Enemas, Catheters , and OTHER embarassing things in nursing school

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    hey you guys! I was just going through our list of papers and stuff and for skills that we get "checked off on" during our first semester. They said we would not all get checked off on everything, for example not all would get a chance to perform a catheterization etc.

    How do you learn these EMBARASSING thingS?! I mean I keep telling myself obviously it's not embarassing, because it's for people's health. My biggest fear though is "learning" how to do these on real people. Especially on a guy! *SIGH*

    I'd love to hear how you learned how to do catheters, enemas (dummies, etc) and then about maybe the story of the first time you performed it on a person to give me a different perspective. I am dreading it!
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    Quote from RNinJune2007
    hey you guys! I was just going through our list of papers and stuff and for skills that we get "checked off on" during our first semester. They said we would not all get checked off on everything, for example not all would get a chance to perform a catheterization etc.

    How do you learn these EMBARASSING thingS?! I mean I keep telling myself obviously it's not embarassing, because it's for people's health. My biggest fear though is "learning" how to do these on real people. Especially on a guy! *SIGH*

    I'd love to hear how you learned how to do catheters, enemas (dummies, etc) and then about maybe the story of the first time you performed it on a person to give me a different perspective. I am dreading it!
    well, we have mannequins in the lab that are very anatomically correct and we practiced there. Then when it was time to do anything, its a matter of focusing on the task. Its not near as embarrasing for the nurse as it is for the person.
    My first cath was a straight cath on a female and it was as easy as 1-2-3. She was a 'good' cath in that it was very easy to find the meatus. And remember, your instructor is with you. You aren't alone.
    Im still in school but my current job has me do caths and its really just a quick procedure. And with men, its actually very easy. Remember, your patients are sick, injured, whatever..they aren't putting a sexual connotation on it and they also aren't thinking too much about having their privates exposed. When you are in the hospital, you kind of expect invasive things to happen. You just need to remember to come in with the idea that you are the professional, and remember to always explain what you are doing as you go along and protect the patient's privacy (shut the door, draw the curtains etc)
    A good trick I have learned is to have the person take a deep breath and pass the cath as they are exhaling. Deep breathing relaxes the muscles a bit.
    I have yet to do an enema on a real person. Its also part of my current job description but it hasn't happened yet. I have done them in the lab tho.
    My best advice is to practice practice practice on a mannequin and then when you go in to do one, tell yourself that no matter how embarrassed you are, your patient NEEDS you to be the calm and cool professional. Then be that person.
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    I didn't find learning these things on a dummy to be all that embarrassing (except the time the dummy man's penis fell off during my foley competency, but that's a different story!:chuckle) but I thought it might be a bit more embarrassing in clinicals. What I found out is that if I act professional and like this is just something that must be done, the more comfortable the situation for all involved. I think the patients really appreciate it. I have had to check the lochia of postpartum women, look for hemmorrhoids, lift breasts to listen to apical heart rate, and d/c foleys and I haven't had an instance when it was too embarrassing for either of us.
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    Quote from RNinJune2007
    hey you guys! I was just going through our list of papers and stuff and for skills that we get "checked off on" during our first semester. They said we would not all get checked off on everything, for example not all would get a chance to perform a catheterization etc.

    How do you learn these EMBARASSING thingS?! I mean I keep telling myself obviously it's not embarassing, because it's for people's health. My biggest fear though is "learning" how to do these on real people. Especially on a guy! *SIGH*

    I'd love to hear how you learned how to do catheters, enemas (dummies, etc) and then about maybe the story of the first time you performed it on a person to give me a different perspective. I am dreading it!
    I feel your pain! I just finished my first semester as a nursing student as well as my first clinical....let me just say practicing on the dummies is MUCH easier than on most patients...the parts are all easy to see and in the right places...its not as easy on some patients...my first cath was a 400 lb woman with a yeast infection...it was sooo hard..it took me forever to find the right um spot and bc of the yeast infection she was in so much pain. I have to say I think it is much easier to put a cath in a male, there is reallly no mistaking or searching for placement!

    I have also found that often I was more nervous than the pt!
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    In terms of caths...how painful is it for patients? Do they have a hard time dealing with the pain?
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    Quote from RNinJune2007
    I'd love to hear how you learned how to do catheters, enemas (dummies, etc) and then about maybe the story of the first time you performed it on a person to give me a different perspective. I am dreading it!
    We learned to do everything in our school's nursing lab, using dummies to practice on. Then, working as a CNA during school (mainly worked in the summertime) really helped me get used to things like that. Of course, I didn't do many of those kinds of skills as a CNA, but working with patients on a daily basis and dealing with "embarrassing" things like bedpans and briefs really made me much more comfortable in those situations.

    I have never given an enema in my nursing career (I'm a Neonatal ICU nurse) or during school, but catheters I've done on adults and babies. The first catheter I ever inserted was on a woman during nursing school clinicals. It was at an outpatient cancer center, and the woman had bladder cancer. She came in weekly to have a catheter inserted and then the chemo was instilled through the catheter and would sit in her bladder for an hour or so. It was a very sobering experience for me, to be a part of her treatment, so any embarrassment I might have had was pushed aside completely.

    It'll get easier, I promise.
  10. 0
    Quote from beckyrntobe
    In terms of caths...how painful is it for patients? Do they have a hard time dealing with the pain?
    Well, I've only had one once ... for my C-section. At first the nurse got it into the vagina. When first inserted in the correct place, it was uncomfortable-- like a full bladder. This was noticeable until the spinal anesthesia took effect. After it wore off, I never noticed the cath at all. Was almost disappointed to give it up and then use a bed pan (peeing like crazy -- because of IV fluids?) then eventually have to get up and go to the bathroom. (I had a hemoglobin of about 4 at this point). I was probably a "bad" patient b/c I would get up and walk to the toilet myself -- I just felt like I had to go so often, and I didn't want to bother them by calling... :imbar
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    I have a wonderful husband who actually let me practice catheters on him. Enemas too. Now if could just talk him into NG tubes and IV starts I'd be set.

    Melissa


    Quote from RNinJune2007
    hey you guys! I was just going through our list of papers and stuff and for skills that we get "checked off on" during our first semester. They said we would not all get checked off on everything, for example not all would get a chance to perform a catheterization etc.

    How do you learn these EMBARASSING thingS?! I mean I keep telling myself obviously it's not embarassing, because it's for people's health. My biggest fear though is "learning" how to do these on real people. Especially on a guy! *SIGH*

    I'd love to hear how you learned how to do catheters, enemas (dummies, etc) and then about maybe the story of the first time you performed it on a person to give me a different perspective. I am dreading it!
  12. 0
    Quote from mstigerlily
    I have a wonderful husband who actually let me practice catheters on him. Enemas too. Now if could just talk him into NG tubes and IV starts I'd be set.

    Melissa

    WOW!! You DO have a wonderful husband....I asked my fiencee and he said that I could practice on him when you know what freezes over....and that was just the cath...wow what a good sport!
  13. 0
    we practiced inserting N/G tubes on each other as students


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