Almost passed out at clinical!!!

  1. [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I was so embarrassed!!
    It was my first time woth this nurse and we were doing a wound change (my first time). The first one was fine, I did great. The second wound was very difficult to get to, pt was contracted and the nurse had to hold his leg up while I cleaned the wound on his ankle. It was very dirty and the smell threw me for a loop!!!!! I almost gagged and the nurse I was with did gag! I cleaned the wound and changed the dressing. After as we were working on the paperwork, I started to get very dizzy and sweaty. I told her I thought I needed some air and she told me to get out of the room and head to the bathroom. I couldn't believe the reaction I had. I was so embarrassed! I think I can still smell it!

    Eileen
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Tiny1Nisolet
    So sorry to hear about your day. I have read that you can put vicks under your nose if you know you are going in to do a "stinky" task. I have not had to do this yet, but I have thought about it a few times.:chuckle Keep your chin up!
  4. by   luvmy2angels
    Wow, sorry you had to endure that!! Unfortunatley there will be many more that lie ahead of you in your nursing career!! One little trick that we do is and it VERY helpful is to take a mask and put a tiny drop of peppermint oil on the inside, I guarantee all you will smell is the peppermint. I have never had a problem when using this, and believe me, i have seen some NASTY wounds!! You can the get the peppermint oil at your local grocery store for just a few dollars. I always have some with me now!! Good luck!!
  5. by   cn2007rn
    One of my clinical days, I was about to help another student with her patient who had just pooped in her bed, I came into to the room, saw it and then the smell came!!! Oh my goodness, all of a sudden I was just gagging and coughing. I almost lost my breakfast but I survived, luckily my teacher told me to take break and I didn't have clean her up. My teacher even said it smelled really bad!!! So don't sweat it, we all have things that gross us out!
  6. by   lilk8tob
    Eileen,
    Don't feel bad, I think that happens to all of us at one time or another. After my first encounter with a patient's diarrhea, I stopped by Target and picked up some Vick's. Thankfully, I have never had to use it, but my teacher swears by it!
    I found the perfect way for me to get through things like this- I write about them in my own web blog. I sometimes exaggerate the details, but it really helps me get through the day. When I am cleaning up a patient's diarrhea and I am almost throwing up, I think to myself, "Ok Katie, how am I going to make this funny when I write about it tonight?" It really helps me see things in a different, more upbeat light instead of fucusing on how gross or difficult certain things are. And the best part is looking back on old entries and surprising yourself with how much you have learned, grown, and changed. You should give it a try! It's free therapy! If you decide to start one, email me the link, I'd love to check it out!!

    Oh, I have those smell delusions too! They are really weird!!

    Good luck with everything, and thanks for sharing your experience!!
  7. by   Imafloat
    Poor thing!

    I occasionally gag over the smell of poop. I am just sure to not let the patient know what I am doing. The only time I came close to passing out was when I had to do respiratory suction and the big lugeys plopped into the suction canister, my stomach did flip flops, I have never had that sensation before. My instructor saw me turn white and told me to go out in the hallway. The patient was sedated so he had no idea, thank goodness.
  8. by   Tweety
    At least you told her your needs, rather than try to stay there and truly pass out.

    It gets better with time. But sometimes even today, there are wounds so noxious I have to wear a mask, or stop to get air.
  9. by   sjb2005
    I had to leave surgery during my clinicals. Passed out in the bathroom. Still can't figure out why. Been holding up for 14 yrs now and haven't passed out since. Just keep me out of surgery...lol
  10. by   got4babygirls
    Thanks for the encouragement and tips!! I will be buying something to help me with smelly tasks in the future!!


    Eileen
  11. by   christvs
    I nearly passed out twice while in nursing school. The first time was when I was observing open heart surgery-I was fine for most of it & was asking the nurse who was with me questions when all of a sudden I remember thinking "Hmm...his chest is wide open-that's not normal." Then it hit me-I felt everything go foggy & I calmy turned to the nurse next to me (luckily I was far, far away from the surgical field) and said to her "Hi, I'm going to faint now. I think I should leave the room." So she helped me out of the room! I was laughing even though I still couldn't see very well! The second incident happened to me during my maternity rotation. My instructor told me that a woman down the hall was about to give birth and if I wanted to see it, I should go in there now. So I ran down the hall & yep, she was about to give birth-but then without any warning, the docs decided she was to small down there so they did an episiotomy on her so fast they jsut cut there-that I wasn't expecting it-so I remember thinking "Oh, that must've hurt her." Then I felt everything go foggy again & I knew I had to get out! So I calmly walked out of the room & got into the hallway & by this point I couldn't see too well so I was grasping the side rails in the hallway-some nurses saw me & ran over to me with juice and crackers and a chair-I was so embarrassed. Now I just laugh about it! I've been an RN for 4 months now-I only felt that way one time since I've been a nurse-me and 3 other nurses tried like 4 times to put in a Foley catheter in this lady-we could not get it in so we had to keep getting new catheters to try-but the pt looked like she was in so much pain that I started to feel that way again-like I was going to pass out-so I left the room in a hurry! So now I know that if I think someone is in a lot of pain, that is what triggers me to feel like I'm going to faint. How weird is that?
    -Christine
  12. by   Boston-RN
    Vicks doesn't work for me...
  13. by   TrickieTam
    No need to feel embarassed. I can't stand the smell of vomit or the sight of it. I have been in healthcare now going on 10 years as a CNA and still can't take it. Recently I passed out during open-heart surgery in clinicals which happened about 2 weeks ago. I still have a nasty little bump on my head from that. I guess there won't be no future as an OR nurse for me.
  14. by   NJNursing
    I think nearly everyone has some sort of story about when they nearly vomited or passed out in clinicals.

    I've gagged at C-diff patients (you'll NEVER forget that smell!) and I nearly passed out during OR observation during a total knee replacement. My stomache was chunging over the smell of cauterized skin and the way they just hammer the new knee in so violently with blood splattering everywhere. It looked more like a murder scene than an operating room. I actually had to excuse myself out of that surgery, eat and come back. Our professors always tell us to eat before doing something nasty.

    So you're not alone. :-)

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