Hangups in Nursing

  1. Hello all, sorry about all the posts today from me, but I do have a question for this forum. I am pretty confident about my ability to get through school etc. (Hoping I get in, I don't want to jinx that, the count the chicken before the egg thing). I guess my hangup is I am just wondering if it is natural to feel a little nervous about handling blood, bodily fluids & functions. I in no way think that they are vile etc. but it has to be hard to handle them in the beginning, especially for someone who is in pain, from an accident or serious illness. I keep hearing people say that in nursing school they got over the intial queasiness etc. I really really want to be a nurse. I always wanted to but I ended up pursuing business (I am miserable and not feeding my soul handling numbers) and I now want to revisit my first career choice. I think I need to return to something that is a serving and caring career. I grew up with parents that are police officers etc. and maybe it is in my blood. I am just nervous that I may not build a tolerance for that very graphic part of nursing. I want to be good at it, so that I can help others to my fullest etc. Is this apprehension normal? I have felt woozy when I saw my mom bleed once after her IV was taken out, I am hoping something like this will not happen in school as I go on. Thanks for any input!

  2. Visit kimmathis14 profile page

    About kimmathis14

    Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 17


  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Your apprehention is very normal. You sound like you know what you want and have a good head on your shoulders. You'll be fine.
  4. by   sanakruz
    Ditto. Universal precautions in a nutshell: Act as if everything (you touch has cooties)is potentially infectious. Wear gloves to protect you and your pts.
  5. by   susanmary
    Many of the things you THINK that will bother you -- you won't even give a thought to after awhile. Much different watching a loved one get an IV than inserting an IV into a patient. Believe in yourself & take it one day at a time.
  6. by   LilRedRN1973
    Words of wisdom from my instructor: If it's wet and it's not yours, wear gloves!

    I have the same reservations...I love taking care of people but do have a problem with vomit. I figure if I expose myself to enough bodily fluids, etc. that eventually it won't bother me. I'm only in Week 3 of my clinicals and we are working in long term care so really the only thing I get to see is week old food stuck in dentures, sputum, and incontinence. I have not experienced the vomiting in a patient yet, so it will be interesting to see how I do. I think every nurse has a "thing" that bothers them..one girl in our program has real issues with feet. I mean, BIG issues.

    You will be fine and will probably end up making a great nurse!
  7. by   FutureArmyNurse
    Same thing here...I cannot tolerate vomit. I am not in Nursing school yet (taking pre-reqs) but after my sister had her brain surgery and would vomit practically every day, I would vomit too immediately afterwards even if I wasn't in the same room...all it took was the sound of her vomiting, or the smell afterwards. I am afraid it will affect my new career, because no matter how many times I see people vomit (I watch "Trauma Center" alot) or even when my dog throws up I have to run to the bathroom afterwards. It's the only thing (so far) that really bothers me, so kimmathis14, you are not alone with your fears! Let us know how you're doing later down the road
  8. by   RN_Amy
    I can handle any bodily fluid and/or function except for sputum.... makes me dry retch just thinking about it! *yuck*!

    I would much prefer to work on a gastro ward than a respiratory ward... ! And I love taking blood..... its so much easier to jab someone else with a needle than have it done to yourself.... :chuckle
  9. by   Gompers
    This thread is so funny, because vomit is also the one thing I can't handle! I get sick whenever I see, hear, or smell someone else doing it, and everyone is always astonished. "Aren't you a NURSE?!?!" But, hello, it's still disgusting!

    That's why I work NICU - a lot of gross stuff comes out of sick babies, but I can handle it all. I've had babies throw up down my shirt even, and while it's a gross feeling at least it doesn't smell that bad. Now, if an adult puked down my shirt...I'd have to get a dose of Compazine and then seek some sort of counseling.
  10. by   Havin' A Party!
    Hey, Gompers! Think you're pretty funny. You cracked me up!
  11. by   EvilJen
    vomit doesnt bother me, broken bones do. i dont know why i cant explain it they just make me cringe. but im all right with feaces etc. strange.
  12. by   Nemhain
    Don't feel bad Kim!

    Everyone in my clinic group makes fun of me 'cause of my reaction to the smell of feces, vomit and urine. Let me tell you...I have ABSOLUTELY NO problem with the thought of cleaning it up. I am providing a service that my clients can't provide themselves...but the smell...dear lord...the smell. Everyone in my group is either a mom or has worked as a CNA so they've all been puked, pooped, or peed on and are used to the smell. Everytime I start to clean the client I tell myself, "Okay, it's all in your head, you're gonna be fine" and just then it starts...no no no...not just gagging, but a full on body convulsion that sends my classmates into hysterics (not infront of the client, of course)!!!
    "Oh you'll get used to it soon enough", they say. They even have some nicknames for me like, "seizure girl" and "epi lady" (epi - short for epileptic like seizure I seem to go into when the odor hits my nose)...they think they're so funny! They even want my instructor to put me first on the list to do a fecal impaction. - yeah, they're a bunch of clowns. ha ha.

    Well, hopefully I'll get over it someday 'cause I really want to. And so my clinic group will stop using me as their "punch line"

  13. by   pabrid
    During nursing school, my weaknesses were the smell of vomit and feces. I would get soooo nauseated and I would begin retching. Now, 6 years later, the smells are still miserable, but the retching is gone. So, as time goes on you do adapt to the most disgusting smells.
  14. by   nurse unhappy
    Yes your normal. Nobody like their own body fluids, much less body fluids from another person or animal or what ever. You'll get use to most of it.

    I agree with Gompers. It's the sputum that gets to me. Like her, just thinking about it makes me sick.