What type of gross things do registered nurses have to do? - page 5

I'm going to get straight to the point. Is it true that nurses have to change "poopy" diapers/patients and or deal with dead bodies? I would love to get into nursing, but those are my deal... Read More

  1. by   PacoUSA
    OP: If you are asking this question, my strong assumption is that you won't last long in nursing ...
  2. by   Elkay
    Yes, believe it or not all humans poop, pee, and sometimes get sick.
  3. by   MotherRN
    Quote from Neisha_
    Yes, I am a 16 year old senior in high schol (graduating pretty early), and I was planning on going to my local community college to obtain an Associates Degree in Nursing;

    But i am having 2nd thoughts considering that NURSES have to perform tasks such as cleaning poop and dealing with dead bodies.
    It's amazing what gross things you can get used to in life. Before you walk away from nursing, consider that just plain being a mom means you do many of the same gross things that nurses do...babies poop and your clean it up...they also throw up ALL OVER YOU!!! And, you get used to it. You get used to the same gross things in nursing because you learn to accept the bodies natural processes and understand that you are helping someone else in their time of need. It really is something you learn to accept in stages. You have to give it time. Starting by anticipating things that may bother you is actually a positive self defense mechanism- you are intellectually preparing yourself to face your demons or fears. Recognizing a fear is there is half the battle to overcoming it.

    As for post mortem care...you learn to accept death as a natural part of life. It is not something to be dreaded. Also, nursing lets you provide compassionate care to another family in their time of need.

    Keep exploring the field and looking in the specialties section to learn about what different areas of nursing are like on a daily basis. You may find one that interests you!

    Best wishes!
  4. by   julieface
    When I was in high school I felt the same way. I didn't think I had it in me to deal with bodily fluids and sick people. Give yourself some time before you decide one way or the other about nursing. Choosing your career is not something to rush. Get some life experience first.
  5. by   Annachu512
    Lol what did you think nurses did? Just slap the bandaids on after giving a shot? Nope, even as just a nursing student I dealt with sputum, vomit, poop, pee, blood, hacking, after birth, placenta...and I'm still in school. But honestly, if you have a knack for it you get to the point where you don't even think about it. Humility goes right out the window. Good luck with your decisions
  6. by   IrishErin
    Quote from wooh
    Often the poo is more attractive to deal with than the person it came out of.

    Hear, hear! Lol
  7. by   fasnv
    I always wanted to be a doctor when I was a young kid. Unfortunately, I was unable to get in medical schools because of financial issues as I had trouble finishing my high school. My mother died when I was 9 years old and my father abandoned me. However, I graduated in high school at age 18. I could graduate as early as age 14 or age 15. Anyway, for some reason, being a doctor was dead in my mind. After two years later, I got in a computer science major. Still, I was unsuccessful in this discipline. I was running out of money again. I stopped and saved some more money to finish the whole term. Well, I didn't graduate. I barely finished two semesters in college. To cut a long story short, somebody offered me a scholarship to get in nursing schools. Many of people around me told me that I just winded up cleaning butts, so I didn't think twice to reject that offer. I was grossed and disappointed that wiping butts shouldn't require me to kill myself in studying biology classes and beyond. Nowadays, I regret for not accepting that offer. I resented myself for ignoring my own voice , but to people's opinion who had no knowledge how actually nurses work.

    If I could turn the clock back, I'd take nursing school and then to become a nurse practitioner. When I realized I do want to be a nurse(replacement of my dream), I'm way more motivated than before. Nowadays, I read a lot of sciences to catch up... I feel like I'm a new student.

    My input, do things that you want, not what people say/think about things in their physical environment. When we are younger, we tend to gross out easily. That's typical for most young people. I was one of these people.
    Last edit by fasnv on May 20, '13 : Reason: grammar
  8. by   icuRNmia
    Imagine the most gross, disgusting thing you would allow yourself to think of a nurse doing. Now you will have to eat your lunch because its the only 5 mins you have in 12 hours. If you can keep it down then ~Welcome to our world!
  9. by   fasnv
    I just think of poop as mashed potatoes, apple sauces, blended steaks, etc.
  10. by   SCSTxRN
    Yes. Especially as a nursing student... you will absolutely assist patients with personal hygeine. Once you graduate, you may be able to find employment that is more paperwork (insurance) or psych. As an RN, one of the grossest things I've done is assist patients after a new colostomy. Helping them adjust to their new device, adjust their body image mentally, and learn how to take care of it... many of my colleagues consider it VERY gross.. but I love that job.

    Wound care, in general, can get pretty disgusting - but again, I love that job.

    Psych doesn't typically deal with personal hygeine or dead bodies - but you will learn many other body fluids.

    In summary, if these are deal breakers for you, nursing probably isn't your ideal career field. Maybe dental hygeinist? Or Respiratory? (If you can handle spit, blood, and sputum... )
  11. by   SNB1014
    hahahahaah you're joking right??

    firstly, a good nurse, as long as she has the time, will assist the nursing assistant with bath time because it is the perfect time to do a skin assessment with your patient. while the assistant is washing the legs, i can be listening to the lung sounds. to time it up just so is rare, but awesome.

    if the assistant doesnt clean your patient, guess who is in trouble? you are. if you patient gets skin breakdown from staying dirty and no baths, gets bedsores from not being turned, gets a clot because they haven't gotten out of bed to the chair in 5 days, don't have the strength to get better because they havent been eating, etc those become very "rn-centric" problems. but those are technically assistant duties. see what i mean?

    and yes, you absolutely, positively need to care for dead bodies. unless they are a coroners case, which then you would leave every single cord, needle, old pain patch, etc, body in the same position, for investigation. but for a funeral home pick up and most importantly, for the family to come by and view the body should that be their wish, you MUST care for the dead.

    it is creepy the first couple times. i was terrified that i would turn them and they would come alive. i know i know, silly. and also the body still bleeds and oozes after death, so that it weird at first. rigor mortis does not kick in for a while. you have time.
  12. by   Sand_Dollar
    You have to remember that people will try to take care of themselves if they can, but often they are sick or incapable of taking care of themselves.

    My daughter got her CNA license when she turned 18. She works in a skilled nursing/long term care facility and deals with a lot of incontinent folks. She doesn't complain or get sick, she cleans them up and takes care of them, treating each person with respect. And yes, she has taken care of deceased patients...she was more upset at losing a client dear to her than taking care of the body. You have to remember that these clients are someones mother/father, sister/brother, wife/husband and/or grandparent. How would you want your grandmother or father taken care of? You treat the client the same way you want your family member treated. You look past the poop and think of the person.

    My daughter is almost 19 and started her BSN nursing program on Monday. She doesn't flinch at bodily fluids anymore because they aren't what really matter in the scope of things. She is already planning on becoming a Nurse Practitioner once she has a few years of floor experience under her belt and finds her niche. You need to figure out what your ultimate life goal is and what will be the most beneficial career in getting there, don't disregard a profession because you are stuck on one very small part of the job.
  13. by   phoenixnim
    Quote from julieface
    When I was in high school I felt the same way. I didn't think I had it in me to deal with bodily fluids and sick people. Give yourself some time before you decide one way or the other about nursing. Choosing your career is not something to rush. Get some life experience first.
    This. Totally second this. I could not imagine doing all the "gross" things as a teen either. It's part of what kept me away from even considering the medical field for so long.

    And then I had kids... LOL! And my world changed. I've been pooped, peed, vomitted and bled on more times than I can count/remember. And it doesn't even phase me anymore. It's one of those things you end up not thinking about in the moment. You just take care of it and move on with your day.