Fainting in Surgery Clinical...

  1. 2nd semester, OB rotation. I was watching a C-section (first actual surgery experience) not five minutes into the procedure I start sweating horribly, shaking, feeling like that surgery mask was suffocating me, and feeling like I am going to faint (but I didn't thank goodness) I wasn't sick to my stomach or anything, the sight of blood and bodily fluids has never made me feel that way. The room just felt so sweltering hot. I had to leave the OR and come back in twice; missing most of the good parts. I just couldn't understand myself. I was so embarrassed and disappointed. Anyone had a similar experience? I need a little encouragement here.....
    Once again feeling like I am not cut out for this........
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   AllieRat
    I had a similar experience watching a thoracentesis.. almost passed out.. even the dr. said no one passes out on my watch.. LOL needless to say my instructor was worried about me the rest of the day. I think I just got overheated and dehydrated since all that visual stuff interests me.
  4. by   kate1114
    Quote from Kahlann
    2nd semester, OB rotation. I was watching a C-section (first actual surgery experience) not five minutes into the procedure I start sweating horribly, shaking, feeling like that surgery mask was suffocating me, and feeling like I am going to faint (but I didn't thank goodness) I wasn't sick to my stomach or anything, the sight of blood and bodily fluids has never made me feel that way. The room just felt so sweltering hot. I had to leave the OR and come back in twice; missing most of the good parts. I just couldn't understand myself. I was so embarrassed and disappointed. Anyone had a similar experience? I need a little encouragement here.....
    Once again feeling like I am not cut out for this........
    I had 2 such experiences in nursing school. The first one was in L&D, when I saw my first C-section. I had witnessed a surgery before with no problems, but wound up having difficulties with the C-section. I think it had to do with the fact that they cut through the placenta and blood was just pouring out at one point. It was quickly corrected, but left a sudden impression on me.
    The second was during an OR rotation when I was scrubbed in. I felt very faint, probably due to the heat and standing for so long. I also wound up getting sick within a few days, so I think the illness had something to do with it as well.

    If it helps, I have been a nurse for 11 years now, working in multiple ICU settings. I have never fainted at work, and I attended tons of deliveries while I worked in NICU. There are several reasons why we might feel faint, dehydration, oncoming illness, heat, and exhaustion being some of them. Just make sure that you pay close attention to your body and you should be fine. If it keeps happening, you might want to get checked out in case you have some other condition. If you've made it this far into your nursing school I doubt it's something that will keep you from what you want to do. Also, did you eat breakfast before clinical? It could have been a blood sugar issue as well.

    Good luck!
  5. by   CHATSDALE
    put this behind you, you will be find the next goaround
  6. by   ginger58
    Don't worry Kahlann, you're up for it. The masks are stuffy and confining, and if you were hot and maybe a little anxious...I don't think anyone would think less of you. Don't let a little faintness discourage you.
  7. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Agreed with the above post.

    I've been close to fainting a couple of times, but I honestly feel it was because I was wearing a mask, and/or was incredibly hot. Seeing the stuff doesn't really bother me, but the mask, or even working in really hot conditions makes me feel like you described.
  8. by   Soup Turtle
    [FONT="Century Gothic"]I felt that way the first few times I saw surgeries on dogs and cats. Now, I could eat a sandwich in there!

    I'm sure I'll be sick seeing people at first, but I don't doubt that I'll get used to it. I just hope I'm not going to be the only one. :roll
  9. by   luvdaisy
    I fainted and hit my face on a table and then the back of my head on the floor. My instructor wheeled me down to the ER where I got a CT scan. I was fine except for a swollen lip. Yeah, I was embarassed and a little unsure for awhile, but that is normal. Don't worry about and dont let yourself think that you arent cut out for nursing. You will be absolutely fine. I was watching another surgery one time and a medical student fainted. Seeing this made me feel much better even though I did feel sorry for him.
  10. by   sirI
    Quote from Kahlann
    2nd semester, OB rotation. I was watching a C-section (first actual surgery experience) not five minutes into the procedure I start sweating horribly, shaking, feeling like that surgery mask was suffocating me, and feeling like I am going to faint (but I didn't thank goodness) I wasn't sick to my stomach or anything, the sight of blood and bodily fluids has never made me feel that way. The room just felt so sweltering hot. I had to leave the OR and come back in twice; missing most of the good parts. I just couldn't understand myself. I was so embarrassed and disappointed. Anyone had a similar experience? I need a little encouragement here.....
    Once again feeling like I am not cut out for this........
    Do not be discouraged. It happens. Just fall back and regroup and get right back up on that horse!!!!!!

    While I never fainted as a student, I did as a new nurse in the OR. Was scrubbed in on an abd. hysterectomy...retracting.....suddenly, was overcome by the above s/s and passed right out. I remember before the surgery, the surgeon telling the newbies that if we thought we were going to faint to please fall backwards so as not to contaminate the field.

    He jinxed me.
  11. by   SteveNNP
    My best friend (guy) in school fainted dead away in the OR while in on a c/s, slid down the wall smack on his backside. He was a good sport about it, and we all had a good laugh later. I used to get squeamish when I'd be in on a c/s and see the smoke from the electrocautery rising over the bed, and smelling it. I think willing myself not to pass out made it worse. I was ok, and now I go to c/s every day I work without problem.
  12. by   MALE*RN*777
    Your not the first and you won't be the last. There could have been serveral facts contributing to how you felt that day. Don't let it get to you.
  13. by   WDWpixieRN
    My thought was blood sugar and/or caffeine....we do one day observation in the OR this semester and you can bet I'll be eating something fairly well-rounded that morning!! Yee gawds!!
  14. by   shellsgogreen
    [font=book antiqua]we're all still so new at this, and we can never be sure how we're going to react in certain situations - and wearing masks for the first time takes getting used to.
    [font=book antiqua]i was plenty worried before my or rotation however i made sure that i had was hydrated and had eaten....
    [font=book antiqua]
    [font=book antiqua]kahlann, put this behind you and try not to let the doubt cloud your goal

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