Are you afraid of blood?

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    A friend of a friend called today to find out if it was possible to be a nurse or medical assistant with a fear of blood. Apparently, yesterday in class (she's going to school for medical assisting) they started doing phlebotomy training and she got sick/passed out/got lightheaded (something along those lines). The instructor told her to get with it and that she couldn't possibly be a med assistant with a fear of blood. Then she asked her, in front of the whole lab group supposedly, what do you do during your menses? That's five straight days of nothing but blood. She said that the instructor was insinuating that perhaps her fear lied in needles or perhaps the lack of confidence in the skill itself. I kind of agree with the instructor that it must be an underlying issue because the instructor made a good point about the monthly cycle. I told her I don't know for sure but anything is possible. She now is afraid that she is going to get kicked out of the program although I told her it was highly unlikely. I have an aversion to phlegm and, heck, mucus as a whole but I made it through nursing school and I just work through my issues when faced with them. What do you think?

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  2. 10 Comments...

  3. 3
    I think that most nursing/med assistant students have some aversion to at least one type of body fluid. (mine happened to be vomit!) But, the more you work with it/around it, you become used to it. Cleaning up some old man's poop doesn't seem to phase me anymore. I guess I have come to think of it as just a body function. In nsg school I almost passed out watching a doc suture a laceration. I think that kind of stuff happens because we just aren't accustomed to seeing that type of stuff. It's only natural to feel that way.
    As far as her instructor telling her the whole 'menses' bull crap, I think that was entirely unprofessional and inappropriate. It is completely different to see your own blood that comes expectantly every month compared to some random person's blood. Instead, the instructor should be working on ways for her to get past her fear. Maybe watching videos of phlebotomy or something like that. I think that she will eventually get past her squeamishness of blood. Tell her just to hang in there!
    BEDPAN76, Praiser, and nrsang97 like this.
  4. 1
    Quote from owensmommy
    I think that most nursing/med assistant students have some aversion to at least one type of body fluid. (mine happened to be vomit!) But, the more you work with it/around it, you become used to it. Cleaning up some old man's poop doesn't seem to phase me anymore. I guess I have come to think of it as just a body function. In nsg school I almost passed out watching a doc suture a laceration. I think that kind of stuff happens because we just aren't accustomed to seeing that type of stuff. It's only natural to feel that way.
    As far as her instructor telling her the whole 'menses' bull crap, I think that was entirely unprofessional and inappropriate. It is completely different to see your own blood that comes expectantly every month compared to some random person's blood. Instead, the instructor should be working on ways for her to get past her fear. Maybe watching videos of phlebotomy or something like that. I think that she will eventually get past her squeamishness of blood. Tell her just to hang in there!

    :yeahthat:
    owensmommy likes this.
  5. 0
    I have a problem w/ blood but mine is more along the lines of traumatic injuries. Blood that happens on purpose (for lack of a better word) doesn't bother me (i.e. surgery, iv's) but when it's all gushing out it makes me want to faint and I have to leave the room!
  6. 0
    I don't really have any problems with blood or bodily fluids, but Physiology and Chemistry class give me panic attacks! I'm not even kidding!
  7. 0
    Quote from owensmommy
    I think that most nursing/med assistant students have some aversion to at least one type of body fluid. (mine happened to be vomit!) But, the more you work with it/around it, you become used to it. Cleaning up some old man's poop doesn't seem to phase me anymore. I guess I have come to think of it as just a body function. In nsg school I almost passed out watching a doc suture a laceration. I think that kind of stuff happens because we just aren't accustomed to seeing that type of stuff. It's only natural to feel that way.
    As far as her instructor telling her the whole 'menses' bull crap, I think that was entirely unprofessional and inappropriate. It is completely different to see your own blood that comes expectantly every month compared to some random person's blood. Instead, the instructor should be working on ways for her to get past her fear. Maybe watching videos of phlebotomy or something like that. I think that she will eventually get past her squeamishness of blood. Tell her just to hang in there!

    I second that, everyone has their bodily fluid they don't like. Blood doesn't bother me...but ask me to take a yankauer to a patient's thick secretions and I just pray that I've learned enough from poker to keep a blank face...uggghhh, sputum... Gotta love RTs!

    -NurseNickSTAT!
  8. 1
    The only blood I'm afraid of seeing is my own. That aside, it takes a truely unique instructor to pick a time when someone is a bit embarrassed and sonewhat ill to make them feel more comfortable by exploring publicly thier feelings about thier menses!!! Perhaps a better solution would be to encourage the student to eat a light meal before learning proceedures that may cause some queasiness. Maybe a bit more sleep, or a change in lab time. There are lots of ways to overcome clinical queasiness but I never considered public humiliation as one. That instructor is truely a gem!
    Altra likes this.
  9. 0
    I am not freaked by blood at all, but I killed a mosquito that was attempting to taste mine in a store yesterday and splatted blood on my sleeve. It wasn't my blood....that grossed me out and I couldn't wait to get home to change!
  10. 0
    Hearing stuff like this drives me crazy. It's like people have no concept of the fact that when you are starting out, you aren't necessarily used to poking people with needles and seeing blood. I wasn't aware that blood bothered me until I became an EMT, and started going to nursing school at the same time! It really is just a matter of it one day becoming a reality for yah. Tell your friend to not sweat it-she'll get used to it. The truth is, if the instructor did her research, she would come to find that the blacking out was a physiological process, and not her fault at all...this little thing called a phrenic nerve. Woops!

    Seriously though, my doctor and I talked about this. She's blacked out several times in med school...even during her residency. Alot of people go through this.
  11. 0
    I think most people have their thing that grosses them out- mine is that mucous-y sounding cough when people are really hacking stuff up. (Suctioning bothers me as well) Anything really mucous related (respiratory, I mean) makes me gag. Over time you learn to carry on and ignore it as best you can.


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