Do you get over it?


I am not in a nursing program yet, but I wanted to know if seeing gory/nasty things gets easier. Whenever I have watched gory videos online or when I have witnessed an accident, I seem to zone out a little and I don't know what to do.

Does it get easier?

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

8 Articles; 2,543 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

Seeing gory movies (meant to gross you out as much as possible) and witnessing an accident are things that you aren't DIRECTLY involved in. When you are working to save someone's life, the blood/gore/yuck doesn't even register. You just want the sucker to BREATHE!

Honestly, Future-you might get grossed out in clinical because you will likely start your first rotation at a LTC facility. You are going to be dealing with assisting in ADLs, which includes bathing and changing soiled undergarments. You will get used to it, because your ultimate goal is helping your patient and doing your tasks SAFELY. When you focus on the patient's needs, you might find yourself surprised at how easily you can overlook the Yuck Factor.

On a side note-I can't stand gory movies. Real life nursing is nothing like the sensational crap producers put on film these days.

I think you'll do fine.

xtxrn, ASN, RN

4,266 Posts

Yep.... even the stuff that makes you dizzy or feel like you're going to pass out..... it gets easier. It never really gets "easy", but it does get 'routine' :)

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

17 Articles; 5,259 Posts

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

I'm with Canes on this one. Usually it doesn't even register that I've just helped a doc pull a clot the size of a beach volleyball out of someone's uterus postpartum. I just want her to flippin' quit bleedin'!

Will you still have certain things that you still don't like after a bazillion years of nursing? Probably. I still can't stand trachs, ear wax, and GI bleed poop. But even those things - whatever your Kryptonite may be - you may not enjoy them but you can get the job done.


1,097 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

You work in that kind of area because it doesn't bother you. Someone has to do it and you know that you can. Not to say that over time, you can get saturated with it and simply say 'enough'.

Specializes in SICU. Has 12 years experience.

I have what you may call a strong stomach... I can usually keep a straight face w/ gaping wounds etc...

I met my waterloo the other day watching Hoarders for the first time...


All the cat feces/human waste in plastic bags/animal exoskeletons was my undoing!!!!

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

mucus is my Kryptonite...I've been known to barf in a wastebasket...and then continue doing what I needed to do...


101 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

I think it depends on your exposure to different 'gross factors'. I, for example, have no problem reaching wrist deep into a sacral decub to cleanse smelly necrotic flesh from a bone. Ask me to suction a juicy trach however and I lose my cookies. Though if someones airway depended on it, i could stomach it for the sake of the patient and then excuse myself ASAP. Dont worry, You'll get used to it.


1 Article; 207 Posts

I guess we are getting a little off topic here, but I will add my own experience. I can handle anything. Suctioning anything snotty looking used to be my grossout, but I have gotten used to it. I was really surprised when I worked (a short while) in surgery and hip replacements turned my stomach! It wasn't the procedure itself, it was when they took the leg out of the socket. Legs are not supposed to be able to turn that way! It's not natural! It turned my stomach every time. I suppose if I had stayed in surgery I would have gotten used to it in time.

nrsang97, BSN, RN

2,602 Posts

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 22 years experience.

I hate watching them place EVD's (external ventricular drains or brain drain) at the bedside. I can't stand watching them cut the scalp and drill into someone's skull. I get through it, but still don't like it.

I used to gag when suctioning trachs but now that dosen't bother me at all.

decembergrad2011, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 464 Posts

Specializes in Oncology. Has 12 years experience.

I agree that you simply zone out of the logistics and get into action mode. I'm not quite a nurse yet but I remember my OR rotation and being warned about the smell of burning flesh during cauterization. It didn't phase me at all because I was too busy being fascinated by the open-abdominal hysterectomy happening in front of me. Same thing happened while I was in births. On the other hand, surgery and childbirth, especially the fake pretending to be real kind, on TV freak me out precisely because they are edited to be as traumatic and gory as possible. It's different when you see the patient as a person in real life instead of a body segment edited at an angle for extreme effect.