unsure of blood

  1. Looking at studing nursing, but unsure if I can cope with the blood, and some of the scenes especially in A&E. So how did you nurses find it, were you unsure before studing? Did you not mind blood or do you just get use to it? How do you cope with it now. Any help would be great
    Thanks
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    I never gave it much thought beforehand to tell ya the truth.

    There are two things that make me queasy...
    1) vaginal bleeding, esp if huge clots. Can tell ta why, just gives me the willies.

    2) Ortho surgery. OMG the cutting, sawing, hammering, drilling, of bones, bone dust flying in the air, oh man, feel sick just thinking about it.

    Solution, don't work OB or OR. Had no problesm with helping to crack chests in cardio ICU, or rib spreaders, or even the sternal saw, it's the rest of the bones. I think watching the heart beat, stop, and come back to life is the coolest, most fascinating thing, second only to watching a child born, which may not be a great thing for me if too bloody! LOL!

    I think you need to figure out what grosses you out. Some people can't deal w sputum, so don't work on a resp unit! You'll figure it out. I wouldn't let it stop you from trying. You could always switch to another healthcare filed, if it's too intense for you, like physical therapy, or occupational therapy which is in great demand now too.
  4. by   mellow
    Thanks for the help. What about during nursing training wasn't that hard, dont you have to work in each department. Do you find you it's a very motional job. I am really interested but I dont want to do 3 yrs training to find I cant cope.
  5. by   hoolahan
    In my 2 year ADN program where I started out, I didn't have that much exposure to a large variety of things. You get just what you need to begin to be a nurse in nursing school, what happens after that is the real test.

    I remember vividly, my OR experience, when they were prepping a young 21-yr old man for a gall bladder removal, they started the anesthesia, and he went out, and as soon as he was asleep, the nurses whipped off the sheet covering him, and he was laying there totally exposed while the nurses busled around getting things ready, and while the docs scrubbed. Meanwhile I felt so shocked, and definitely knew I would NEVER have surgery at the hospital I worked at!!! LOL!

    But, in nursing school, it's only a few weeks in each area, not the rest of your career, and not every day, usually 2 clinical days a week, so all told, your exposure to things is limited in nursing school. And, if you get sick, and hurl on your instructor's shoes, she/he probably won't make you suction again anytime too soon!!

    Is it an emotional job?? Absolutely! But, again, not to sound cold-hearted, you will learn what you can and can't do. I went thru a lot of training to work on a cardiac pedi ICU, saw a lot of kids suffer and die, and it ripped my heart out. I will not do peds anymore. Yet, I love working with the very elderly, but when they die, I can know I helped them to be comfortable, or helped them to verbalize their fears. I think I would like to do hospice, but again, watching young people die of cancer is so hard.

    There are so many things you can do in nursing, getting the exposure in nursing school helps you to decide.

    Why not work as a CNA in a hospital or home health agency to get some idea of what the daily grind is like, and ask to work on a variety of floors, to float, so you can see what it's like.

    Good luck w your decision.
  6. by   P_RN
    As long as it's not one of my family, my pets or my blood I'm fine up to my elbows.

    Mine gives me the Heebie Jeebies.
  7. by   shabookitty
    Do you think that I would make a horrible nurse because I cannot draw blood on serious LTC patients? I love caring for them though...but poking,poking and poking to find a good vein...I can't. No more than two sticks from me. My mom says I need to swallow it...and put feelings aside...she did that as LPN. So naturally, she makes me feel like I would make a "horrible" nurse. And I have heard my fellow employees say "and you wanna be a nurse???? and you can't do that?" Do I not understand what it takes to be nurse...or do they not understand?
  8. by   Helori
    In high school I was absolutely the biggest whimp in the world! Couldn't disect anything in biology, never even ate breakfast before a bio lab. My parents and friends thought that nursing was the last thing that I would end up doing. But once I started nursing school I grossed all of them out by talking about the blood and gore over dinner. It actually gets to be kind of fun!
  9. by   fieryrn
    I can't deal with anything to do with oral care...brushing someone's teeth or cleaning dentures...even the sound of someone else brushing their own teeth. But, I am in L&D and the blood, amniotic fluid, vaginal discharge...all the smells......no problem!
  10. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by shabookitty
    Do you think that I would make a horrible nurse because I cannot draw blood on serious LTC patients? I love caring for them though...but poking,poking and poking to find a good vein...I can't. No more than two sticks from me.
    Terribly horrible. I was taught phelbotomy by a Medical Technologist. and I V's by RN's. In both instances I was taught not to do more than 2 sticks. I was taught that I migh have great sucess hitting a vein (and keeping it) one time and not another; the stars might be aligned wrong (as good an explaination as anything to not being able to hit a vein today) The point is Today I will hit Mr. X and tomorrow I won't be able but you will. If I can't get it after 2 tries I probably wont. It is time to let someone else try. My patient's appreciate this.
    As far as poke poke poke goes. I was taught in both phlebotomy and IV not to poke and prod and "dig" for a vein. This causes trauma and can lead to damaging nerves. If your are digging then you don't know where that vein is or if it is even there.


