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Foley Catheters and how to overcome the fear

Pre-Nursing   (3,695 Views | 8 Replies)
by 49*1 49*1 (Member)

2,130 Profile Views; 38 Posts

I have been a pre nursing student for a bit and have this fear of Foley catheters and the process of completing the procedure. I decided to try and desensitize myself today by watching a YouTube video on the procedure. It was on a live patient and once it came to the point of separating the majora minora labia to expose the urethra, I immediately became weak, nasaua, sweaty and almost to the point of feeling like I was going to faint. It took a few mins to calm back down and take my mins off it. It was pathetic but I couldn't handle it. I'm not sure if it's even the insertion of the catheter that brings up these feelings over the appearance of the female area. I get the same feelings with male inspection more than the appearance.

I just wanted to know of anyone else has had these feelings and how they have handled them.

It's come to the point that I'm not sure I can be a nurse if I cant do a simple foley/straight cath. I can handle blood, guts, wounds, smells, etc. I have a slight problem dealing with ostomies to but I think I can overcome that, since I watched a video on that and was able to stick through it.

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739 Posts; 8,209 Profile Views

Umm...you have a problem with the appearance of the "female area"? Once you start nursing school you will see more vagina and penis then you ever care to see. I don't mean to sound rude, but if these "areas" are a problem for you then maybe nursing might not be your thing. Have you ever thought of becoming a CNA/PCT before applying to nursing school? This way you will get exposure and find out if healthcare is really something for you. No point in spending money on nursing school if it's something you can not handle.

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38 Posts; 2,130 Profile Views

Umm...you have a problem with the appearance of the "female area"? Once you start nursing school you will see more vagina and penis then you ever care to see. I don't mean to sound rude, but if these "areas" are a problem for you then maybe nursing might not be your thing. Have you ever thought of becoming a CNA/PCT before applying to nursing school? This way you will get exposure and find out if healthcare is really something for you. No point in spending money on nursing school if it's something you can not handle.

thank you for commenting. I hope I didn't sound rude about the appearance of a female area. it's not that I am saying vaginas are ugly to look at or anything. that def is not my intention.

You are not rude at all. I actually have been a PCT in a hospital and have had to hold a patient down so a Nurse could do a foley or straight cath and I did get the weak/nasaua feeling but was not as severe as today. maybe it was bc I was forced to hold and couldn't leave? I did try to ignore what the nurse was doing to take my mind off it. one was a male for a straight cath and another was for an older female.

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201 Posts; 3,260 Profile Views

What about the procedure bothers you so much? Just looking at the female or male area? The insertion part? To not have the same feelings about wound care is what I'm curious about. A stage 4 ulcer on the coccyx with a code brown that leaked into is much more nauseating than inserting a foley catheter.

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739 Posts; 8,209 Profile Views

Just know that yes you were holding the patient still and yes it is uncomfortable for the patient, but you are not trying to/intentionally hurting the patient. It was a procedure that was needed. And even though it is done to a very sensitive area, you will over time get desensitized to the feeling you are having. I'm not quite sure I know how you could get over this, unfortunately. But you are not doing anything bad to the patient, and catheters are (usually)only a temporary thing.

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38 Posts; 2,130 Profile Views

What about the procedure bothers you so much? Just looking at the female or male area? The insertion part? To not have the same feelings about wound care is what I'm curious about. A stage 4 ulcer on the coccyx with a code brown that leaked into is much more nauseating than inserting a foley catheter.

It's a little bit of both that get to me. I actually took a look at a stage 4 ulcer on the coccyx, yes it's gross and I can't imagine the pain they have, but I was able to look at it and stomach if. Fecal matter doesn't bother me, of course the smell can be bad sometimes, I can suck it up and handle it. but of course seeing an image and actually being on front of it and cleaning it out might be a bit different. But I look at it as just dead skin and seeing a bone or scabs from the healing process is okay with me.

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SopranoKris has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

3,090 Posts; 33,243 Profile Views

But I look at it as just dead skin and seeing a bone or scabs from the healing process is okay with me.

OK, so look at a Foley cath insertion as just a urethra, no big deal.

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91 Posts; 3,538 Profile Views

When adapting to a new procedure like this, I find it helpful to remember that much of life is perception. I'm sure you know this. For instance, someone pursuing a basket weaving degree may not understand your desire to work with the "gross" stuff of patient care. Still, you chose nursing because you find value in it for (fill-in-the-blank) reason. Expand this out to the current hurdle. The procedure may bother you, BUT you KNOW that patient may need that catheter because they have a neurogenic bladder, require it for surgery, etc.

Hope this helps. Everybody has *something* they struggled with learning to do. In my experience, most everyone overcomes it with time and repetition.

Edited by UnaNayeli
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49 Posts; 1,188 Profile Views

If it is the appearance of the female area that bothers you, I think you can overcome this. If it makes you uncomfortable to view or be in such close contact with someone private areas, I believe this can become easier to deal with over time. I am not a nurse(yet! I will be starting nursing school in the fall :-) ) However, I've been a skin care specialist for 8 years and I have done enough Brazilian waxes and have seen enough "female areas" to last me a lifetime. Was I nervous to touch and practically have my face in someones privates when i started? You betcha! But it got easier every day. 8 years later, I'm not even phased by it. It just becomes normal. Although I never felt nauseous or faint by looking at the area, perhaps in time you will become desensitized to it. Good luck to you.

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