote from rnintwo
    OP here, thank you for all the feedback!

    I am very aware (now) that new grads are having such a hard time finding jobs and it has crossed my mind already that I may have to take ANY job when I graduate and I HAVE noticed that LTC seems to always be open (cant imagine why) and yes that is causing me anxiety. I would be miserable working there and I pray I am never in that position. I went into Nursing school set on being a Plastics Nurse and did not know until I was fully vested in school and lots of $$ deep that the job market for nurses was so horrible and that I might not be able to go straight into Plastics or Derm. I was fed the idea that Nursing was a recesssion-proof job and that employers were bending over backward to hire you! So now here I am, I have put too much $$ and effort to make that a reason to quit now but what to do about having to face working in another area,one which might go against what I can stomach?

    Nursing school is a learning experience. As much as you think you can prepare for 'what to expect', you really cant possibly know how youre going to feel and react until you are there and experience it firsthand in the flesh. I have never been someone who is squimish about blood, Ive changed hundreds of baby diapers and never had even a moment of issue with it, however I do have an issue with cleaning up a strange adult's feces and urine and bathing their genitals. What can I say, Im just not cool with it, wish I was but Im not. I also have always been someone who gags when I smell vomit. Maybe I just dont want to work with sick people. Are these things enough of a reason to not become a nurse?? I dont know, I dont think so but Im not sure which is why I posted. Surely there has to be areas of Nursing where this isnt required except in the rare instance. Hospital Nursing is not the only choice you have as an RN. Obviously there are many other things you can do with an RN degree. As I said, my intention is to become a Plastics or Derm nurse. I dont see myself having an issue with all the blood and I can avoid bedbaths and cleaning genitals except in the rare instance of a labia surgery and even then I dont think its nearly the same thing.
    I hope you find the job you are seaking. In the meantime, for the gagging with vomit. Shut off your sniffers and breath very shallowly thru your mouth with lips barely open. Hopefully this will help. BTW, I gag with trach suctioning.
    ok2bme likes this.
  3. 0
    I just replied to a similar thread, and I'll respond like I did before. I felt the same way as you as a student and still feel that way as an RN. I chose a specialty where poop is not a daily task, and I am happy and unapologetic about it. Ignore the people that say you are not cut out to be a nurse or that you didn't deserve the spot in your program. That is their problem, not yours.
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    You can do other things in nursing... working with software developing companies to implement clinical programs, working with DME like O2 and IVs, or working with insurance companies. I do not know, however, how comfortable these types of employers feel about hiring someone with limited medical experience.

    That being said, it can get better (if you don't psych yourself up too much now). I remember my first day in CNA clinical. My partner and myself were wiping up some lady who had no sphincter tone... My partner saw me gagging (fortunately the resident didn't see me) and asked what was wrong. So I turned her over and let her do some wiping for a while.

    Another poster also commented on looking into other fields, like RT, PT and radiology. I would seriously consider them. A lot of the pre-requisites are the same, so your concern with wasting money wouldn't be so much an issue. They don't have as much responsibility for daily cares.. Might be worth looking into.
  5. 0
    Quote from cleback
    Another poster also commented on looking into other fields, like RT, PT and radiology. I would seriously consider them. A lot of the pre-requisites are the same, so your concern with wasting money wouldn't be so much an issue. They don't have as much responsibility for daily cares.. Might be worth looking into.
    Not that I'm trying to rain on anyone's ideas, but please keep in mind that getting into PT school is often more competitive than getting into NS. The prereqs may be different as well. Not sure about RT or radiology.

    Also keep in mind that plastics is one of the big specialties that will see cuts in a recession. People don't have the extra cash to go in for elective plastic surgeries as they might have.

    I do hope that you can tough it out and eventually find your niche in nursing. And I agree with the other posters, the comment about you not deserving a seat in your nursing program was a bit harsh.

    The best of luck to you.
  6. 1
    I am a new grad, and the only job I could find is LTC. Realistically, I wipe AT LEAST one butt a day. I have CNAs who do most of it, but there is always somebody who needs a bedpan NOW and no CNA is in sight. I also have a elderly obese resident who needs to be straight cathed 3x/day. On the bright side, I am wicked good at cath's now!! I also have an ostomy patient (and if you think regular feces are gross, wait until you get an ostomy), and a few g-tube patients. Always wear gloves, because you never know what will bubble up and surprise you out of that tube!!

