Don't know if I am cut out for this

  1. My niece has an emergency c-section two weeks ago and got an infection and they had to reopen her wound. On Friday, I was there and the nurse came in to clean and repack the wound and I decided since I am going to nursing school in the fall, I will stay and hold her had but also watch the procedure.

    I did fine for awhile, the nurse pulled out the old packing, started to clean with perioxide and then with saline solution (I believe that was the other) and then all of a sudden, it hit me. My whole body become very hot and I started to get dizzy. I felt so bad and I had to leave the room. I went outside and had to sit in a wheelchair until I felt better.

    Now I have already had my own doubts and then this happened which made me feel even more unsure. Of course, my husband makes a comment about at least now I know (which I don't).

    Anyone have similar things happen but continue on with nursing and do ok with it?
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   henry-106
    Hi Debi. Hm, can't say I have been in that situation where I witness or am there for something and then I question whether to continue with nursing. I am only in my first quarter though, and start clinicals in a few weeks. But, I will say maybe just give it another chance, maybe you reacted that way because you knew the person.....but then again if you don't think you could handle, now would be the time to know whether to go further. I guess what I would do personally, is stick it out and see. Don't be discouraged or questioning after just one experience. Cause in the end, I truly think everything pays off. It just depends on your own thoughts. I hope that was a little help, like I said haven't been there so I really can't say. But I thought I would atleast encourage you to give it another shot.
    Wish the best of luck for you! And have a good night.
  4. by   jenrninmi
    Hi Debi. I have heard this can happen to even seasoned nurses. Please don't let this situation make your final decision. If nursing is what you aspire to be, then go for it!
  5. by   malenurse1
    Hi Debi. Have you ever heard the saying "this too shall pass"? Well, it will. This happens everynow and agian to the best of us. Then again..it may never happen to you again. Ya just never know. I guess what I am saying is to hang in there and dont give up the dream. If nothing else you will better empathize with your patients and or their families who expieriance this.
  6. by   wonderbee
    There may have been other factors at work. Perhaps an empty stomach. This was your niece too. I can't say it's ever happened to me but there is usually one thing that provokes the willies in every nurse.
  7. by   allthingsbright
    hi!
    i felt like this during a lab dissection of a sheep brain-LOL! i usually can stomach stuff pretty well, so i was kind of worried that if i couldnt handle that, then i couldnt "make it" as a nurse. yet, i have seen some other pretty major stuff and havent blinked-so i think it must have just popped up out of no where for me.

    you have to remember that we aren't used to seeing the inside of someone's wound (its not an everyday occurence for people outside medicine-usually)-the initial shock of that might have triggered something in you, added to the fact that it was a family member and you are having nerves over nursing school. dont let one incident derail you!
  8. by   RedSox33RN
    Like everyone said, you can't judge whether or not you should be a nurse based on this one experience. First, you won't get thrown into something like that right away in nursing school, and second, it was a family member. I know seasoned nurses AND doctors who have had similar experiences. Maybe ultimately you won't enjoy doing that kind of work, but that doesn't mean you won't be a fantastic nurse in another area.
  9. by   klone
    Something similar happened to me during one of the last days of my CNA clinicals. A woman who had broken her hip a few days earlier had pulled out her Foley, and the RN had to replace it. Several of us students asked if we could observe the placement. Unfortunately, you really have to spread the legs in order to access the genital area, which was EXTREMELY painful for this poor elderly woman with a newly broken hip. She was in absolute agony, and I had to walk out of the room because I was unable to keep my poker face (which I was told was one of the most important things to do when doing a procedure that might be gross or uncomfortable or painful).

    I felt like such a failure. I can handle blood and vomit and goo and fist-deep decubitous ulcers, but I can't stand to see other people in such horrific pain.
  10. by   IamRN
    Happened to me during clinical rotations; when I was in the OR...for a toe amputation mind you!

    I now work in a very busy surgical intensive care unit which requires exposure to many wounds, a lot of them very involved.
  11. by   ecrussell
    Hang in there...I had a similar experience of feeling nauseous after, of all things, watching my dad give blood. I was really embarrassed and it really made me rethink what I was headed for. I was in my 2nd semester of nursing school at the time and just couldn't believe I was feeling like that over blood. I have to say though, I now realize that this had nothing to do w/ the procedure. My dad was just diagnosed w/ cancer and I was just having a hard time watching someone so close to me in pain...it was a mental thing. I am now a ER nurse and perform blood draws/iv starts and everything else a nurse could possibly do in the ER w/ no problem. I've never had a problem as a professional, although I'm quite certain that I will never get over seeing my loved ones in scarey and painful situations. Stick it out...it will get better. Best of luck in your nursing education!
  12. by   jemommyRN
    The exact same thing happened to me. I am starting school this fall. I was with my good friend (she's a nurse) and she was discussing the hair implants that her brother had gotten and how good they look. Well, apparently this was an expensive procedure and they took some hair out of the back of his head to put in the front and she was describing how the stitches were bleeding and... I couldn't take it. I got hot and i had to sit down AND take my shirt off. She fed me a teaspoon of sugar and made me eat. She said that my glucose level dropped. I never told her that the story was what did it. I'm still going to school, I just hope that was a once in a lifetime thing.
  13. by   HisTreasure
    I did not experience quite the same thing as you. Like the others have said, it could be because you are attached to the person. It could have been a one time thing, or maybe that facet of nursing isn't for you. As for me, I have a serious aversion to mucous. LUGGIES (sp.) are sooooooooooooooo gross! I have serious gag reflex to them. I get gag reflex to vomitus, also, which I hear is normal (just put peppermint oil under your nose or something like that :uhoh21: ) but nothing can help me with the whole mucous, luggie, greenish/yellow snot thing. I know as a nurse *(especially the year or so I will spend as an LPN) I will be dealing with A LOT of trach care, and I don't know how the he** I am going to handle it. I hear a lot of nurses have different things they don't handle so well, so I don't doubt my decision too much, although there is always that nasty, sneaky thought from time to time. Deep in my heart I know this is what God wants me to do, and somehow or another I will overcome my aversion or find a way to cope with it. I can't offer you any advice as to what you should do, but I just wanted to reassure you that we all (or a lot of us, at least) have something that turns our stomachs and makes us want to run for the hills.
    Last edit by HisTreasure on Jul 7, '04
  14. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from studentdeb
    My niece has an emergency c-section two weeks ago and got an infection and they had to reopen her wound. On Friday, I was there and the nurse came in to clean and repack the wound and I decided since I am going to nursing school in the fall, I will stay and hold her had but also watch the procedure.

    I did fine for awhile, the nurse pulled out the old packing, started to clean with perioxide and then with saline solution (I believe that was the other) and then all of a sudden, it hit me. My whole body become very hot and I started to get dizzy. I felt so bad and I had to leave the room. I went outside and had to sit in a wheelchair until I felt better.

    Now I have already had my own doubts and then this happened which made me feel even more unsure. Of course, my husband makes a comment about at least now I know (which I don't).

    Anyone have similar things happen but continue on with nursing and do ok with it?
    You will get better at seeing and doing these kinds of things. It took me years to be able to continue to face the pt when they were spitting. Spitting anything! I couldn't even help a pt brush their teeth. I would trade all kinds of tx with other nurses if they would just go help my bed rest folks brush their teeth. LOL I was so thankful when I left acute care for that reason. On to rehab, LTC, home care (used to only do babies whose mouth care isn't nearly as gross) and other positions where their wee no pts who needed help with their oral care or there were aids to do it.
    I couldn't even look in the sink when I spit while brushing my own teeth! It was really bad.
    It'll get better.

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