Nurses General Nursing


Hello all,

I come to you as a 19-year old college student who is rethinking my career goals. I am currently obtaining an Associate in Arts degree because I thought high school teaching might be for me. However, over the last couple of months I've found that many of the things associated to teaching teenagers wouldn't work for me.

Recently, I cut my hand open with a boxcutter and had to go to the hospital to receive stitches. The A.R.N.P. who sewed me up was chatting with me because she knew I'm a bit squeamish. I was telling her that my main career goal would be to help people and make a difference in their lives. She asked me why I was not going to be a nurse.

At first, I shrugged it off and told her I'm too squeamish to be a nurse. (Not afraid of needles and blood, but I do tend to vomit when I see others do so.)

All of my relatives were extremely confused when I told them I might change my major. Some are questioning if I'll be able to tolerate the "blood and guts" of the nursing field as well as if I have the mental strength for it since I have anxiety.

I just wanted to obtain some opinions from a few of you who have been there and done that. My thinking is, at first, I would probably vomit and feel mentally uneasy, but once I found the joy of helping people, I would be able to overcome my fears.

And that is another reason why I would really like to go into nursing. I can help people while helping myself - I take great joy in watching others succeed and be happy, and I would be able to kick my phobia of vomiting.

I'd love to hear your opinion on the matter. Do you think it is feasible to get over such a fear in this profession? How long do you think it would take? Do you have any similar cases?

I thank you in advance and admire the strength nurses have.

husker_rn, RN

417 Posts

Specializes in med-surg 5 years geriatrics 12 years.

I hesitated a long time for the same reason. When I finally went to talk to the nursing school advisor she said that if everyone who had a weak stomach left nursing, no one would be left; some days everything would bother me and some days nothing would. And she was absolutely right !!! Think you become desensitized after awhile, but it is not blood, guts, and vomiting all the time anyway. Good luck whatever you decide.

Flare, ASN, BSN

4,431 Posts

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I actually know quite a few nurses that will join in and participate when they see/hear sdomeone vomitting. Many of them say that they have gotten over it to a degree and are only bothered by certain instances (i.e. coffee ground) and others are still bothered by it and won't dare work on certain floors where vomitting may be predictable - PACU comes to mind.


400 Posts

Specializes in interested in NICU!!.

what's PACU?


348 Posts

what's PACU?

Post-Anesthesia Care Unit... the recovery room in the OR


310 Posts

I recommend you set up an observation and shadow a nurse before you change your major.

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg.

You get used to it believe it or not.

I used to vomit when others vomited. Now they can puke and puke and I am ok. When people cough gunk up though it gets to me.


400 Posts

Specializes in interested in NICU!!.



12 Posts

Specializes in ER, MICU, Med/Surg, Neuro.

I was in the same exact position you are in when I was trying to decide about changing my major...blood and needles made me get lightheaded even just thinking about them! The first few times I was shadowing the PCA who was going to train me to draw blood, I had to leave the room and sit down and almost passed out. BUT, now 2 years later, I am a pro, it doesn't bother me at all!! I am even getting better about getting shots and my OWN blood drawn (never thought that day would come). But, as everyone else is saying, you can get used to almost anything, now I go into work and clean up comatose patients with constant diarrhea and don't think twice about it! But, seriously...after the first few times that I had to deal with blood and needles, it no longer bothered me, and I suspect you will be the same...the sense of fulfillment that I get out of this job overshadows any unpleasant "gross" parts of it:)

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