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Is "squeamishness" something that can be overcome?

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by pod_girl, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. pod_girl

    pod_girl Member


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    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post. PA is a fantastic resource and I've been reading here for a while.

    I have applied to study Podiatry at university next year. I won't know until early January if I'll get in, but I am fairly confident I have the marks to do so at my chosen institution.

    I originally wanted to study midwifery. Pregnancy, birthing, women and babies are truly my passion in life. Unfortunately, as a single parent of youngsters, its not an option for me right now and won't be for many years.

    I realised Podiatry ticks all my boxes. (And I am lucky enough to live ten minutes from a university that offers a three year accelerated degree. I also live in an area with an aging population.)

    Whenever I do career quizzes I always get "caring" and "people" as my top areas. I want to be able to work in the health industry, I want to work directly with patients, I don't want to do shift work (childcare issues) and I want to eventually be able to work for myself or as a partner in a group practice.

    The only problem I can see with this is that I am really, really squeamish about blood and bodily functions. I know this sounds silly coming from someone who is interested in birth, but I have seen dozens of babies being born, placentas and perineum repairs and none of that of that fazed me in the least.

    However, last week when my son stubbed his toe and there was a flap of skin hanging off the top, I felt faint and had to excuse myself. I did foundation studies at uni this year and I honestly felt a little nauseous when the lecturer would talk about stratified squamus tissue, or lymphatic drainage, or chyme.

    I've tried watching videos on YouTube of PNAs and other procedures to see how I would handle them, but the answer is not well! I try looking at pictures of diabetic ulcers and amputations but also not good.

    My main question is - can this squeamishness be overcome with time, training and confidence? I am a smart person and like to think I can achieve whatever goal I set for myself, but I am feeling unsure about this.

    I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions! Thanks.
     
  2. pod_girl

    pod_girl Member

    Apologies, I just realised this probably should have gone in the Introductions Forum.
     
  3. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Hi pod girl & :welcome:

    Squeamishness is something I think most people will encounter at some level. I also doubted I would be able to cope with the yucky stuff like infected ulcers, nail surgery, manky feet with disgusting things between the toes etc.

    The year before I went to study podiatry at university I contacted my local hospital along with 4 other students (not all of whom were hoping to study podiatry). We asked if it would be possible to attend a post portem exam. We were fortunate to be granted our request & it was fascinating. All four of us were pinned to the far wall as the dissection began though after a while we were all stood close to the dissection table watching with avid interest as the mortuary assistant explained each stage of the initial dissection. Removing then weighing brains & liver & kidneysetc. Then the coroner attended to perform more in depth dissection to determine the cause of death. This put a whole new perspective on how I saw not just death but how we work as a whole.

    I felt more able to cope with the prospect of dealing with the sights & smells which are part of many pods daily work load.

    However, like you if one of my own hurts themselves I used to go into panic mode though less so now. I've been qualified since 1998 & yes there are still things that can make my stomach turn but oddly enough not usually parient related. Cat sick for instance...............:dizzy: makes me heave if I have to clean it up.

    To date though I've never been sick on a patient. ;)

    Kind regards,

    Mandy
     
  4. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Hello Pod_Girl and welcome

    I note that you have children. Speaking as a father, trust me, nothing that you will ever come across in treating feet, be it odoriferous diabetic ulcers, injections, nail surgery or - as twirly points out - simply manky feet; can possibly come anywhere close, remotely so, to the disgusting emanations from the various orifices of that most horrific of all specimens, the human child.

    Take heart, all will be well!

    All the best

    Bill Liggins
     
  5. Kaleidoscope

    Kaleidoscope Active Member

    Hi
    I believe you will be fine!

    I doubt there are not many parents that do NOT feel feint or vaguely sick when contemplating/seeing anything harmful happening to their own child!!!!! You just want to protect them and seeing any cuts etc. always made me feel really quite ill. Treating patients is entirely different, I promise.

    I have just qualified and whilst I thought I might be bothered by blood and gore.... I find so far this just has not happened! Also, I have to say, after changing nappies, I agree with above poster, they can be pretty bad (especially other people's babies' nappies!!).

    Enjoy your course and let us know how you get along.

    Cheers
    Linda
     
  6. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    As a PS.

    It may just be me.

    I still have moments when a wound is unwrapped or a pt. tells me how a particular wound happened, 'My toe went under the fridge door & I felt the nail roll back.' when I pull my legs together because my thighs feel funny. (In a bad way, like a fella getting a swift kick in the gonads). Maybe I'm put together wrong?

    Just thought I'd share.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  7. MJJ

    MJJ Active Member

    I'm with you there, I've never seen or smelt or done anything in the clinic that made me squeamish, but some of the stories give me that weird feeling. When we did our dissection it seemed strange for about 5 minutes, after he uncovered the trolley of legs, then everything was cool after that. After doing the dissection an ulcer or anything else you might encounter seems like no big deal.

