If you are considering becoming a nurse, you may be worried about how you will be affected by the sights, sounds and smells you will experience.

Consider the following ideas and tips that will set your mind at ease before you become invested in a new career.

Can You Still Become a Nurse If You Are Squeamish?

Yes, you can still become a nurse, even if you’re squeamish. If you have a fear of needles, blood, or patients in pain, you do not have to give up on your goal to become a nurse.

There are plenty of career options within nursing, especially with further education, and many do not have as many needles or as much blood as you might imagine.

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Is It Vital to Have a Strong Stomach to Be a Nurse?

Some individuals feel that they might need to avoid the entire medical field if they have ever felt a little squeamish over a nasty cut or have felt like passing out during a blood draw.

As a child, I certainly felt this same way, avoiding shots whenever possible and barely getting through laboratory draws.

However, this is certainly not an accurate indicator of whether or not you can become a nurse.

First of all, your feelings change as you get older, and you will certainly become more used to what you continue to see in the medical field.

Secondly, your feelings are bound to change dramatically when the lab draws, IV sticks, and other procedures are being done on someone other than yourself.

It may surprise you to learn that many individuals feel quite squeamish before they become nurses.

If I and many others could get through it and could become nurses in all types of departments, you most likely can as well.

Options for Overcoming Squeamishness

man in pain

If you’re still feeling concerned about how you are going to make it as a nurse let alone get through nursing school with your squeamishness, consider the following tips, which should encourage you in your choice.

1. Try It Out Before You Commit

Before you commit to a nursing degree and start taking your classes, find a way to get a taste of the job first.

Many nurses are more than happy to have someone shadow them for a shift. If you can, ask nurses from several different departments about a day of shadowing.

This will give you a good opportunity to see firsthand how different nursing career paths can be. It can also show you whether you are just a little squeamish or are going to faint at the first sight of blood.

2. Know What You Will Have to Do in Nursing School

No matter what you ultimately want your nursing career path to look like, you will have to get through the same training that everyone else has to in nursing school. Direct patient care is a part of every person’s clinical experience.

You may be looking at semi-gory pictures in nursing textbooks during homework readings and taking care of a wide variety of wounds, surgical sites, skin conditions and much more.

However, you should know that nursing training gradually ramps up, giving you plenty of time to get used to what you will be doing.

You will get to practice injections, wound care and more on mannequins before ever practicing on a live patient.

Over time, you will probably find that you become somewhat desensitized to the things you were initially squeamish over, which is what happens to most nurses.

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3. Find the Best Career Type Post-Graduation

Once you get through nursing school, you do not have to head directly into the operating room or critical care unit, where you will see the most blood and wounds.

Instead, there are plenty of opportunities in any hospital or clinic for those who prefer treating a different side of patients. Some of the best options for semi-squeamish nurses include the following:

  • Private practice office
  • Psychiatric hospital
  • Public health office
  • Home health
  • School nursing
  • Patient rehabilitation

4. Consider Furthering Your Nursing Education

There are also plenty of other options other than bedside nursing, but you may need to further your degree, which is what worked best for me.

For example, nurses often hold management or leadership positions, teach in schools and universities, work as legal nurse consultants, or perform clinical nursing research.

These types of positions are about as far away from the blood and guts of bedside nursing as you could possibly imagine.

Final Thoughts

Many nurses have felt their fair share of squeamishness in the past. Thankfully, this feeling does not have to bar you from this rewarding career because there are plenty of nursing paths to take.

Now that you know that being squeamish doesn’t have to be a barrier between you and nursing school.

You can start searching for nursing programs near you right here, and it’s FREE.

Find Nursing Programs
Search our school database to find schools and get information on the right programs for you. (Don’t worry, it’s fast and free!)

Related Articles

If you enjoyed this article check out some of my other articles related to “if you can become a nurse if you’re squeamish.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can be a nurse if you hate blood. There are many nursing career pathways and specialties and many of them don’t deal with blood. Plus there’s always “desk jobs” that require those with a nursing degree.

Yes, you can be a nurse if you hate needles. There are many different nursing specialties out there and many of them don’t require using a needle.

Yes, you can still be a nurse if you have a weak stomach. Many nurses struggle with their gag reflex while working and still end up being successful in their career. You can also work in a nursing specialty that doesn’t deal with bodily fluids.

Yes, some nurses do deal with vomit. It all depends on the nursing specialty because some specialties deal very little (if at all) with vomit.

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