do you get used to it?

  1. Hello,

    when reading a book about what to do to take care of wounds and such just reading about wounds and such can cause me to not feel well, i am wondernig if this is stuff one gets used to this stuff or if i would probably be useless in such situations?

    thanks - jason
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    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 36; Likes: 2


  3. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from JBirdAngel

    when reading a book about what to do to take care of wounds and such just reading about wounds and such can cause me to not feel well, i am wondernig if this is stuff one gets used to this stuff or if i would probably be useless in such situations?

    thanks - jason
    Hey Jason,

    Yes, I would say the more you're exposed to the different kinds of wounds, the more used to it you will be. Looking back to when I was in NS, I remember feeling the same way. I think you'll be just fine.
  4. by   JohnBearPA
    I think that with exposure, you'll become more comfortable. Some wounds still make me gag, but I've learned how to not show that in front of the pt, and to just hold my nose and focus on the task at hand. You'll do fine Jason, just realize your limitations regarding feeling ill right now, and work on focusing on the clinical aspect of treating the wound. Best of luck!
  5. by   moongirl
    learn to breathe thru your mouth not your nose and dont keep thinking how awful it is, dont put alot of thought into that part. Just focus on claening and dressing, it will get easier.

    now, on the other hand.. vomit.... i am still learning to deal with that
  6. by   allantiques4me
    Some nurses might get over some aspects and procedures in nursing.I personally love doing wound care.i did it for many years or even trache care,that doesnt bother me,however,it used to gross me out.maybe you could get used to it.Or if not,you could get a job at a facility that does not require wound care.
  7. by   SuesquatchRN
    Well, wounds never bothered me. Puke did.

    I got used to it.

  8. by   RN007
    I can do a number of things using my peripheral vision, thus lessening the impact of certain stimuli. If there's a will, you'll do fine. Good luck!
  9. by   BJLynn
    This may sound a bit cruel, but it really isn't. When I'm dealing with a particularly nasty wound (ie tunnelling decube, weeping open leg ulcers filled with MRSA pus), I actually separate the wound from the person. I have the person I am treating, and then the wound. I try not to think of the wound as part of the patient while I am working on it. That way (at least for me), I am able to get on with the buisness of doing the treatment (packing a wound, debriding, etc...) and actually get really curious and interested in the wound. Then after I am done with the tx, I usually talk to the patient about the wound and whatnot.

    If the above statement makes sense, good. If not, I appologize, I'm slightly sleep deprived.

    Puke, only certain smells of puke get me now. The smell that really gets me, and makes me want to gag every time, is GI bleed fecal material. It is almost like the death smell I noticed in LTC when I worked there.
  10. by   Freedom42
    I know police detectives who dab Vick's Vap-O-Rub just inside their nostrils or along their upper lips when heading to homicide scenes. Do nurses do that or have their own tricks of the trade?
  11. by   clemmm78
    wounds are ok. Sputum, OTOH, sends me out of the room gagging.
  12. by   Euphrosyne7
    Hi Jason:

    I, too, used to have an aversion to large wounds, blood, etc. As a matter of fact, I can remember clearly when my teacher was speaking about TPN and a diagram she put up showing the subclavian vein, and I thought I was going to pass out right there in class. This phobia almost stopped me from applying for the nursing program, since it was so bad at one point, that I could not picture myself ever being able to hang blood, or change a wound dressing.

    However, what I did is desensitize myself by watching any and all medical procedures on the health channel, purposelly finding pictures of same online and just exposing myself as much as possible. I also got a student nurse job at a hospital where I was sure to see and deal with, in person, such things. I always made sure to eat (before going to OR or doing anything that I knew would make me feel like fainting), and now, I am packing deep abdomen wounds, hanging and cleaning up blood without a second thought. As a matter of fact, I am now so desensitized, I have accepted a new grad position in a level II ED.....something that I would have never thought I would be able to do.

    Hang in there, and try to expose yourself as much as possible to what it is that makes you feel sick, dizzy or whatever because eventually, you should become so desensitized to it, you won't be bothered or at least not to the point that you are unable to deal with it.

    Good luck!! I think you will do fine.
  13. by   Reno1978
    Hey Jason,
    My first wound care experience...I had to change a dressing on a patient who had an old ileostomy relocated to a new site on the abdomen. The old site was packed, and after removing the packing to do a dressing change, an awful smelling rust colored milky liquid started to flow from the wound for what seemed like FOREVER. The first thought that came into my head when that smell hit me was "Put on a happy face!!" Breathing through my mouth helped. I wanted to run out of the room, though.

    Once the drainage stopped and I was ready to re-pack the old ostomy site, I was pretty freaked out....I mean the wound was around 3-4 cm in diameter and at least 4cm deep. I was afraid of packing it too tightly...of hurting the patient...I was just a mess. Finally, I asked the patient if it hurt...he said it didn't and to go for it. I packed the old ostomy site, changed the dressing on his ML abd inc and that was that.

    I dreaded doing this a 2nd time...order was TID and I had to do it again that day. The 2nd time went much easier for me. The sight and smell of it wasn't that big of a deal. The following day, I had to teach the patient's mother how to do it since he was being discharged and she would be helping with his wound care at was even easier during that process.

    So, in my experience, the first time you see something sorta gross, it's pretty freaky, but you get used to it in a short period of time. As a new nursing student, I've encountered things that I would have otherwise never have wanted to see, smell, touch or hear!
    Last edit by Reno1978 on Jan 7, '07
  14. by   DizzyLizard
    To answer Freedom42s question, yes vicks vapo rub can be used to mask odors. Some people have other things they use like peppermint oil. When I worked as an EMT I always had it in my pocket and used it at least once a night for the first year or so. I've worked in healthcare so long odors don't really bother me anymore....except GI bleeds. That, I'll never get over! Find a system that works and you'll be fine!:spin: