Author Topic: A question for the health professionals out there- new Question post #24  (Read 3205 times)

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joraemi

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I am a nurse and I have been offered a job near my house, good pay, good hours, good facility, etc.  There's just one issue:  certain aspects of the job sqwuick me out a bit.  I know that seems ridiculous - I'm a nurse for crying out loud! BUT - nevertheless....

My question is:  do you have parts of your job that sqwuick/gross you out and how do you deal with it?

I went and spent four hours shadowing at the job yesterday just to get a feel for it to see if I would want to work there.  When I got home I had to shower.  Immediatley if not sooner. I wasn't even doing patient care!  I'm not sure if it's just lack of exposure to this environment or what.  I told my husband I would have been more comfortable if they had been cracking open a chest!

I think these years at home may have fine tuned my germophobe tendencies to a fine point.

They are willing to have me come back and shadow again to see if the weirdness passes for me.

Advice?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 10:45:52 AM by joraemi »




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WillyNilly

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 11:50:55 AM »
I work in health care.  And yeah there are squicky things.  For me its about changing focus to both very specific and very broad at the same time (I know that sounds ridiculous).

But basically look at it like this.  Lets say  its dead bodies and research you are dealing with.  Don't look it at it as a dead body.  Big picture - its a heart (or brain, or arm, or eyeball) totally removed from the idea this was a person who is now dead and smelly.  Specific focus is  - this action/my involvement will save someone's life somewhere down the road.

Same with bodily excretions.  Its not poop.  Big picture - this is a nature part of the life cycle (and soap exists!)  Focus - this is searching for specific pathogens or this is cleaning up a human's body to give them quality of life.

TexasRanger

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 11:51:54 AM »
If you don't mind my asking, what is it that sqwuiks you out?

In my field (EMS) you just get used to it after awhile. If it is smells, you can put some Vicks Vapor Rub or perfume under your nose if the smell is too much for you. If it is sights/sounds, try and not focus on whatever it is and focus on the patients face/chart/monitor and try and block out the sounds, getting a song stuck in your head words too. It helps me that during adrenaline rushes, you tend loose your sense of smell.  ;D
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Ms_Cellany

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 12:20:57 PM »
When I was a reporter, I was once at a very gruesome accident scene and was upset. The scene officer very kindly told me, "You know what I tell myself at these times? I didn't cause this, and I can't fix it. But I have a job to do and I need to do it."
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joraemi

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 12:32:18 PM »
If you don't mind my asking, what is it that sqwuiks you out?

In my field (EMS) you just get used to it after awhile. If it is smells, you can put some Vicks Vapor Rub or perfume under your nose if the smell is too much for you. If it is sights/sounds, try and not focus on whatever it is and focus on the patients face/chart/monitor and try and block out the sounds, getting a song stuck in your head words too. It helps me that during adrenaline rushes, you tend loose your sense of smell.  ;D

Pulling rectal tubes.  I mean seriously?  It's like - 10 seconds of my life.  But watching her do it was serioiusly bothering me. (this job is at an endoscopy/colonoscopy center, btw) I used to work NICU and could aspirate gastric contents without a second thought - and probably still could! Cut down for a central line?  I'm there.  UAC/UVC placement?  Let me get the stuff for you.  Oomphalocele?  Let's get that dressing changed and tidied up so we keep things moist.

I'm trying to decide if it was actually the rectal tubes themselves that was bothering me, or her handling of it.  Example: She pulled the tube, pulled the chuk out from under the patient's backside/wiped it (all with gloves on), touched the curtain to the patient's cubicle to open it, went to the laundry and hazardous waste bins to take off gloves and dispose of everything, then went straight to her chart, picked up her pen and dabbed her finger on her tongue to flip through the pages of the chart.

 Anyone else think there's a critical step missing there??

idk - maybe I'm an "over-hand-washer"?  There were a lot of times when I would have gone to wash my hands that she simply moved on to the next patient or back to her charting.  I know that *I* could do it differently if I wanted to.

The esophageal dilation in the procedure suite bothered me a bit too - maybe just because I had never seen it done before and had a WHOLE different idea of how it was done than how it is really done (I was thinking angioplasty on a grander scale - NOT!) - I didn't like seeing the patient struggling against the dilator, even though I know they aren't going to remember it, etc.

::sigh::

Willy Nilly - I don't think broad/specific at the same time sounds ridiculous at all!  I think it's part of healthcare.  Good advice/reminder!

Ms_Cellany - I'd be that person trying to see what I could see! lol  I was surprised to be bothered by the things that I was.

I think maybe I'm just getting old, whiny, and set in my ways.  :o




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TexasRanger

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 12:45:38 PM »
If you don't mind my asking, what is it that sqwuiks you out?

In my field (EMS) you just get used to it after awhile. If it is smells, you can put some Vicks Vapor Rub or perfume under your nose if the smell is too much for you. If it is sights/sounds, try and not focus on whatever it is and focus on the patients face/chart/monitor and try and block out the sounds, getting a song stuck in your head words too. It helps me that during adrenaline rushes, you tend loose your sense of smell.  ;D

Pulling rectal tubes.  I mean seriously?  It's like - 10 seconds of my life.  But watching her do it was serioiusly bothering me. (this job is at an endoscopy/colonoscopy center, btw) I used to work NICU and could aspirate gastric contents without a second thought - and probably still could! Cut down for a central line?  I'm there.  UAC/UVC placement?  Let me get the stuff for you.  Oomphalocele?  Let's get that dressing changed and tidied up so we keep things moist.

