How to prevent fainting??? - page 2

by studentnurse74

I sat in the OR last week, and loved it! No problems at all! But today, I watched a bone marrow aspiration through the sternum, and had to leave the room and sit down! I have never come so close to fainting! :uhoh21: It was... Read More


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    OR nurse told me first thing, "If you feel faint at all, get your back against the wall." I guess so if you do faint, you'll slide down, rather than falling forward into the sterile field.

    I don't have any answers, I got to see a bunch of cool procedures, but requested no orthopedics. For some reason, I know the sawing would get to me.
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    [QUOTE=NurseRachy]Oh that's horrible guys! I DEFINETLY know what it's like to faint. As a student i was watching a TOE (trans oesophageal echo) and was in the treatment room holding the patients hand for support whilst he was under light sedation and all of a sudden the room got really hot and all i remember was the cardiologist saying to me "Rachel - look at the screen - here is the mitral valve" and the next thing I remember was waking up on a bed with my top half NAKED (yes - shirt and bra were CUT OFF!!!!). :uhoh21: I had been hooked up to what felt like a million leads and about 20 people were in the room looking over me- my educator and fellow students included! My BP dropped through the floor and i was GREY! I had actually wondered out of the treatment room (don't remember it) and out the door before collapsing in the hallway. A nurse had seen me stumble out and went to grab a wheelchair, but by the time she caught up to me i was out cold and non-responsive! In line with hospital protocol they called a CODE and I was under surveillance for 3 days!!! They were questioning whether i had long Q T syndrome but nothing has ever come from it.

    Another story - I was watching a trachy being suctioned and a great big green gob went flying across the room and hit the curtain -I fainted.

    And another story - Was watching a bone marrow aspration from the hip and as the Dr was "screwing" it in the hip like a corkscrew on a bottle of wine and the pt was screaming I fainted!

    One more story (oh yes i have HEAPS) I was at home at looking at my Mosby's medical dictionary and found a really gross picture which made me feel faint. I decided that I need a glass of water and went to get it but as i was passing my chest of draws in my bedroom fainted and smashed my nose. I needed a rhino-septoplasty and in hospital every time they tried to make me walk for the first 3 days I fainted. :uhoh21:

    What have i learnt?
    *When you feel faint SIT DOWN IMMEDIATELY (yes - even beside the patients bed on the floor)
    *Avoid trigger scenarios - I NEVER watch bone marrow aspirations (not even for a billion dollars) and VERY RARELY suction trachy's. :spew:
    * Drink a glass of water
    * Sit down for 10 minutes - and yes I mean 10 minutes in full
    * Wiggle your toes when you feel like you're going to drop
    * Start thinking about something COMPLETELY different - like your pet
    It's not that I think these things are yucky in my head, but something in my stomach does a complete flip and tenses up.

    It's not your fault - you can't help it!

    From one fainter to another GOOD LUCK! {QUOTE}


    you are a very experience fainter!! I've never fainted, been grossed out, but never even thought about fainting. Have you had a medical exam to find out why you faint so much. And are you a nurse? how do you do procedures ?
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    My first bone marrow aspiration made me turn quite green as well. It is without a doubt something you get used to. No problem now. Don't worry you had a normal reaction to something that just doesn't seem right.
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    I think a lot of people would feel faint while watching that! A really good tip if you have to watch something like that again is to tense and relax your muscles. It helps to keep your blood pressure up. Also don't forget to breathe! I've been seeing quite a lot of interesting things at clincial lately and if I feel faint I start tensing and relaxing my muscles (especially concentrate on your abdominal muscles) and I've found that it really helps to keep from feeling faint. This is a general tip given to people who are afraid of blood because interestingly enough, it's the one of only phobias in which blood pressure drops (rather than rising), and I think it applies to seeing really invasive procedures liek your bone marrow transplant.
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    you are a very experience fainter!! I've never fainted, been grossed out, but never even thought about fainting. Have you had a medical exam to find out why you faint so much. And are you a nurse? how do you do procedures ?[/QUOTE]


