Nurse Needs Job but Faints at Sight of Blood

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I need help with finding a Nursing job. I graduated four years ago and only held an RN position for 4-5 months at a family office. I have a problem that I pass out at the sight of blood so it's been hard to find work.

    I currently work as a medical assistant at a medical office, but the pay is not as good and I'm not using all of my nursing skills. The doctor is thrilled to have an RN on staff while only paying half of the salary an RN would get, but I feel like I could do better.

    Is there any place you would recommend for someone who passes out at the sight of blood to get a job? I'm looking into home health, and I've also applied to allergy offices. Maybe psychiatric nursing? My resume is also a mess, I look like a job hopper. I took on many small jobs just to get paid something so I can continue paying my bills, including jobs like child summer camp jobs or temporary jobs people who live with their parents and go to school would work, not related to nursing at all. I worry I won't be able to get a job as an RN because of my resume, and also because I pass out at the sight of blood. Any advice?

    Dear Faints at the Sight of Blood,

    My question is, how did you get through nursing school when you pass out at the sight of blood, and did you know this about yourself when you chose nursing?

    That's a serious limitation when looking for a nursing job, and you have an additional challenge in that you graduated 4 years ago and essentially have no nursing experience.

    You will be asked to explain 4 years of not pursuing a job as an RN. You must be able to convince an employer your are now committed to nursing as a career.

    Psychiatric nursing may be good in that there's no active bleeding (but there may be blood sampling). It is not recommended to go into home health without 1-2 years of acute care experience. You might be able to find something in spa or cosmetics, and advance from an entry level position with experience and more training.

    You must really pull out all the stops now to land a job as an RN, but if you are strategic and determined, it can be done. I know you have determination because you got through nursing school .Your resume must be error free, and targeted to each individual employer. If you land an interview, your interviewing skills have to be stellar. These are all skills that can be learned.

    Your immediate goal is to land a job to get your foot in the door and start your career- not to land your ideal job.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth


    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Mar 9
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,486; Likes: 4,372


  3. by   not.done.yet
    Fainting at the sight of blood CAN be overcome with some therapy to help. In addition to the above I would suggest seeking therapy for this response to bleeding. It could make a huge difference for your future.
  4. by   Elaine M
    How about telephone triage? Or risk management? Records reviews? Hospice, as many RNs do paperwork jobs? I would try Psych at a larger hospital where maybe the RNs don't do blood draws.
  5. by   DowntheRiver
    Quote from Elaine M
    How about telephone triage? Or risk management? Records reviews? Hospice, as many RNs do paperwork jobs? I would try Psych at a larger hospital where maybe the RNs don't do blood draws.
    Most places you need 2-3 years strong RN experience to do telephone triage, risk management, or records review. Lots of Psych facilities/hospitals still have their RNs draw blood, particularly for medication levels. Most of the nursing jobs that are away from blood require at least 2 years RN experience.
  6. by   DowntheRiver
    Sorry I sound like such a Debbie Downer but I am just trying to be realistic. I am quite baffled how you got though nursing school, to be honest.
    I will say that everyone has their thing that they can't do. Personally I can't tolerate Cath Lab with the lead aprons as I get overheated easily. When I was in nursing school I had to politely excuse myself as I nearly passed out with all the garb on. I also cannot do maggots in the skin as it just really gives me the willies but the one time I had to I was able to get through it. However, I did not eat lunch that day.
    If therapy is available I'd suggest it - I didn't even know that was an option!
  7. by   caliotter3
    With extended care home health you would be working with stable patients receiving routine care on a daily basis. Not likely to encounter large amounts of blood. Speak to the DPCS or clinical supervisor and they would likely work with you to place you with a client where bleeding is highly unlikely. Meanwhile you could work on your problem and when you feel it is behind you, then you could transition into another type of nursing job if you want.
  8. by   GeminiNurse29
    I worked psych and we had a lab so we didn't do draws. But the patients were volatile and could attack each other (or staff) so there was that aspect...Good luck finding triage or utilization review without experience.

    If you can handle doing MA stuff, why don't you apply to primary care clinics? Little or minimum bleeding, patients are mostly stable, and you still get a variety.
  9. by   angeloublue22
    No active blood in psych!?! That's a joke, right? I've dealt with plenty of blood in psych with self-inflicted wounds, suicide attempts, fights, and falls. Not to mention nasty wounds. I had an abscess explode on me while taking a blood pressure. Believe me you do not get away from blood, even in psych. I would say a phone nurse job like in insurance or advice nursing would probably be up your alley but I think they usually wants acute care experience.
  10. by   MandieDandy
    I work in home health, we do skilled nursing.
    I have one patient for my shift. In my three years of working, I have not been in a situation where I have even seen blood. Might be a good option for you. Feel free to PM me with questions. Good luck!
    Also, in home health they have case manager positions. No contact with patients.
    Last edit by MandieDandy on Mar 18 : Reason: Additional information
  11. by   feelix
    Firstly, ask the doctor to redesignate you as an RN, even if he pays you the same salary. In that way, you accumulate RN experience. MA experience will actually go against you. Secondly, get into CBT, get hypnotized and get healed. It is all in your mind. After all, blood does not ask for credentials before it spills.
  12. by   CoCook
    Totally agree with you on your comment. Worked in mental health for 10 years. Blood comes into play frequently.