Nervous about doing "dirty" work

  1. I"m not in nursing school yet (taking prereqs) but I am very nervous about doing some of the dirtier jobs that nursing requires. Things like cleaning people's privates, puke, poo, etc. I'm not sure if I should even continue at this point. Did any nursing students feel the same way, if so is it less stressful for you to carry out these tasks now? Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Have you ever changed a baby's diaper? Or cleaned up after one spit up? Not any different, only larger amounts. But it does come along with nursing and being a nurse.

    Nursing is not for everyone...............some people are never able to accept doing it, and for others it gets easier. But you have to figure out why it bothers you, that would need to be the first thing for you to address...
  4. by   JoBug
    I think it is "normal" to be nervous, especially if you have never done these tasks before, I agree with the poster b4 me here, not everyone is cut out for doing these tasks however, but give yourself a chance, see if you can do it, trust me, it gets easier with time. And as a nurse, you WILL end up doing these tasks...good luck
    JoBug
  5. by   DenaInWyo
    Look into getting your CNA before you start nursing school. No better way to find out if you can overcome! At least you'll know before you invest the time, money and work of nsg school. Honestly though, I think you might be suprised at how desensitized you become to it after awhile.

    THat's my job..all butts, all the time!

    Deana

    May 12, 2006..gettin closer!
  6. by   Someday-C.R.N.A.
    I'm not AT ALL looking forward to this part of nursing either, but it's a part of the deal.

    I'd bet that after your first time or two, you'll feel more 'comfortable' doing things like this. Hey - someone's gotta do it, right?

    ...........And there are A LOT of different areas a Nurse can go into (part of why I chose nursing), and some areas are "cleaner" than others.

    Stick with it (not to it) - You'll be alright!!
  7. by   talaxandra
    What aspect of it are you apprehensive about?
    The most common cocerns are: the risk of disease/catching something/getting bodily fluids on you; the intimate aspect of it, being embarassed; becoming nauseated; that cleaning up bodily fluids is menial or undignified.
    While there are no guarantees, using universal precautions (like gloves, eye protection) significantly reduces your risk of exposure. Most body fluids are contained, in a pan or bottle, or in a drainage bag of some kind.
    It does take a little time to get used to the idea of performing intimate care on strangers, especially on people your own age. The first time I saw a half-naked male patient, my age and really cute, I was intensely embarassed, but I realised within about a minute that he was so habituated to the kind of exposure that nursing requires that it didn't register - he saw the role of nurse rather than me as an individual. It hasn't been a problem for me since.
    Every nurse has one thing s/he really hates on the fuid front - for me, it's coughed up sputum. However, unless you're having a particularly delicate day, you do get used to the most disturbing aromas really quickly. That's not to say you don't notice them, but it just becomes part of what nursing entails.
    I believe that performing patient care is a privilege. This doesn't mean that I think I shouldn't be well rewarded, or that I'm some kind of saint, but it means that I think all aspects of patient care are worthy of my attention. This is not the same as being thrilled to do allied health's job, though!
    I hope this helps.
  8. by   Curious1alwys
    I think having kids puts you at a huge advantage as far as the "grossies" go. I don't have any so the curve is huge for me. I did my CNA rotations though and it wasn't as bad as I thought. Well, my reaction wasn't as bad, but I have yet to experience what I hear are the grossest of things. That is in about a month!!:chuckle
  9. by   DZcarrie
    well, no one really enjoys cleaning up poo or puke, but you gotta do what you gotta do. when you look at it as you helping someone that is too sick to do it themselves, it helps.
  10. by   schoolgirl05
    I think you will be fine.. I was like that at first too and I almost passed out a few time during procedueres.. Now I am ok with procedures but I still gross out with snot and some smells. I hate hate hate snot.. I gag every time..

    Oh and I have kids too. My kids have the cleanest noses around lol.
  11. by   EMTtoRN
    In most of the situations where you have to clean up people, those people are in a bad part of their life. Either sick or just unable to do it for themselves.


    At that point I put myself in their situation and say that I hope there would be someone there to do the same for me!
  12. by   stefanitenzi
    I am almost done with school and I still think it is nasty!!!! The entire med/surg area is GROSS!!!! I don't think it will ever get any better, that is why I am going to try to get a job in NICU when I graduate.....YUCK!!!!!!!!! (sorry just telling the truth) oh, and the nursing home was the worst! EW!



    Quote from Alpha13
    I"m not in nursing school yet (taking prereqs) but I am very nervous about doing some of the dirtier jobs that nursing requires. Things like cleaning people's privates, puke, poo, etc. I'm not sure if I should even continue at this point. Did any nursing students feel the same way, if so is it less stressful for you to carry out these tasks now? Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks
  13. by   anonymouse
    Quote from stefanitenzi
    I am almost done with school and I still think it is nasty!!!! The entire med/surg area is GROSS!!!! I don't think it will ever get any better, that is why I am going to try to get a job in NICU when I graduate.....YUCK!!!!!!!!! (sorry just telling the truth) oh, and the nursing home was the worst! EW!

    :yeahthat:
    I didnt mind cleaning my kids' butts and noses, hell if I see a boogie in one of their noses now (8yrs and 13yrs old) I will start trying to clean their noses. Of course they knock my hand away and tell me Im a freak!!! I wouldnt automatically or instinctively do that to anyone else on earth but Im going to try to get a job in the NICU because even though I can handle deep, stinking oozing wounds, I just cant handle cleaning a grown up's privates and lets not even talk about sputum.

    Tiny babies are another story :redpinkhe
  14. by   stefanitenzi
    Exactly!!!! Babies are different!

    Quote from anonymouse
    :yeahthat:
    I didnt mind cleaning my kids' butts and noses, hell if I see a boogie in one of their noses now (8yrs and 13yrs old) I will start trying to clean their noses. Of course they knock my hand away and tell me Im a freak!!! I wouldnt automatically or instinctively do that to anyone else on earth but Im going to try to get a job in the NICU because even though I can handle deep, stinking oozing wounds, I just cant handle cleaning a grown up's privates and lets not even talk about sputum.

    Tiny babies are another story :redpinkhe

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