Dealing with the yucky stuff...

  1. Hi - I begin nursing school (ADN) this fall and I'm extremely excited but I am a little worried about the "gross-out factor". I am ok with blood, urine and even feces but I am not as good with mucous-type fluids.
    Is there a trick to dealing with things that make you want to gag??? I suppose you get used to it eventually.
    I did read a good hint about smells that suggested rubbing some menthol inside your nose and I sure plan to use that one!
    This site is awesome and I'm so glad I found it!!
    Thanks all.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   gwenith
    How Yucky do you want it - our comes in different types and smells (Ha! thought I was going to say flavours didn't you! :chuckle

    Basically you desensitize pretty rapidly until you reach the point where - well, and this is peculiar to ICU nurses and Physiotherapists, you actually get excited over sputum. "Oh! That's a good cough see if you can get more up!" End up having to restrain yourself from doing that when you are out somewhere.

    There is a thread here about "You know you are a nurse if..."The one constant that everyone agrees on is that you know you are a nurse if you can continue eating lunch through a point by point description of an infected wound.

    Often yo look back and think "Where did I lose my fastidiousness?" I can remember losing a lot of things innocence, childhood beliefs, car keys but when exactly did I lose the ability to believe that poo of any description was "Just too gross to be in the world"?

    In other words you rapidly become less like "Clueless" and more like Sigourney weaver in "Aliens". Only if Sigourney had been a nurse she would have brushed that Aliens teeth first!!:chuckle:
  4. by   iliel
    I was a dental assistant, I've seen some pretty nasty "yuck mouths"! Like the post above said, you just come to a point were it dosn't get to you anymore. One thing to remember about a gag reflex, it's mostly all in your head and if you feel it comming on, start to grin as wide as you can while keeping your teeth closed and breathe through your nose and out the mouth. It sounds silly and it looks silly, but it works!!
    Good luck to you, you'll do fine!
  5. by   happystudent
    eww...still cant stand mucous......(gag... )
  6. by   Jennerizer
    Vic's vapor rub under the nose works wonders to eliminate odors!!! And if you have to change someone that has a foul odor down there, we were advised to rub shaving lotion on them while changing the depends & wipe it off. The shaving lotion neutralizes the odor. I've only done this one time & that was with a patient that was pretty much out of it. Not sure what type of reaction there would be to someone that was alert.

    As far as dealing with mucous, you do learn to get used to it. May not like it, but you will manage.
  7. by   meownsmile
    HaHa,, sorry,, but give you a few years and you'll be wiping yuck then going directly to lunch. Eventually you just get past it. It's all mind over matter my dear.
    Really though,, just be careful of showing your discomfort with the situation outwardly. Patients feel bad enough and it just increases their feelings of helplessness and shame. You'll do fine and get past it.
  8. by   OnMyWay
    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your help - I can't wait until the day I get used to it!!!!!
  9. by   Carolanne
    Peppermint Altoids work great -- a tip my first semester nursing teacher gave us. I popped them while changing a pregangrenous foot dressing and emptying an ostomy bag. They do work!!
  10. by   maire
    Originally posted by gwenith

    Often yo look back and think "Where did I lose my fastidiousness?" I can remember losing a lot of things innocence, childhood beliefs, car keys but when exactly did I lose the ability to believe that poo of any description was "Just too gross to be in the world"?
    :roll
    That about sums it up!
  11. by   essarge
    I worked in an ER and was privvy to quite a few "yukky" things. I adapted quickly and even learned to eat between traumas.

    Eventually you will learn to to "shut off" your reaction and just do what needs to be done. Just give it some time.....it will happen!

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