I'm trying to decide if it was actually the rectal tubes themselves that was bothering me, or her handling of it.  Example: She pulled the tube, pulled the chuk out from under the patient's backside/wiped it (all with gloves on), touched the curtain to the patient's cubicle to open it, went to the laundry and hazardous waste bins to take off gloves and dispose of everything, then went straight to her chart, picked up her pen and dabbed her finger on her tongue to flip through the pages of the chart.

 Anyone else think there's a critical step missing there??

idk - maybe I'm an "over-hand-washer"?  There were a lot of times when I would have gone to wash my hands that she simply moved on to the next patient or back to her charting.  I know that *I* could do it differently if I wanted to.

The esophageal dilation in the procedure suite bothered me a bit too - maybe just because I had never seen it done before and had a WHOLE different idea of how it was done than how it is really done (I was thinking angioplasty on a grander scale - NOT!) - I didn't like seeing the patient struggling against the dilator, even though I know they aren't going to remember it, etc.

::sigh::

Willy Nilly - I don't think broad/specific at the same time sounds ridiculous at all!  I think it's part of healthcare.  Good advice/reminder!

Ms_Cellany - I'd be that person trying to see what I could see! lol  I was surprised to be bothered by the things that I was.

I think maybe I'm just getting old, whiny, and set in my ways.  :o

 :o That would bother me too.
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joraemi

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 01:04:58 PM »
At least it isn't just me! 

Also - I went to school in the late 80's when AIDS/HIV awareness was coming out full force.  It was just absolutely pounded into our heads to overuse universal precautions.  You wore gloves for *everything* - washed hands constantly, etc. Then my first job was in the NICU where you scrubbed in every day before you went into the unit and your whole life revolved around protecting the preemies from germs.  So - perhaps I'm a bit over-sensitive about some things?  idk.  I will give them two thumbs up for always wearing gloves when starting IV's - I worked with plenty of nurses in NICU that were old school and didn't wear gloves for those types of things.  :o




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RegionMom

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 01:45:44 PM »
I taught preschool for over 15 years and did thousands of diaper changes. Sometimes a child would poop during lunch, and we would keep eating until child was "done." 
Yeah, it seems gross, but after a while, you do build a sort of tolerance.

Now, dog poop I cannot stand.  I will walk my little dog, and carry that poop baggie with the warmth of the recent poo wafting up to my hand, and I squik myself out.  Human poo is fine by me.  Animal poo?  Eeeeeewwww!!!

You need to decide if you can do this, and not disrespect the patient (no ick faces, no crazy spraying of air freshener, no 5 minute boiling water for handwashing, etc...)

You will make the best decision for you.  Good luck!



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WillyNilly

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2012, 01:54:51 PM »
I think, based on your update, it was more that you were bothered by that particular person's practices.  I can tell you as a patient, I wouldn't have cared to see some those behaviors (like moving the curtain with the 'soiled' hands - I would be terrified to touch any surface, especially that curtain, for my whole stay there, etc).

Obviously in healthcare we get a little, well used to, some of the grossness - fluids are fluids are fluids (I remember explaining a take-home 6 hour urine test to someone as something "easy to do at the office" and they, with a smile reminded me, that sure at a Dr's office no one cares if you are carrying a jug of urine around with you every time you use the facilities but in a corporate office its a bit less acceptable.)  But then above and beyond that there are just different people and some are more lax then others. 

Gwywnnydd

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2012, 02:32:30 PM »
You know, I'm only in my first quarter of nursing school, so I'm still *really* close to my microbiology classes, but much of what you described would bother me too.
And I'd be compelled to pull down that curtain and have it cleaned!!

Elisabunny

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2012, 02:52:26 PM »
Holy cross-contamination, Batman!  >:(

That seems like a hospital-spread infection waiting to happen.
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happygrrl

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2012, 03:12:11 PM »
No, that would make me want to run screaming into the streets. Tubes doesn't bother me, and neither does poop. But what she did? Eeee.
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MizA

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2012, 07:01:20 AM »
Her practice sounds abhorrent. I was my hands every time I strip off my gloves, and NEVER touch my face at work. The finger licking? Ew. Just ew.

If the oesophegeal dilation was that distressing, it might be worthh speaking to the anesthesiologist about just what a person may experience/remember. It may help with your feelings of distress.

And every day lends itself to a new kind of squicky, from C-Diff code browns to VAC dressings covering multiple weeping necrotic fistulae. I smile, nod, and swallow hard. And shower before coming home. Where my duty shoes stay on the porch. Outside.


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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2012, 11:55:53 AM »
I'm not a nurse or health care worker but my mom and brother both are. When my brother was doing his clinicals during school, I remember him having a hard time with his OB/GYN rotation. Not because of the birthing aspect, but because of the epidural. He said he never wanted to have to administer one ever again. And this was a boy who worked (as a secretary and candy striper) in the ER for over 4 years and saw a motorcycle accident come in with his leg nearly fully severed, just an inch of skin was holding the thigh together, and said it was the coolest thing he ever saw.

Jocelyn

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Re: A question for the health professionals out there- esp nurses -job related
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2012, 12:13:27 PM »
I'm not a nurse (working as an aide convinced me I didn't want to be.  :D) But I think you've got a different issue: the staff are not engaging in best practices regarding infection control. Apparently, they've gotten sloppy. And this goes straight to what your job title will be. If you're being hired as head nurse, you can change this. If you're being hired as a staff nurse, not so much. Is this woman going to be your supervisor? Do you think there's room for you to make a difference? Because for me, tolerating co-workers who aren't performing their duties as they should is pretty much a deal-breaker for me. Is there a higher-up at the office where you could discuss your concerns (the doctor, maybe?) a la 'The other day when I was here, I noticed some lax infection control practices. I don't think I can work anywhere where those practices are the standard of care. If I accepted the job, what is the potential that those practices would continue, or change?'