Thinking of quitting

  1. I'm in my 4th week of clinicals, and I'm having a MAJOR problem. The first 10 weeks of clinicals are in nursing homes. I am getting physically sick whenever I go in to help these poor people. How do i get over that? Controlling my nausea is becoming the most physically exhausting thing I've had to do. I'm not sure I'm cut out to do this kind of work.

    Any suggestions?

    Kelly
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   memphispanda
    Is there any specific thing that is making you feel sick? Is it things you are smelling? Things you are seeing? Just being there? Could it possibly be an allergy to something in the building? (just grasping at straws here!) I build up a migraine every time I am in clinical but it's because they are painting/remodeling the floor I am on and the fumes get to me big time.

    Anyway, maybe if you can pinpoint some of the things specifically that are bothering you someone will have some helpful ideas!
  4. by   golynna
    I know one thing Don't Quit! What I do is think of something else, roses, mountain air etc. If you put a mental picture to a certain smell you like, it might help. I know what you mean about the smell and all, we are in our 2nd week of clinical in a nursing home.
    I wish you the best of luck in school and in clinical!! :roll
  5. by   lpnstudentkelly
    It's the smells, and just being around elderly people. Just thinking about going there gives me a headache, and once I'm there, I try so hard not to be sick, and sometimes end up in the bathroom vomiting.
  6. by   Vsummer1
    One of the other students in my clinicals was helping her patient with her am care. I was free for a moment, so was asking around to see if I could help anyone else out. She looked at me and the look on her face spoke volumes. She stated later that she could not STAND to work in a LTC facility, and would NEVER be able to do that job. We discussed it, and we both came to the same conclusion:

    It is only for a short time, and then we can move on and find our niche. We now know what LTC it is like, and know that it is not our calling. But we have grown for having experienced it, and 12 weeks will not kill us. WE WILL NOT QUIT.

    Keep plugging away, it will be over before you know it. Then you can go on and find your niche.
  7. by   RN_2_B_5/2004
    I have a classmate, that after the first week doing clinical at the nursing home, was ready to quit. She thought she didn't have what it takes to be a nurse............this is not true.............she was really upset that the patients we are taking care of live the way they do......we are working on an Alzheimer's ward, our instuctor figures we can learn our assessments better if we are not able to get subjective data and that we rely on our "senses"

    Out of my class of 15, I think there are maybe 2-4 that actually want to work with the elderly in LTC. Myself, NO WAY!!! I am not cut out for doing that type of work.

    Just remember, you will be doing other clinicals at other sites, we have 3 weeks left at the nursing home for this semester, and I think 5 weeks next semester, but in between we go to the hospital for OB ..........you can make it.

    One of the girls mentioned that she puts vicks vapor rub under her nose before clinical so she wouldn't have to smell the odors associated with LTC, maybe this would work for you.

    Good Luck, stick with it, it does get better!!!
  8. by   meownsmile
    Hang in there. Try to learn to slow your breathing or change the way you breath when you have to deal with the smells.

    Try to remember how your client might feel. Help them retain as much dignity as possible and reassure them.
    There are odars in most every field and environment in the nursing field. You do get sensitized to them somewhat.

    Keep going.
  9. by   Rena RN 2003
    it always helped me to eat before i went to clinical. i have a real hard time eating at 5 a.m. but the one time i didn't, i was heaving in the bathroom.

    another thing that helped me was talking while doing something that had an odor attached to it. if it was cleaning BM, i just tried to make small talk with the resident whether he/she could respond or not. hard to get a gag reflex going when you're using your throat for talking. :chuckle

    another thing that may help is peppermint oil. put a dab on a tissue and carry it in your pocket. whenever you're feeling overwhelmed with the smells, just pull out the tissue and sniff.

    i've also heard the same thing about smelling coffee. now how you could carry used coffee grounds around in your pocket all day is beyond me but i'm told it works.

    try to stick it out if nursing is what you really want to do. there will always be certain smells in any field of nursing but the "LTC facility smell" is very unique. you won't be there forever.

  10. by   renerian
    I have a similar problem.If I only go with looking at all the older people lined up like cattle by the nurses station, I feel horrible. I try to look at them as this is a very scarey period in their lives, they are living at the facility, and maybe many of their friends or family are gone, few visitors. What you do could be the bright light in their day.


    Just a thought,

    renerian
  11. by   Mkue
    I felt the same way many of you did at first, especially the first day, it was very depressing! I think it may get easier each day we go back.

    My clinical instructor is so wonderful with Residents, she has taught me a lot. A few of my classmates are CNA's and I'm impressed with their experience and kindness.
  12. by   farmmom
    I know when I was a cna I looked at all of these people as if they were someone Granparent and that they haven't chose to be there or to be in that condition.I went to work proud everyday that I could say that I made someones Grandparent feel a little better.
  13. by   nursedawn67
    I wish I could tell you how to overcome the problem...all I can say is try everything...find what works for you.....but don't quit...tough out those weeks

    Good luck!
  14. by   researchrabbit
    A little Vicks Vaporub right on the end of your nose and you will never smell anything else...

    It helps to remember (as far as being around elderly people) that we will all be there someday...and wouldn't we like someone like us there, even if for only a short time?

    Euwww -- convoluted grammar, I know, but you get the picture.

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