Help me!!!

  1. I am a student nurse in my second semester. I love nursing school and have been doing very well. Clinicals are great with only one exception. When I am in a room and the patient has any serious wounds with alot of blood, I get nauseous, sweaty and have to leave the room or I will faint. This just recently started happening and when I think about blood it doesn't bother me. I can watch and administer injections, blood draws, IV's and watch any bloody medicals shows on TV and it doesn't bother me at all. I don't know if this is pyschological, the vasovagal response or what. I am really worried this is going to prevent me from becoming a great nurse. Does anyone know of what this is and how I can overcome this. Any information will be a huge help. Thanks
    Last edit by jheath27 on Feb 19, '04
    •  
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   memphispanda
    You'll be fine! I still have that response to really bad wounds. Thank goodness we have wound care to take care of most of them, but there is occasionally the wound culture ordered after wound care already came for the day, or the doc who rips off the old dressing and leaves it open with instructions to redress the wound. I had to do a foot dressing the other day that made me sweat, feel faint, etc. I actually left the room twice because I was afraid I would either vomit or pass out in the pt room. I managed to get it done and then had to spend about 10 minutes leaned against a wall deep-breathing. Maybe it will get better, maybe I will struggle every time, but I won't let that prevent me from being a great nurse.
  4. by   gwenith
    You will desensitise and in the meantime there are lots of areas in nursing ........ well some areas in nursing......... a couple of areas in nursing where wound care is not a daily thing.

    You are talking about a lot of serious wounds with a lot of blood - that is not that common actually surgical wounds - we more commonly see post - op straight suture line no blood and even the big pressure areas etc we no longer dress daily so it is or shoudl not be a huge problem. Detach yourself and analyse the wound as a series of problems in a text book not as something happening to someone else.
  5. by   Dave ARNP
    You'll do just fine. The first patient encounter I had was during a pelvic exam at a nursing home. I got deathly ill, convinced myself I was destined to work at McDonalds and that I was gay.

    It DOES get better! I swear it!

    Dave
  6. by   luanne123
    You will be fine, relax. I had some close calls in school, and I have now been in the ER for 10 years.
    Luanne
  7. by   P_RN
    You are going to be OK. I do fine with blood UNLESS it's mine, one of the kids or hubby or one of the pets...then I get the creepy queasies.

    I do ok with mucus, poop, pee but not toenails and eyeballs.....we all have our own things we don't like. If you feel faint sit down or excuse yourself.
  8. by   rhonda L
    i used to be like that, not anymore only bothers me if its my own childrens blood
  9. by   Agnus
    OMGosh! You're talking about me. Not to worry nothing bothers me anymore and I have been doing this only about 4 years.

    It was embarrasing to me and I just pretended I didn't eat breakfast and my blood sugar was low. I could see someone's head cut off and it would not phase me in that way today.

    It is not unusual and nearly every nurse has experienced this. If not with wounds then with other things.
  10. by   iiwdn
    I think you 've got some good advice. Unless you started out in a trauma center or something many situations aren't that intense. It will grow on you as you get better at focusing on investigating the issues of the wound, acting with intention and helping someone else in need because of your assessment and treatment ability.
    You can do it!!
    --Dub.
    Last edit by iiwdn on Mar 2, '04
  11. by   jheath27
    Thanks for the advice. I feel a little more relieved knowing there are other people out there that have had this problem and overcome it. Thanks!
  12. by   orrnlori
    After six years, it's the smells that still get me. Blood, everything else, no problem, but smells.........euwwwwww
  13. by   weezieRN
    During nursing school I seen one of the most horrible wounds that I hope to ever see. A woman that had a femerol bypass for open heart surgery that became occluded no blood flow to the leg. To make a long story short her whole inside of her leg from her vagina to her ankle was open that you could see at various points her tendons and bones. She had to get in the shower to rinse the wound out 1/2 hour before she was medicated then the wound had to be packed and wrapped. The poor woman just sobbed and sobbed, it ripped my heart out. I just wonder what ever happened to her. I have seen various other wounds in my 8 months as a nurse and find that kind of stuff very interesting and yes sometimes gross. These new woundvacs just do wonders. Snot, trachs, phlegm and toe nails really bother me YUCK. I guess you get used to it. I remember in school Iwould have to leave the room or go into pts bathroom because I was gagging so much I thought I was going the spill my cookies.
  14. by   luv2yoga
    I am worried about this. For me, it's the needles (esp IV) although when I watched a brain autopsy a few weeks back, I had to leave the room twice. It's a very interesting thing, I can feel the response starting in my body and it's very difficult to stop. I feel myself getting hotter, then I hear ringing my ears and then my sight starts getting dim and I know I better sit down or I'm going to fall. I found that doing my breathing exercises from yoga helped slow it down but obviously didn't stop it. My deal is that I am SO determined that I don't care if I have to pause every 5 minutes at the bedside, squat and stick my head between my legs, I AM NOT GIVING UP. I feel so embarressed about it (like it's a character weakness or something!), but I think when I get to clinicals I will just be matter-of-fact and straight up about it and ask my instructor to work with me to get over it. I've been told over & over on this board that we will get over it, and I'm trusting that.
    Good luck to both of us!

close