    There is no shame in letting someone else have a shot at those elusive veins. Your patient will thank you. Sometimes we have to let the doc know 3 nurses tried and couldn't hit the vein.

    There are alternatives and the doc has the power to deside the alternative he wants to take. Harming the patient or just torturing him is not acceptable.

    Bottom line you are not going to get every vein. The elderly have fragle, scarred, narrow, and rolling viens that are often torturious (croocked) They are often poorly hydrated so the viens are not full.
  11. by   RNConnieF
    #1) Always go into the clinical area with a full stomach.
    #2) Dont' be afraid to leave the room if necessary.
    #3) Always have a full stomach.
    #4) If you are nervous focus on the procedure and not on the blood/pee/poob/mucous.
    #5) Always keep a full stomach.
    #6) If you miss the first two times get someone else to do the next stick.
    aned finally ...
    #7) Make sure your stomach is full.
  12. by   researchrabbit
    Originally posted by shabookitty
    ...but poking,poking and poking to find a good vein...I can't. No more than two sticks from me. My mom says I need to swallow it...and put feelings aside...she did that as LPN. So naturally, she makes me feel like I would make a "horrible" nurse. And I have heard my fellow employees say "and you wanna be a nurse???? and you can't do that?" Do I not understand what it takes to be nurse...or do they not understand?
    They don't understand. You'll make a great nurse.

    Every place I've worked, it's two sticks and then someone else has to try. After that, the karma just isn't there...and I have never "poked around in there". That's a great way to have a patient pass out on you. Yeah, I work psych, so mostly I'm not sticking fragile elderly people...but I do stick dehydrated smokers with no veins. And I know exactly who to go to when my two sticks don't work.

    I would imagine that home health is another kettle of fish...it's just you there and if you can't get it, there's no one else to ask for help in getting it.

    The sight of blood and awful smells may make you queasy now but I am living proof that it can be overcome (when I was younger I could faint at the drop of a hat to see blood, other people vomiting would make ME hurl). I started giving blood to help myself get over the fear...and then I had kids. They pooped, peed, bled, vomited, and cried all over me at various times. Not to mention what the PETS did...(now cat vomit, there's some icky stuff...)

    When the smells were too much in nursing school, a little alcohol or Vicks Vaporub under my nose was enough to overcome most of the smells.
  13. by   hoolahan
    Originally posted by RNConnieF
    #1) Always go into the clinical area with a full stomach.
    #2) Dont' be afraid to leave the room if necessary.
    #3) Always have a full stomach.
    #4) If you are nervous focus on the procedure and not on the blood/pee/poob/mucous.
    #5) Always keep a full stomach.
    #6) If you miss the first two times get someone else to do the next stick.
    aned finally ...
    #7) Make sure your stomach is full.


    Uh...Connie....you aren't feeling queasy after all that food are ya....cuz, I just polished my shoes....
  14. by   BBnurse34
    Only two things get to me

    1) the sound of someone vomiting, the sight and smell are no biggee.

    2) an extremely infected postpartum c-section incision. It reminded me of the smell of the month old raw chicken that my mom accidentaly left in a ice chest on the porch in the summer for two weeks after a camping trip.

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