What grossed you out the most in nursing school?

  1. I'm starting nursing school in June and I'm curious what grossed you out or surprised you the most the first time you did it. For example, I imagine that it will be hard for me to put in a catheter for the first time due to a horrible childhood experience with it.

    I also did some job shadowing with a nurse practitioner in a teen health clinic earlier this year and was surprised at how embarrassed I felt over seeing people's genitals. It's not like I haven't seen it all before, just not a stranger's or up so close and personal wit touching. I almost felt like a peeping tom (I think it would have been better if the NP had asked the patients permission for me to observe of if I actually had something to do).
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    About WhatToDo

    Joined: Nov '04; Posts: 83
    Senior Project Coordinator, Baylor College of Medicine

    43 Comments

  3. by   megamoo1979
    I don't want to sound like a mean, insensitive person, but the think that has grossed me out the most was trying to put a catheter in a morbidly obese woman. She had so many folds in her skin all over her body and they must've been hard to keep clean, because they smelled really awful. It was horrible.

    Megan
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    People who have the means to bathe, yet choose not to. And still would choose not to even with pt. teaching.

    Green and yellow loogies (i got over that the first week in the OR).
  5. by   NicInNC
    When I was in high school, I went to an off campus "career center" for Health Occupations classes and we had to do clinicals in nursing homes. the hospital and the health dept. I'll never forget at the health dept, one of the doctors made me come in with him while he did a pap smear on a lady. The lady screamed the entire time like we were killing her. He used the smallest speculum they had and she still screamed. I don't know if anything was wrong with her or not. The doctor said he couldn't believe how she was screaming like that....especially after having 4 kids!

    But, I was kind of grossed out (and FREAKED OUT).

    I think poop bothers me more though.
  6. by   dream8
    Before starting nursing school, I felt the same way as you. I thought I was going to be so grossed out. But actually it was complete opposite. I felt like it was my job in clinical. Some smells and cleaning poop are really not fun but I was never totally grossed out. If I was not in school, and I was just observing it from the outside there are probably some things that would gross me out. But, while is school it came kind of natural for me. I loved it, the good, the bad, and nasty.

    GOOD LUCK.
  7. by   CarVsTree
    I'll take (and frequently wear) all the sputum my trachs can produce. It's mouth care on trachs and mouth breathers that gets to me.

    Gag me, literally. Eeeewwww!
  8. by   beochicken
    Excavating half a pound of poo-poo from a demented womans vagina is by far the grocest thing I have ever done. In addition to stuffing in in there, she also had done a little "nursing home redecorating" with it. Lost my apetite for several days after that one.
  9. by   twinmommy+2
    I have three small kids so I've seen everything from the runny poopies, vomiting (projectile also), boogies, and all else that goes with kids. My first clinical rotation was in a nursing home and since I did a small stint in one 12 years back I knew what was comming. I was asked by my partner to help him with getting his patient into the shower one day. No one had told us that it would be a really good thing to put a bag under the shower chair before we put him on it. Needless to say we were ducking for cover when poop started splashing everywhere in this mans room. Fairly nasty stuff!
  10. by   klone
    Eating lunch.

    I just couldn't enjoy eating food, especially WITHIN the hospital ward, unless I could take a shower first (and they wouldn't let me do that, oddly).
  11. by   hippienurse
    By far, Sputum.
  12. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Pseudomonas in the feeding tube. It oozes out around the tube and has a very distinctive smell. They had a colostomy bag around it b/c it was draining so much and I had to empty the bag. The poor patient was grossed out and upset too . It was really sad. I tried to disguise my initial heave and pray he did not see my face. Fortunately he was turned away so I think he didn't. His feeling bad got me over my heaves in a hurry. I didn't want to add to the poor guy's misery.
  13. by   Pill Hoarding Hussy
    in my med-surg rotation (first clinical) my instructor (a CSRU RN) got us all in to see CABG. very cool. but seeing someone's chest cracked was just tooo much for me. i was sick the entire time. and the surgeon had a step stool by the guy's head and kept encouraging me to come look down into his chest so i could see the AVR! i almost lost it and had to leave the OR.
  14. by   WhatToDo
    Thank goodness I'm not the only one who is/was nervous about this. Thank you for your replies and hopefully there will be more to come. I nannied in college for a child with cerebral palsy and was never grossed out, and I was a vet tech way back in the day. I've never been grossed out by blood and guts, but bad smells are really nasty.

    I think most of all I'm nervous about doing something to someone that I know really hurts.

    Did anyone actually throw up? Is this initial feeling something that goes away with more experience? Did you have to work with cadavers in nursing school?

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