Clinicals making me question my decision to be a nurse?


Before this last clinical, I was sure that I was going into the right field. However, after attempting to watch a c-section twice and having to walk out both times, I am beginning to have my doubts. I watched a vaginal birth and a circumcision without any problems but I have had a number of people ask me if I am capable of being a nurse. My clinical instructor was concerned about me as well and even let me take an ice pack and gum in to watch the surgery. This was upsetting because I really do enjoy the other aspects of nursing and wish I could handle the surgery. Am I not going to be able to be a nurse just because I cannot handle OR nursing or is this more than that? Has anyone else felt this way?


1 Post

Absolutely don't feel bad about this! The same thing happened to me as a nursing student (almost fainted watching a c-section and once helping hold my patient for an epidural...left the room both times!). I've been an RN now for 6 years with no issues! Even spent 1 year as an OR nurse with no fainting!

Has 6 years experience.

You will be just fine. You're only human, feeling human emotions such as doubt. There are alot of opportunities in nursing where you don't have to watch surgical procedures! Take a deep breath and just get through this part of clinicals, one clinical day at a time, putting one foot in front of the other.

Specializes in PCCN. Has 20 years experience.

I think if you don't go into maternity or the OR you'll be fine.

Specializes in ER, progressive care. Has 7 years experience.

Everyone has their "kryptonite" in nursing. I am appalled by OB...I (personally) find the whole birthing process to be disgusting and I did NOT enjoy watching live births in nursing school. So that was simple, I didn't become an OB nurse!

Being a nurse doesn't mean you will be watching c-sections or surgeries all the time. You'll see that if you go into OB or OR but there are countless opportunities in nursing. As jrwest stated, if you don't go into maternity or OR you will be fine!

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma. Has 18 years experience.

My "moment" was watching a skin graft procedure on a child, almost passed out; I thought I was never going to survive pediatric nursing, nor work in that specialty. Fast forward seven years of pedi experience, ironically I had to take care of a child who underwent needing arterial and venous reconstruction, which included graphing and almost passed out during report. I felt like that moment ALLL over again, although it was almost 10 years ago. I was able to take a deep breath, have a small snack, and hydrate myself, and perform the care for two 12s in a row. I am more confident in being able to handle this if I have another pt like this again, even if I do start to get dizzy...I know what to do. ;)


65 Posts

My moment was watching a vasectomy, in an out patient clinic. I declined the OR experience in nursing school and I've been a nurse for 16 years. OR nursing is not for everyone. There are so many things to do in nursing, just check that off your list as not one of them.

joanna73, BSN, RN

1 Article; 4,767 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

Many seasoned nurses cannot tolerate the OR. I loved the OR, but I could never work emerg, peds or ICU. Everyone has areas of nursing where they would enjoy and/ or excel. You will eventually discover the areas you fit best.

Specializes in Orthopedic, LTC, STR, Med-Surg, Tele.

No worries. I almost passed out during a wound vac dressing change in my second semester. If I had gone by nursing school clinical alone I would have wanted to bail!

rubato, ASN, RN

1,111 Posts

Specializes in Oncology/hematology.

Agreed. We all have our thing. I love watching surgeries, but hate trachs. And packing certain wounds.

Like everyone said, don't go into the OR, and you'll be fine.