overcoming blood and guts?

  1. Hi friends,

    I am new to the forum so first I would like to say hello and thanks for looking at this thread!

    I am currently a 24 year old office job worker with an interest in a career in nursing. This is kind of a recent interest for me, so I am trying to do some research before I, you know, completely delve into a new career path.

    I think that I have a lot of the qualities it would take to be a nurse, and that I would really get a lot of job satisfaction from the work (all my ideas of a dream job involve helping others).

    There's one little flaw however that is immediately apparent to me- I'm kind of squeemish when it comes to blood and guts. I can't look when someone gives me a shot, if people tell me about gorey accidents they have seen I feel weak, stuff like that.

    Can anybody else, experienced or not, relate to this? Is that the sort of thing people get over when they are in nursing school? Does this mean I should stop looking into nursing as a new career?

    Thank you so much for the help!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   jlcole45
    Hi first you might also read some of the student nurse forums as that might give you a different perspective from what us old nurses have

    That said, if I were you I would go work in the field as a nursing assistant (most places such as nursing homes or hospitals will provide free on the job training). You will not know if you can take it or not until you try it. And start to take classes at your local community college - the courses such as anatomy. Once you begin to learn how the body works your perspective on the blood and guts changes.

    I have never had a problem with taking care of others, but I too don't watch when I get blood work or shots.

    Give it a try, what would you loose if you did? Besides once you are an employee many hospitals will help pay for nursing school.

    Start by doing some research about the health care facilities and nursing schools in your area.
  4. by   kcalohagirl
    I am the biggest wuss in the world when it comes to someone giving ME a shot, drawing blood from ME, etc. Although I have endured a couple fairly gory accidents to myself with a clear head. (I waited to fall apart til after the emergency had passed.*grin*)

    That said, I have seen some fairly gory and some just plain gross things as a nurse. Some things I thought would bother me (blood and vomit) don't. Other things (sputum) do. Although I can and do suction patients on a regular basis, it is not my favorite activity, and hearing someone trying to hack things up can make me gag. . . .

    There are a lot of places where as a nurse, you don't run into a lot of "blood and guts".

    What you may run into a lot more often are pee, poo, vomit, spit, and sputum.

    You get used to it.

    And for me, after sputum, blood was easy.
  5. by   starsINmyEYES
    yeah, it's weird but when you're close up and personal things dont seem to be so subjective anymore. for example, i dont have a problem with blood/guts etc, but when i had a placement in an OR i really didn't like watching varicose veins being removed- like- it's quite brutal. but when i got to scrub for a case it was totally different! i didn't see the BIG picture, i was just focused on the task at hand. swabs for the cuts, handing over the intruments etc. to be honest the things i cant really stomach are sputum samples and MASSIVE bowel movements!
  6. by   cherubhipster
    Thank you to all of you, this really makes me feel better, and more confidant. What you said makes senseto me- that once a person has a better understanding of the functions of the body, the gross factor is lower.

    One of the difficulties I am facing is that my current job takes ALL of my time, and I don't know how I could take classes while I work (and keep this job, anyway). I feel like it's all or nothing- like I need to just quit this job so I can really commit myself to my new career and get moving on it. But I want to feel confidant that it's the right thing to do, and I can't do that without more experience..it's a catch 22. Do most people work while they go to nursing school? How do they pay their way through school? Maybe this is foder for a new thread though...
  7. by   danissa
    Look to working with paeds/Nicu. ANY stuff from them, be it smells, poop, secretions...it's so much easier to deal with than full on adult stuff!
    The blood and guts issue...you are less likely to find it in a Nicu than an OR, or an ER. Not never, but just less often. JMHO!
  8. by   truffles111
    ok...I have been accepted into several nursing programs and several master's in counseling programs. decision time. on one hand, i feel as though nursing would be higher pay, a bit more action packed, there are endless opportunities after graduation, etc. i just never though i could do the poop, gore, guts, etc. how do i know if i have it in me??? i love counseling, so i know i would like it if i don't do nursing. any advice????
  9. by   BelleKat
    Quote from riley109
    ok...I have been accepted into several nursing programs and several master's in counseling programs. decision time. on one hand, i feel as though nursing would be higher pay, a bit more action packed, there are endless opportunities after graduation, etc. i just never though i could do the poop, gore, guts, etc. how do i know if i have it in me??? i love counseling, so i know i would like it if i don't do nursing. any advice????
    Hmm,don't go into it on the basis of money alone. The work is just so darn hard and exhausting that it doesn't really compensate you for the time,energy,blood,sweat and tears that you put into it. If you like taking care of people no matter what they're going through(blood,guts and poop) you should be OK. Be realistic.
  10. by   Pediatric4077
    Ask to shadow a nurse at a local hospital. Or get a job as a nurse tech. See if you can handle it. You can't know how you'll deal until you are faced with it. We all get de-sensitized to things but there are really gross moments that get even the most seasoned vet. You just have to keep going and push on through.
  11. by   sirI
    Threads merged.

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