Things that make you go... ehhh errmm ack!

  1. I have a strong desire to become a nurse regardless of what I have to do but I can't help but cringe with I think of some things. You know the things that would have normal people turning pale. Which I may even be included in that catagory but I've never been exposed to such things and have only read about them. I plan to do what it takes to be a nurse any suggestions to desensitizing myself to things before I get to that point? Does anyone else cringe when thinking about taking care of a colostomy, cleaning feces, changing bed pans... etc... I know there are probably much worse things that I can currently imagine but you get the idea about what Im talking about. I thought about just attempting to find the most disgusting photos, and videos on the web and viewing them till they no longer make me cringe. Watching lots of discovery health channel seems to have at least made it easier to watch someone go under the knife. Ideas, comments, or suggestions?
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    About xt1

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 106; Likes: 6

    44 Comments

  3. by   Pixiesmom
    What a great post!

    I have two kids so I've done a lot of BM clean up's, in fact one of mine decided to paint herself and her bed one morning. I'm not actually in nursing school yet but I didn't have any problems cleaning up and caring for others as a CNA. I truly hope that I don't get oogied out during surgeries and the like.

    Oh and I absolutely want to barf when I even just hear the word loogie.
  4. by   bon jovi
    I thought about that too. I took my mother to ER to get some stitches on her head. I said ok...i can do this I can watch... I almost fainted during numbing process (when Dr. injected anesthesia in my mother's scull). I washed my face, set down and after that I was able to watch rest of the process. And for the "ack" stuff...we will see.....But I really wanted to know what is the % of people that faint for any reason during the carrier? I belive that after while nurses and doctors get immune on stuff like that. Am I correct?
  5. by   cfrimer
    This is my exact fear too. I'm starting my nursing program in September. My biggest worry is vomit. I can't even watch fake vomiting on TV. Even the SOUND of someone vomiting in another room makes me have to hold back my own.

    I did read in one thread on here about a nurse helping a patient vomit, and basically the two of them took turns vomiting into the wastbasket. She said the patient wasn't offended and they ended up laughing about it. That made me feel lots better.

    Here's the quote from the post by stidget99:

    First let me state...I can handle any body secretions except anything that comes from the mouth. Now on to my story.....

    When I was in nursing school, I worked at a CBRF. One of our residents was suffering from vomiting. He would vomit in the wastebasket. Usually no prob. Combination of holding your breath and breathing through my mouth got me through it and most of the time I was able to glove up ahead of time. However, when some of his vomit landed on my ungloved hand, I started gagging. I couldn't help it. I had to stay w/ him because he was standing and I was afraid he would fall (he was 90 yrs old). Well, we ended up taking turns vomiting into the wastebasket. Between his heaves, he just laughed at me. It was awfully embarrassing at the time but his laughter got us both through it.
  6. by   xt1
    Yeah, after awhile you'll get desensitized to it I was just hoping to get it over with sooner rather than later so as to not jeopardize the quality of care I provide or education I receive. I dont think I'd pass out but Last thing I need is to get sick along with the patient... which reminds me of a really funny movie I saw recently... White Coats. If you haven't seen it yet I recommend it. A nursing student was showing me a picture of a guy who had a motorcycle accident at 190 mph and that was much more ack! than anything I've seen on the discovery health channel. It didn't phase him in the least but for all I know he could have looked at it several hundred times... He's like "look its the liver." Looked like something from rotten.com which it very well could have been.
  7. by   xt1
    "My biggest worry is vomit."

    Vomit seems rather tame to a cleaning someone's feces to me especially if its coming from their abdomen. I think that's my major sticking point. Cutting someone open taking a look at their insides, putting them back together.. no problem. oh and anothing thing that kind of made me cringe a bit was when I was reading the book Code Blue there as a ICU patient that had attempted suicide and like took half his face off... I bet it is mentally challenging to nurse a suicidal person who doesn't want to live... that and nusing little kids who are in a vegative state. or the aphasic patient who can't talk... matter of fact after reading Code Blue I realize there are lots of situations that would be considered mentally challenging to a nurse. If you haven't read Code Blue I recommend it... Its the real life story of a nursing going from clinicals to graduation. VERY VERY good book.
  8. by   shanLPN
    Quote from xt1
    I plan to do what it takes to be a nurse any suggestions to desensitizing myself to things before I get to that point? Does anyone else cringe when thinking about taking care of a colostomy, cleaning feces, changing bed pans... etc...
    I don't have any suggestions as far as desensitizing yourself; however, i can tell you that you will get used to the icky sights and sounds pretty quickly at your clinical rotations for NS.
    I used to have a weak stomach, too, until I was placed in situations in clinicals in which I had no choice but to assist with "clean-up" duty. I learned really fast to suck it up and do what needed to be done. You will definitely see things that people in other job fields will never see, but it's all in a day's work for a nurse (In some situations, it is VERY helpful to breathe through your mouth only!!!!)
    Anyway, I want to wish you the best of luck in your nursing career. You will do just fine!
  9. by   RNsRWe
    Well, for what it's worth, EVERYONE has something that registers a mark on their own personal "Ick Stick"

