Can someone tell me how to not be traumatized in med microbioogy?

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    Oh so I had my first class of medical mico biology. We have a wonderful teacher who really knows her stuff. In the class she showed us a video documentary of the meningitis outbreak we had in our city a little over ten years ago. (I remember being vaccinated and hearing about it on the news too when I was younger). It was becoming very serious I think it might have killed 2 or 3 people in less than a week... and started infecting and spreading fast. A few people that didn't die... had amputations, scars or neurological problems. Some that had it were lucky to escape with no issues. Anyway, part of the scenes were acted out but also had interviews with the families that were affected.

    As we watched the video I saw a lot of us tearing up because it was vey sad.

    Anyway I guess by sharing what the class was like, I'm wondering how does one not become a hypochondriac after studying these things? Or my bigger worry is, how do you not constantly feel fear for your loved ones?

    Does anyone have any coping mechanisms or something? Even this morning I still feel very sad.
    Ednach likes this.

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  2. 14 Comments...

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    I don't mean to come off as overly harsh, but you're going to have to toughen up a bit if you want to make it as a nurse. Check out some of the threads about what people have become desensitized to after being a nurse (ex: urine) for help dealing with germs. Repeated exposure to the sad aspects of healthcare will make it easier to cope, but ultimately, you will have to overcome your fears yourself.
    DawnJ likes this.
  4. 0
    Honestly, it just depends. I know there are all kinds of crazy bugs out there. All I can do to protect myself and my family is to keep all the vaccinations current, maintain good hand hygiene, and just be aware of your surroundings. I think there is not much you can do beyond that. And living in fear I just couldn't do it mentally.
  5. 0
    Oh and what rn_abbey said :-)
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    Yeah....I remember Micro being a shock to my system. It was hard to ever eat french fries again. Seriously, you will develop coping mechanisms.....was to fell the sadness without letting it consume you. Realize that a majority of infections spread by hand to hand contact.....wash your hands.

    Many of us are germ a phobes at heart and have to measure the practicality of sterilizing everything and know that you eat a ton of dirt before you die.

    But nursing isn't all rainbows and puppy dogs...happy families celebrating life. It is the brutal reality that although someone gets better it doesn't mean that the treatment/cure doesn't come with a cost. You are ad for those who have lost and pray for them and move onto the next challenge/patient/family/illness/tragedy/death/birth....... For me that is where faith has come into play.
    DawnJ likes this.
  7. 0
    You just get over it. Nothing changed, just your perception changed.

    I'm not a germaphobe but I know that I'm more conscious of hand washing and sanitizing even at home now and out in public I've picked up a few quirks like not touching door handles.

    Nurses touch gross stuff, we go into isolation rooms, you just learn how to protect yourself and not panic about it. It's part of the job.
  8. 1
    What everyone else said. I think I came full circle after nursing school. After MedSurg 1, I thought, "OH MY GOD I'LL GET CANCER AND EVERYTHING ELSE UNDER THE SUN!" I'm more aware of things that are wrong with me, like my knees, bowel patterns (yes some of us start to pay attention to that), urine color when I'm sick, and some other things, but then it just hit me that we all die, so what's the point. I don't mean that in a defeatist-type of way, I mean that in a seriously-you-have-the-rest-of-your-life-so-why-not-enjoy-it-within-reason kind of way.

    Those videos are nice wake-ups for you to take better care of yourself, mostly so you can actually enjoy life, but I wouldn't obsess over the dude with MRSA sitting next to me on a plane or something. Whatever. My shoes probably have MRSA and VRE all over the bottoms.
    Dezy likes this.
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    My micro teacher told us we'd either leave the course afraid of everything or totally fearless.

    Just remember, you may not have known some of the things you'll learn, but they were still there. And you've survived and thrived. Anxiety about any of it won't change anything but your level of mental health
    DawnJ likes this.
  10. 1
    Just remember, you were exposed to all these bugs and germs before you were in nursing school, but now you are better prepared to prevent yourself from getting those germs/bugs. This should be a good thing, not a bad one!
    Esme12 likes this.
  11. 0
    the movie was intended to provide information and to make you understand the seriousness of disease. Many nursing students have not been exposed to really sick people. Now that you are aware, you will be more inclined to take precautions - like washing hands!

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