Panic attacks before clinicals

  1. I've been working in the medical field long before I decided to become a RN, but lately as I advance into the program I been noticing an onset panic attacks before clinicals and during class. This last one had me sprinting towards my Xanax and a paper bag; where, I then preceded to curl up into a ball on the floor. In class, I don't have that luxury, I may look stoic but inside of me my stomach is turning itself into a square knot as I try to maintain my façade. The students closest to me are starting to notice my tells. Has anyone faced serious panic attacks during their stent in SON, and how did you deal with it?
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    About thegraystudent

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 2


  3. by   I<3PedsRN
    I use to get panic attacks all the time, too. I ended up getting on medicine that helped, but i also took some advice from one of my instructors who said "When your in the room, think clinically first, then emotionally." THis single piece of advice has helped me many times to ward of an attack.

    Good luck and know your not alone!
  4. by   Kaysmom8
    I'm in my second tear of nursing school and I've had panic attacks for about 10 years now. I take Xanax for them as well as Lexapro, at first I felt like I had to hide it from everyone in the class because I'm ashamed that I have this weakness. Then one day I was talking to my instructor about them and she opened my eyes when she said you have nothing to be ashamed of it's not something you can control. You know what she was right, I slowly started opening up to other students about my attacks and it made me feel better. Trust me the fear of a panic attack on top of keeping it a secret only makes it worse. Let your instructors know so that if one ever happens and you need to excuse yourself they'll know why. I also tell myself to remember that I'm in a hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses that could help if an attack gets real bad. I know attacks are by far the worst feeling in the world and wouldn't wish one on my worst enemy. Clinical is stressful in itself and can bring on attacks try to keep calm and as hard as it sounds try to stay away from caffeine. One more thing if your not on a antidepressant please go see your doctor, I take Lexapro daily and it helps. Stay strong you can do this!!
  5. by   thegraystudent
    I have told 2 students and two instructors. My instructors pretty much think I'm an idiot for having these panic attacks. I think I may need an antidepressant this whole nursing thing isn't working out for me. I guess I'm just chocking at the last minute and I'm just frustrated that my body doesn't respond the way it should- without deficit.