    For some, it's feces. Others, vomit, phlegm, "purulent drainage" (lol, won't use short term). Once you've smelled a GI bleed there's just NO losing that from your olfactory memory!

    For me, it's ET suctioning. Seriously, I can clean or suction anyone's trach, I'm fine with that particular grossness. But have me stick a tube DOWN someone's throat from the MOUTH, and *I* am gagging.

    First patient like that was a 96 year old contractured woman who had to have her secretions suctioned regularly. I'll NEVER EVER forget the look and feel of that thick, slimy, paperlike SHEET of sludge that peeled off the back of her throat and stuck fast to the end of the suction. My eyes were watering and (while I tried to hide it) I was quite literally gagging. Thankfully, she was in no position to notice or recognize anything I was doing or feeling.

    Worse than the thick papery goop, though, was thick mucousy goop. Supposedly the more exposure, the less sensitivity. That's about the only way. Yay.

    I had better stop now!
  10. by   Pixiesmom
    Quote from RNsRWe
    Well, for what it's worth, EVERYONE has something that registers a mark on their own personal "Ick Stick"

    For some, it's feces. Others, vomit, phlegm, "purulent drainage" (lol, won't use short term). Once you've smelled a GI bleed there's just NO losing that from your olfactory memory!

    For me, it's ET suctioning. Seriously, I can clean or suction anyone's trach, I'm fine with that particular grossness. But have me stick a tube DOWN someone's throat from the MOUTH, and *I* am gagging.

    First patient like that was a 96 year old contractured woman who had to have her secretions suctioned regularly. I'll NEVER EVER forget the look and feel of that thick, slimy, paperlike SHEET of sludge that peeled off the back of her throat and stuck fast to the end of the suction. My eyes were watering and (while I tried to hide it) I was quite literally gagging. Thankfully, she was in no position to notice or recognize anything I was doing or feeling.

    Worse than the thick papery goop, though, was thick mucousy goop. Supposedly the more exposure, the less sensitivity. That's about the only way. Yay.

    I had better stop now!
    I would much rather hear about purulent drainage (aww come on use the shorter version) than your suctioning secretions story.
  11. by   BeccaznRN
    I think after you've been in school awhile you automatically become desensitized. It's just "another day at the office," so to speak. Not to say I haven't had instances where I've gagged, but I learned to always carry altoids in my scrub top pocket for cases such as this. No big deal. However, I'm totally BANNED from talking to my significant other about anything that goes on at school/work that has to do with bodily functions, pus, vomit, etc.
  12. by   JoshuaC
    I can handle most anything that most people would consider "nasty" but the truth is that it never really gets any less "nasty", you just get more used to it. I'm going to nursing school but I've been in the process of getting my CNA. Once you've seen poop once, it never really changes. Sometimes there's more, sometimes there's less. Same goes for most things. Once you've delt with it a few times, you start to get used to it.

    Plus you have to figure that the reason you got into nursing into first place is to help people. Hopefully that's the reason you got into nursing. If you don't care about people or want to care for people then nursing isn't for you. I hate it when I see CNAs, RNs, or anyone else in the helth care field walking around with a pissed off look on their face all day because they don't want to be there, and being insensitive to their patients or residents. If you do want to help people, care for them, and take care of them, then you find ways to deal with the "nasty" side of the job. In my opinion the perks of seeing someone smile because you were especially nice to them that day far outweighs anything else that might be thrown at me. That's my two cents anyways.

    Just know that you're helping to care for people and you'll be fine!
  13. by   jem1013
    For me I can handle any bodily fluids unless its from the mouth/throat makes me want to hurl, even after 8 years! I haven't ever actually hurled but have deffinately been very very close!!! Even thinking about it...
  14. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from Pixiesmom
    I would much rather hear about purulent drainage (aww come on use the shorter version) than your suctioning secretions story.
    LOL! Really, it's right at the top of my Ick Stick. Throat goop totally blows any other drainage out of the water, so to speak

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