    This work is the core basics of nursing. That is why they introduce you to it right away, because it will not go away. Even if you are in a hospital and working med-surg.... the majority of your patients will NOT be young, 20-something continent walkie-talkies.

    Nothing like a good fecal disimpaction to make you feel like a nurse!!

    Oh, and just a heads up.... in maternity, you are gonna be knee deep in pregnant lady privates- and I can assure you that some of these women cannot bend over far enough to clean properly, much less have a nice shave to clean up the yard! And in almost all labor sitations, you will probably see pee/poop and certainly blood/placenta.


    I admit, when I was first in nursing school, I was pregnant with morning sickness and occasionally had to take a "time out" while cleaning up someone so I wouldnt puke. However, once I had a gulp of fresh air, I went right back in and finished the job.

    If you are having doubts now, I would seriously do some soul searching before commiting to an intensive nursing program and a future career!
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    please don't listen to all of the negative posts on here. Many people look for opportunties to bash people on these boards just to make themeselves feel better. you came here for advice and stated your honest opinion. you can't help how you feel. people want to act like they are saints on here but the truth of the matter is nobody ENJOYS the things you mentioned (unless they are just downright crazy, wierd and disgusting). Some people enjoy the positive aspects of nursing so much that it overshadows the negative aspects. Some people like others have mentioned do it for a few years to put in their "dues" because they aspire to do other things such as advanced practice nursing, teaching, or administration. My advice is if you really are just too grossed out by these things, now is the perfect time to do something else. There are many other healthcare jobs out there that aren't nearly as gross, and you would hate to waste your time and money for a job that you can't stand. I would definately suggest looking into other areas such as radiology tech, respiratory therapist, speech and language pathology, or physical therapy. you will have to complete more schooling for ST and PT, but it may be worth it. Yes there are other areas of nursing such as working in a clinic that arent as gross, but often as others have mentioned, these jobs are extremely hard to come by, or you will need a certain amount of experience in a hospital to obtain them. Good luck with whatever you decide and feel free to PM me if you need more advice or just want to talk.
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    Quote from cleback
    Another poster also commented on looking into other fields, like RT, PT and radiology. I would seriously consider them.

    Radiologic Technologists often rotate through The B.E. (Barium Enema) room, where they help administer the barium rectally and do imaging.
    They may encounter vomit and stool and respiratory secretions (doing lots of CXRs = chest Xrays).

    Just FYI.
  9. 0
    Quote from BabyRN2Be
    Not that I'm trying to rain on anyone's ideas, but please keep in mind that getting into PT school is often more competitive than getting into NS. The prereqs may be different as well. Not sure about RT or radiology.

    Also keep in mind that plastics is one of the big specialties that will see cuts in a recession. People don't have the extra cash to go in for elective plastic surgeries as they might have.

    I do hope that you can tough it out and eventually find your niche in nursing. And I agree with the other posters, the comment about you not deserving a seat in your nursing program was a bit harsh.

    The best of luck to you.
    Actually, I was thinking more like Physical therapy assistant, or Occupational therapy assistant. The schooling is two years, and the pay is pretty close to what RN's make. The prerequisites are almost identical. Just a thought.
  10. 0
    Quote from GoldenGirl22
    I just replied to a similar thread, and I'll respond like I did before. I felt the same way as you as a student and still feel that way as an RN. I chose a specialty where poop is not a daily task, and I am happy and unapologetic about it. Ignore the people that say you are not cut out to be a nurse or that you didn't deserve the spot in your program. That is their problem, not yours.
    I 100% agree with the last sentence here. I have found that there can be some seriously judgmental and self-righteous personalities in nursing. Is it really so hard to believe that with all the different areas you can specialize in with nursing that some nurses do so to avoid dealing with unpleasant bodily substances? Why does that have to make someone a 'bad nurse'? I think that's just shaming nonsense.

    While I don't like dealing with excretion either, it finally hit me this year as I believe an earlier poster wrote that, nursing is treating the whole patient (which includes their bodily substances). I will do my very best to work in an area where the dealing with the projectile body fluids will be maximally mitigated, but as an intelligent BScN student (because let's face facts we ARE all intelligent to make it in this program) I accept the fact that I may have to take a job early on where you will have to do these tasks, which frankly, is probably not the reason 99.9% of us got into nursing.
    Last edit by giveface on Nov 14, '10


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