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Germophobic considering Nursing. please help!

Nurses   (4,783 Views 26 Comments)
by kgard7777 kgard7777 (Member)

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If you want to help people and are a germophobe then you should consider working in an administrative position with a humanitarian aid organization.

You could coordinate everything from fund raising to the actual logistics of providing aid in any place around the globe all from the comfort of a sterilized office space. :)

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Elizabeth K. specializes in ER.

1,997 Visitors; 43 Posts

I am planning to take some prerequisite courses this fall to prepare myself to enter a nursing program. However, I know I have to put a lot more thought into this as I really do not like the idea of coming into contact with bodily fluids or accidentally stabbing myself with a needle. I say that yet, I often use public toilets without using a liner and I also grab the doorknobs even though I know it's not uncommon for people not to wash their hands. :nono:

When it comes to nursing, I think it's not so much the grossness factor but the idea that I am putting myself at risk. I'm obviously not as paranoid as some people are, so I often wonder if I am just psyching myself out more by thinking about it the way I do??? Does anyone have any advice or thoughts on that (sorry for the hijack, op).

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

2 Followers; 48,484 Visitors; 6,585 Posts

Would you be able to hold the bucket as someone puked even if you felt a little splash on you?

You WILL get body fluids on you no matter how careful you are, and you need to hang in there for the patient. You also won't have time for a shower til you get home. A quick change of scrubs is OK.

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NeoNurseTX specializes in NICU Level III.

11,407 Visitors; 1,803 Posts

I am planning to take some prerequisite courses this fall to prepare myself to enter a nursing program. However, I know I have to put a lot more thought into this as I really do not like the idea of coming into contact with bodily fluids or accidentally stabbing myself with a needle. I say that yet, I often use public toilets without using a liner and I also grab the doorknobs even though I know it's not uncommon for people not to wash their hands. :nono:

When it comes to nursing, I think it's not so much the grossness factor but the idea that I am putting myself at risk. I'm obviously not as paranoid as some people are, so I often wonder if I am just psyching myself out more by thinking about it the way I do??? Does anyone have any advice or thoughts on that (sorry for the hijack, op).

hah, I'm the opposite. i take forever in public restrooms because i don't touch ANYTHING without it covered..but at work i'm just not too afraid of getting cooties on me..i'm more afraid i'll give my patients something.

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8jimi8ICURN specializes in Flight RN, Trauma1 CVICU STICU MICU CCU.

7,579 Visitors; 231 Posts

Have you ever looked into EFT, or possibly some desensitization therapy? Not that you want to go and get all comfortable with germs. But if you want to be a nurse, there are not many opportunities to do it without coming into close proximity with sick people!

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2,327 Visitors; 41 Posts

To the OP:

First of all, if you're troll bait...shame on you.

Go find someplace else to play. We're adults here.

If you're not a troll...what are you thinking?

Folks came up with some good ideas, to be sure, but what's the point? So you can struggle and agonize and fret over this issue? I don't understand. Go look in the mirror...look really hard and make a HONEST assessment of both your attributes as well as your liabilities.

Here's an example.

I have a buddy, he's smart. Let me take that back...he's really, Really, REALLY smart. He has a strong technology background, and one day he tells me he's taking classes majoring in Business Continuity. But there's a little problem with this fellow.

It's not a personality flaw on his part, but it is a BIG DEAL.

Whenever this guy is in a crisis situation, he caves, and basically becomes useless.

I've seen it with my own eyes, and dealt with the immediate and secondary aftermath in his wake. It wasn't pretty.

WHAT is the OP thinking about here? What is the point? Folks here gave the OP good advice, but that doesn't mean that the advice will work for the OP.

What then?

Here's the cool thing about Nurses:

1. They have strong technology / empathy / intellectual / problem-solving skills.

But unlike many people, Nurses skills are balanced by what I call "brain-stem" skills & ability.

2. They are ready, able and willing to do what needs to be done under any circumstances regardless of discomfort, danger, personal distaste, or even physical limitations. They work under some of the MOST stressing / trying / crazy / pole-vault-over-the-top situations that a dumb-azzed Prime Time show will never show.

I believe that it is important that people push the envelope...especially young people. That's how you grow.

But if the OP is truly germophobic...I have to question their thought processes.

As the old saying goes:

"There are roads to nowhere."

"Then there are roads to NOWHERE."

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1,947 Visitors; 45 Posts

When I say germophobe I am not speaking of an illness that needs treatment. I like the way I am extra careful in public restrooms, or I how I avoid walking in the path of someone who just sneezed or coughed etc. I guess I am really "germ aware". Antibacterial wipes and gels are my friend :) I am not sure how that would all change if I became a Nurse.

Maybe I should become a LPN first so that I don't invest too much time before knowing my fate.

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Cherybaby has 10 years experience and specializes in Derm/Wound Care/OP Surgery/LTC.

8,887 Visitors; 385 Posts

It sounds like you have OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder, which of course is not anything to be ashamed about. If you are not taking any medicines for the OCD, you might want to consult your PCP or preferrably a pyschiatrist for options for treatment. Everybody with OCD responds differently to medicines: some people get great relief of their symptoms, some moderate relief, others not much. However, there are quite a few medicines that can be tried. If you don't respond to one med, you may still respond to another.

To me, it sounds like you are diagnosing which, as you know, is out of the scope of our practice. I am a germaphobe...take special precautions to keep antibacterial lotions and the like in my pockets. I don't touch bathroom doors without a paper towel and I do sometimes wear a mask when I am around others who are coughing and sneezing. That doesn't mean I have OCD...just means I like to stay healthy.

Not everyone who dislikes germs has OCD or a disorder. And some of us make damn fine nurses. :)

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1,947 Visitors; 45 Posts

Thanks Cherybaby! Well said :)

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3,763 Visitors; 70 Posts

With all the hospital acquired infections running around, a little germophobia could go a long way. As long as your fear of germs isn't straight up debilitating maybe you'd run an extra tight ship! Didn't Florence Nightingale pretty much invent germophobia during the Crimean War or something? Didn't she and her students save thousands of lives from disgusting septic deaths as a result? (I kid, sort of).

I wouldn't want to be caught skipping a handwashing under your watch.

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blondy2061h has 15 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Oncology.

1 Article; 37,227 Visitors; 4,094 Posts

Your paranoia would probably be appreciated in BMT.

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Moogie specializes in Gerontology, nursing education.

1 Article; 22,238 Visitors; 1,796 Posts

To me, it sounds like you are diagnosing which, as you know, is out of the scope of our practice. I am a germaphobe...take special precautions to keep antibacterial lotions and the like in my pockets. I don't touch bathroom doors without a paper towel and I do sometimes wear a mask when I am around others who are coughing and sneezing. That doesn't mean I have OCD...just means I like to stay healthy.

Not everyone who dislikes germs has OCD or a disorder. And some of us make damn fine nurses. :)

:yeahthat:

To the OP---if you know this isn't a phobia and you're really motivated, I see no reason you couldn't become a nurse. In fact, maybe you should consider someday specializing in infection control. Because you're already very aware of "bugs", this could be your niche.

Go for it! And keep us posted on your progress! :up:

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