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Getting paranoid about nitty gritty (HELP!!)

Pre-Nursing   (140 Views 4 Comments)
by Hopefulnurse1823 Hopefulnurse1823 (New Member) New Member

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So let me preface by saying that I am a career changer and am already sort of nervous about this shift.  

I tend to ruminate on things and am in the middle of getting everything ready for my transition into nursing. I will be doing a CNA program soon, and then get into an RN program. 

I recently started freaking out about the infectious nature of nursing overall. 

I'm not so much concerned with the "dirty" part of the job as much as I am concerned that I might catch something fatal, or end up contracting something dangerous. 

I've been doing research into needlestick injuries and the concern for HIV or hepatitis. I've also read stories about nurses being in positions where they ended up hurting themselves because of the environment of the hospital itself. 

So my basic question is, how much of these situations are able to be controlled through proper techniques and safety protocols? Or, do these things just happen to a bunch of nurses regardless of experience and safety? 

Also, how much of these environmental issues have to do with specific hospitals? For example, are some hospitals better at controlling the hazardous nature of the profession by investing more into the hospital versus some other hospital that is trying to cut corners? Or, is this something that is just the nature of the beast? 

I'm starting to freak out that every nurse is just at a much higher risk for everything, and the profession is a ticking time bomb that's going to kill everyone that enters it. For example, are there thousands of users on these forums that have contracted HIV through needlestick or are currently dying of MRSA?  I feel like I'm just psyching myself out way too much.

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

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Take a deep breath.

Needlestick injuries almost never result in infection, especially HIV. Risk of HIV transmission is 0.3% when you know the patient is infected. You would be offered prophylactic meds just in case which would take your risk down to practically nothing. Hep B has a bigger risk of transmitting, but you will likely be immune to that from your vaccination. Even if you weren't, you would get immunoglobulin and be fine. So needlestick injuries are really nothing to worry about. 

Hurting your back from lifting patients is a real hazard in some nursing jobs. Many facilities address this by having adequate lifting devices. It's a real concern, but not a dire situation.

Attacks from patients who are psychotic, demented, confused or just bucking crapholes are rare but do happen sometimes depending on your specialty. This is another thing that is mitigated by a good facility with adequate staffing and good policies to protect staff.

Nursing is very stressful on the psyche, and this is a widespread problem across many specialties. That's where your significant occupational health hazard is. Prepare yourself by developing good coping skills now. See a therapist when you need one. Practice self care. Learn to manage anxiety. This is our biggest struggle in nursing. 

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Thank you for the quick response. I know I am overthinking things a bit, but I can't help but see so much negativity online about nursing in general. It seems like everyone online hates it. 

I just don't like the idea that I'm going to start the path into a profession when there is so much negativity online from the people in the field itself. 

Maybe I should just get off the internet and enjoy the process more so than anything. 

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22 hours ago, Hopefulnurse1823 said:

Thank you for the quick response. I know I am overthinking things a bit, but I can't help but see so much negativity online about nursing in general. It seems like everyone online hates it. 

I just don't like the idea that I'm going to start the path into a profession when there is so much negativity online from the people in the field itself. 

Maybe I should just get off the internet and enjoy the process more so than anything. 

I just try to keep in mind that people are more likely to share their bad experiences than not. There are tons of nurses out there who love their jobs and just aren't telling about it online! I say listen to your own advice - try to focus on your own journey & enjoy the process!

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