Hey guys, I'm going through a tough time dealing with my emetophobia on the floor. Its been brought up before but I am hoping to learn from anyone willing to tell their tales of triumph/ hope. I have never put a patient in danger but as you know it can be so hard, especially when other nurses don't understand it goes beyond being my 'thing'. Sometimes it can feel so hopeless no matter how hard you work.
Anyone have inspirational stories to share?
Everyone has their "thing" that gets them. When I worked in the ED, one nurse couldn't do epistaxis cases while I loved them but hated teeth things. So - we would just trade off these pts.
Maybe you could volunteer to take care of incontinent pts while someone cleans up vomit?
Mouths and feet were my nursing Kryptonite. I could handle puke, poop, blood, guts and the occasional infected wound without gagging, but give me a pair of grody dentures or make me pull the socks off a homeless man and EWWWW. I understand about handling emesis; in fact, I couldn't even clean up my own kids' vomit before I became a nurse. I'm not kidding. If one of the kids barfed, I'd put newspaper or paper towels over it until my husband got home. I felt terrible about that, but I was helpless...if I'd had to clean it up, *I* would've yakked.
The only thing that got me over it was being repeatedly exposed to the offending material, and of course you get plenty of that in nursing. Now, if your fear of vomit is so severe that it's paralyzing you, I'd recommend counseling; sometimes it's necessary to get "unstuck". It's highly unlikely that you will be able to avoid puke entirely during your career, so it's best if you work on getting past your disgust. But if you just can't manage it at a given time, you can try Trauma's suggestion of offering to trade "dirty" tasks with another nurse whenever possible. However, there will always be a time when you're on your own and you HAVE to tend to it for the patient's comfort and dignity. Maybe it would be helpful for you to focus on the patient and what he or she is going through instead of your own discomfort; I know this helped me get past my own revulsion.
Wishing you the best. I know it's difficult. But you can do it.