Blood and gore...

  1. So here is my situation. Other peoples blood and gore? I am great with it. I find it all very fascinating. Giving shots, taking blood... even urine, feces, leakage... giving baths and showers... changing diapers... I am fine with all those things - don't mind them at all. Hence - wanting to get into the medical field! However, when it comes to my own blood and gore? ...

    As a young kid I was always sick so my parents decided to take me to get those hellish allergy tests done. I remember watching the countless prongs pricking my back and arms and watching the tiny beads of blood form. Tears were streaming down my face. It didn't help that my grown father passed out cold watching the process (he also suffers from a severe case of.... squeamishness.) I have also had other traumatic medical-related childhood experiences.

    Since then I have developed quite a fear of my own blood and gore and needles and things. I believe that fears are meant to be conquered though... and this is a fear that I want to get rid of. I used to always simply pass out after getting a shot but now I have managed to get myself to a point where I only see stars/feel close to throwing up for a few minutes after the procedure.

    My question is this - how do I conquer this silly fear. How do I move on from a traumatic childhood experience and turn in completely around. I DO want to get over this. I will be starting my RN program in January and I am truly anxious to get started - I do not want to fear my own blood and gore anymore. Has anyone else had a similar problem of being fine doing things to others, but not too happy about having them done to you? Anyone fine with taking blood but a little anxious about giving it? Has anyone conquered the fear I have?

    I am sure as a nurse I will become numb to it over time... It will become routine. But after years of this near-phobia it seems like a long road to walk.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   fmrnicumom
    I used to be afraid of my own blood and gore as well, though other people's never bothered me at all. After I got married, had my daughter, had several miscarriages, and then had an emergency c-section at 24 weeks which I watched in the reflection of the overhead lights, I no longer fear it. I wouldn't recommend that as a way to get over it though! When I want to change a pattern of thinking, what I do is first try to catch myself when I have those thoughts. Then, I change the thought from, for this example, "Oh that is so disgusting! I'm going to pass out!" to "Okay, initially that was a little gross, but really it isn't so bad. I'll just take a few deep breaths. I can handle this." The key is to challenge the old thoughts when you have them and replace them with something new, whatever you want the new thought to be. When you find yourself getting nervous, acknowledge it. Tell yourself that it's okay and you can get through it. You don't need to think of it as needing to change the whole thing right now, but focus first on noticing when you have those thoughts. Then you can work on challenging those thoughts. Just one step at a time.

    I'm sure others will have some better advice, but this has worked for me when trying to change my thought patterns. Good luck! You CAN do this!

    Tiffany
  4. by   kukukajoo
    I am the same way but slowly getting better! I was the neighborhood "nurse" long before nursing school- the mom who all the kids ran to for bandaids and wound care. But my own- I would pass out cold when I cut my finger on a glass doing dishes and have been known to pass out getting my labs drawn. Even the smell of the alcohol wipes still gives me that lightheadedness for a moment!

    I take a deep breath when I smell the alcohol and tell myself it is not for me and not related to a shot I will be getting. I also have allowed myself to peek while getting labs drawn, gradually to the point where I can almost watch the whole thing and not get woozy at all. As far a a big cut, I haven't got one lately so I donno, I may still pass out at the sight of the blood!

    If anyone else has any tips I would love to hear them too!
  5. by   fmrnicumom
    I thought of something else. Take a look to see if any of the community colleges within a reasonable driving distance offer a phlebotomy class. You may want to contact them directly, because I know several near here that have them, but the classes aren't listed in the usual class schedule. I took one about a year ago and it was really cool. Now I have a little experience in the area and it really helped me get over any of the last fears I had. It might be something to consider.

    Good luck!
    Tiffany
  6. by   ErinRena
    Quote from fmrnicumom
    I thought of something else. Take a look to see if any of the community colleges within a reasonable driving distance offer a phlebotomy class. You may want to contact them directly, because I know several near here that have them, but the classes aren't listed in the usual class schedule. I took one about a year ago and it was really cool. Now I have a little experience in the area and it really helped me get over any of the last fears I had. It might be something to consider.

    Good luck!
    Tiffany
    What are some specifics covered in a phlebotomy class? Obviously blood - but what are some lessons/activities? I wonder if I would be able to handle it...

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