    And BTW I think this is a better place for this thread.
     
  8. Tkemp

    Tkemp Active Member

    I agree. I'd rather deal with an ulcer than vomit :wacko:
     
  9. Bug

    Bug Well-Known Member

    This is one of the primary reasons I work in paed's. I'll sometimes have to help out with another podiatrist or a student and am grateful for a mask but I do think after a while there is a little switch in your brain that lets you shut off your ability to smell.

    I know there will be a totally plausible reason like you learn to breathe through your mouth or something but I can honestly tell students and patients it doesn't smell that bad. As for the look of it, it is more then look of an ulcer than anything and most of them can't feel it anyways. It is all about exposure, the more you see the easier it does become.

    Now nappies on the other hand....that never got easy. Even working in paed's, there is no smell like a nappy from 5 year old child with a disability. Swap you any day for an ulcer when that happens.
     
  10. There IS just such a switch isn't there!

    You'll be grand. Having patients with poorly feet is nowhere like as alarming as when your kids injure their feet. I'm pretty much unfazable in clinic but when my two got Verrucas at 2yo I did panic a bit! Different game.
     
  11. Yes you did and really you should close the door to this memory or at least stop writing about it here. ;):drinks or Del,Bel or myself may mention something !
     
  12. Bug

    Bug Well-Known Member

    Don't worry Robert, my 4 year old got one under his 1st toenail. I went into total denial and refused to even believe it was there. My pod friends had to stage an intervention.... I hear you.
     
  13. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    The smell of Tea Tree oil can make some pods heave. :confused:

    Personally I find it quite therapeutic. ;)

    Ho hum.....................
     
  14. blinda

    blinda MVP

    What`s not to like about it? It is so versatile and cures everything!

    BTW, I did find a `tongue in cheek` smiley, but it looks too rude to use:eek:


    [​IMG]
     
  15. Thats because unlike all those horrible kemicul treatments, its completely natural. :drinks

    Let us drink lemongrass tea together and enjoy cosmic harmony and S***.

    YOU DON'T KNOW MAN, YOU WEREN'T THERE!!!!
     
  16. DTT

    DTT Well-Known Member

    Now Rob, you cant argue with the mum that told us " my magic tee tree cream definatly cured her daughters vp's" can you ?:rolleyes:

    Albeit she claimed it cured her other daughters vp's as well.........even though she didnt put any of the cream on them !!!!:D

    Pretty powerful magic you must agree?? From the old religion:drinks

    Cheers
    D ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  17. footdrcb

    footdrcb Active Member

     
  18. dgroberts

    dgroberts Active Member

    Quite. Like watching your favourite pub burn down.

    In terms of bodily fluids Midwife beats Podiatrist by a LONG margin; if it were a game of top trumps it'd be like putting your Mini Cooper card down against a Lamborghini Diablo, no contest.
     
  19. footdrcb

    footdrcb Active Member


    I agree Midwife beats Podiatrist by a Long margin, however , if I may be so bold as to give an opinion.

    I worked as a Plumber for 14 years before retraining as a Pod.
    During my time in that job I crawled around under houses replacing broken sewerage pipes , that is , crawled through raw sewerage.
    We also cleared blocked drains under the autopsy rooms in two large Sydney hospitals. Body fluids and excreted process food (poo) is definitely right up there when comes to the regurgitation factor.....

    A nice note to finish on ...And , Happy Christmas to all..

    FDCB
     
  20. pod_girl

    pod_girl Member

    Thanks everyone for your replies! I really appreciate everyone taking the time to reassure me.

    I am feeling pretty confident that I can handle it now.

    If anyone is interested, I got my results from my enabling course at the university last week. I got a Pass, a Credit, a Distinction and a High Distinction. Over all my final mark is around 83. B Pod at the university I have applied to was 77 last year so I should be accepted, unless there is a huge influx of applicants this year.

    I am very excited and I can hardly wait until Jan 18th when the university offers come out!

    Thanks again! :)
     
  21. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I have watched this thread with a passing interest over the last little while. Kath - I sincerely hope you do well. I have never made any secret in my 33 years as an educator in pod and anatomy about my soft spot for mature students. Go for your life girl - you will be cool. As for squeamishness - whatever that is; it is all part of lifes rich pattern. In my case, the first time you see a dead body, the first time a dead child, the first time you see a wet drowning postmortem - and the show goes on. It is all down to "clinical detachment" - the theoretical ability to be able to separates ones conciousness from ones body. Just take each day at a time, and simply tell yourself that you are a professional. Done deal, finish. Now do it. Rob
     
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