Almost passed out during clinicals!! - page 3

by fm1089

9,705 Views | 53 Comments

I'm a second year nursing student, and am currently in my med surg rotation at clinicals. The hospital I'm in now is much more exciting and learning oriented than the previous hospital I had been in. That being said, I'm seeing a... Read More


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    EAT SOMETHING before clinicals. Seriously, an empty stomach will get you everytime.

    I pretty much have a cast-iron stomach, but if I know I have to do something really gross or really distressing I go in the break room for a few first and have a quick snack.
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    I wouldnt worry about it too much, im sure most nurses have had one episode of this in their life. I did in nursing school too, was watching them snip an older mans foreskin. Felt nauseous, faint, and nearly fainted when one of the nurses knew right away I was white a a sheet and intervened before I could be stubborn and say I was fine lol. Thats the only time it ever happened and I see all sorts of nasty stuff in my job now.

    alot of what you said probably contributed, lack of sleep, probably didnt eat a whole lot, and combine that with standing still.
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    Lol wow all of your stories are great and made me feel 100% better. I'm sure I'll have a few more dizzy episodes because I don't have the strongest tolerance to blood, but after reading the rest of this thread I'm confident I'll get over it. You are all so inspirational, and I really can't thank you enough for sharing your experiences with me. My next clinical is Wednesday--I was nervous to go again before, but now I see it as an exciting challenge! (Ps. The amniotic fluid story takes the cake lol lol I was laughing out loud)
    GrnTea and roser13 like this.
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    I'm a new nurse and I still make sure a chair is close by if I'm going to have to observe anything involving long needles and digging - like femoral nerve blocks or picc placement - I get hot and vision starts getting dark. The most surprising 'dizzy' spell happened when I watched my preceptor rip an IV dressing off an older patient, giving her a nasty skin tear...I started thinking, "wow, its really warm in here, eh? Whoa, did someone turn down the lights?" Only then did my dense self realize I was about the meet the floor and I mumbled something about grabbing extra gauze and left the room, sat down, head between knees for a minute and then I was fine. Havent had anything like that happen in a while, but it does happen all the time.
    Orange Tree likes this.
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    Been nursing 27 years this year. The doctor orders stool specimen? Got it. Urine specimen? Got it. Blood work? Got it. Catheter insertion or removal? Got it. Sputum specimen? SAY WHAT?????? Won't get that today....not on my watch! I'll pass that on to the next shift! Sorry and ready for the backlash y'all! I've already heard it all and some things never change. SPUTUM is this super nurse's kryptonite! When I was little, we had a 4-door, baby blue station wagon. My dad has hay fever, or for the too-young to know, it's real bad environmental allergies. My brother was sitting in back seat behind him on a trip to Florida. It was hot; everybody had the windows down; lots of wind flowing through the car. So my dad, OMG! Out his window, into the back window. Can y'all see where this is heading? Good! Because just the thought of it.....ugh....excuse me....I'll be right back.....................ok, as I was saying, SCARRED FOR LIFE!!!! I don't do sputum or station wagons and absolutely NOTHING baby blue!!
    Last edit by BSNbeDONE on Feb 9, '13
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    Haven't found ANYTHING that has bothered me beside watching ECT. It totally took me by surprise, something in my gut just told me that inducing seizures will not be my line of work it was SO creepy
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    Quote from fm1089
    I'm a second year nursing student, and am currently in my med surg rotation at clinicals. The hospital I'm in now is much more exciting and learning oriented than the previous hospital I had been in. That being said, I'm seeing a lot more than I ever have. Yesterday, I was watching a nurse remove a catheter from a patient's jugular vein in the cardiac step-down unit. I was ok at first, but as she was putting pressure on the neck I started to feel dizzy. I tried to think about other things and looked away from the patient, but that didn't help. I began to fall over and almost blacked out. Luckily my friend was standing next to me and got me in a chair before that happened. I had one of those ensure nutrition drinks and a few scoops of cereal pre-clinical, and only had 3 hours of sleep, but I think the actual removal was what made me faint. Afterwards, one of the nurses was smirking at me and said something like "idk, that's like a sailor being afraid of water." This obviously didnt help my confidence at all as I was already second guessing myself. Has anyone else ever experienced something like this?? Is there hope to get over it? I'm just scared it will keep happening..
    Yes it happened to me during a surgery rotation in nursing school. First surgery was a tonsillectomy. Almost passed out. One of the scrub nurses helped me out of the room and was very understanding and asked if I had eaten I had not and she advised doing so next time. After lunch I attended an Endarterectomy which was kinda bloody but had no problems at all! Don't let that smirking nurse get to you! She is probably hiding her own inadequacies!
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    When I was a student, I passed out at clinicals while observing a circumcision. My clinical instructor noticed what was happening and caught me and sat me in a chair and one of the nurses got me some orange juice. No one made me feel badly about it.

    I also nearly passed out while observing a c-section. I was 32 weeks pregnant myself at the time and starting panicking at the thought of possibly having that done to me!
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    When we were learning about pressure ulcers I Googled pictures so I could look and make faces and get it out of my system before I actually saw one in real life. On my floor we see a lot of them so I'm glad I did this. Most of it is the shock. It happens even to those of us who aren't very squeamish and like any kind of emotional shock it lessens with exposure. I'm sure all of us have something that still gets to us. Hang in there. The field you choose may not involve much of the thing that freaks you out.
    GrnTea likes this.
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    That other nurse is an idiot. There is no shame in passing out. In fact, it's not even a conscious act. Some peopled go their whole life and never pass out. Others pass out from time to time, and some pass out regularly. In time you will probably get used to seeing invasive things and you will find a way to compensate. Hopefully, you will at some point NOT pass out.

    I have passed out three times in my 36 year career: Twice in nursing school and once in the NICU about 17 years ago.
    *During my surgical rotation I had to go in on a knee replacement. When they fired up the saw, that was the end of me. I felt myself going, so I just sat down and passed out. They stepped around me and eventually I came around.

    *The first time I gave a shot successfully, I passed out cold. Thankfully, my instructor caught me and kept me from hitting my head on the concrete. I woke up lying in the bed on the other side of the curtain from my patient. T

    *The third time happened when I was pregant with my 3rd child. I was taking care of a tiny infant who had a shunt placed earlier that day. I found her dressing completely saturated with blood. Obviously, I had to take off the dressing and clean things up. When i peeled off the tape a HUGE clot rolled out into my hand. Oops! I passed right out. I felt myself going down and all I could do was hang on to the side of the bed. One of the other nurses got me down, then turned to the baby and cleaned him up while I lay there on the floor.

    I do not believe that fainting episodes makes one a bad nurse. Stuff happens. Get up and get back to work as quick as you can. If you act like it's not a big deal, people around you will probably feel the same way.


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