    Hello medsurgnurse, yes i am a nurse (Div 1) and am about to start working in cardiology. I also work in Health Promotion (separate from nursing) and have been to my local doctor and been referred to a cardiologist for ? long QT syndrome ( http://www.qtsyndrome.ch/faq.html ). All my ECG's have been perfect and that hypothesis has been dismissed. I have low BP so that has been blamed by my local GP. I keep very fit and healthy and haven't fainted for about 7 months. To be honest my medical investigations concerning my syncope have came to a standstill. My mother and brother faint at the sight of a needle so I'm a bit inclined to think it might be genetic.
    I'm usually fine dealing with most procedures and wound care but I do my darndest to avoid trigger scenarios (like bone marrow aspirations). People are mostly supportive of my requests to avoid certain procedures as a few other nurses have their own dislikes aswell. I can deal with teeth, dentures, eyes and feet without any problems so that is usually my trade off

    Rachel
    Music_Box_Dancer likes this.
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    Oh dear I cannot sustain myself from laughing!! I googled 'any tips to stop fainting' as I am a student nurse and have fainted nearly twice in two weeks! After reading your posts it has made me feel alot better about it.. NurseRachy - your soooooo funny!!!!! Thank-you
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    oh my gosh i'm totally freaked out about starting rotations now!!
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    I can't do L&D b/c I get faint with spinals. I had a patient a few years back who was getting a bedside LP done, I figured "Heck, it's been YEARS since I saw a spinal procedure done, I've seen plenty of crazy stuff since then, I'll be fine." Nope. The patient had wanted me to hold her hand b/c she was freaking out, and it ended up being me holding myself up by the bedrails as we clutched hands for dear life. We laughed about it afterwards.

    When I was pregnant, I could stick people, but watching the blood flash and especially tubes filling made me queasy and lightheaded. I had to start having other staff go into the room with me to swap tubes out take over the IV stick once I hit the vein. But I could watch them draw my blood and the tubes fill up with no problem. Made no freaking sense.
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    How do your collegues treat you if you tell them you might faint and you need help? I'm so scared i'm gonna have a weak stomach for this stuff- or this whole fainting thing that you guys all say happens alot lol its not likeyou can help that!!
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    A couple people hit some of the advice I tell patients (or others when it comes to standing in formation of some sort): Do not lock your knees/keep slightly bent & BREATH. While working as a phlebotomist, I had patients take a deep breath on the stick and then asked them opened ended questions to keep them talking (which means breathing & not focused on the procedure). Some don't do well to begin with. I had one patient get so worked up, he fainted when I put the tourniquet on! BUT, a huge factor with most of my phleb. fainters...10-12 hour fasting required for the draw.

    But I have a couple close calls myself. Once was observing the administration of lidocaine to an open wound between fingers. The other was holding up a patients hair while Dr. was hyfrecating some moles. I honestly believe the surgical lamps used during these minor procedures was the main cause of my near fainting Those things emit so much heat and I was so focused on observing the procedures, I might have slowed my breathing. Plus I wasn't really doing anything "active" during the procedure to keep me occupied (If I'm doing the numbing or actual procedure, I have no problems). Funny I almost faint with a simple mole removal, yet was able to watch an autopsy without any problems (well, the ladeling of stomach contents was a little gross but that was it).
    It's interesting how it can just happen to you out of the blue. Last clinical rotation, a classmate who worked in a GI clinic & assisted with numerous procedures fainted at the site of a PEG tube coming out of a patient. She had no idea why she fainted, the site didn't bother her.

    Don't fear rotations I'm sure there are more nurses or doctors out there who have had their share of a fainting or near fainting spell, or a "I think I'm going to hurl" moment...they just won't admit it Just breathe, you'll do fine.
    Music_Box_Dancer likes this.


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