Published Jan 28, 2005
I am a junior in my second semester of clinicals. I have a problem with getting a little queazy. It has happened 4 times now. Not bad, I was able to observe procedures all the way till the end before it set in. I made a quick exit though at the end of a c-section this week because I started feeling queazy. I am not grossed out by any of it and I can watch the incisions etc. It isn't until I let myself think too much of all the blood that is everywhere and wiped off on everything, or the time when a real obese person was having surgery and the doctor was wiping all of those clumps of fat on a towel nearby. What are some things that may be helpful for me to do to make this better or nonexistent. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN
This happened to me when I first started being the baby nurse in cesareans. Make sure there is a stool handy - don't stand with your legs locked, keep knees bent a bit. And always have a little food on your tummy before you go in .. crackers and some juice for keeping blood sugar up. I noticed that if I went in hungry, I had no reserves for the queasy feeling.
It gets better . . . .
This may sound overly simple but, make sure you are breathing! If you are tensing up, even subconciously worrying about being queasy, you may be clenching your jaw and breathing shallow. Make sure you do a nice in through the nose- out through the mouth, even sigh on purpose once in a while. Ginger is good for stopping nausea, nibble some (even candied ginger) before going in to a situation. Everyone has something that can bother them, I remember a Dr telling a student who felt faint (he was draining a gunky abscess at the time) that he couldn't handle nosebleeds! He could do all the other stuff, but yelled for his wife if one of his kids had a simple nosebleed. I hate resp gunk now, used to be able to deal with trachs, not any more. Recognizing it is half the battle.
Good advice already on making sure you stand well, are prepared (just in case) and watching that blood sugar.
I will try to implement some new things on Tuesday when I go back to L&D, thanks
Are doctors usually patient about the faintness or do they get annoyed?
I had a little blood/needle issue before I started nursing school, and I got some counseling for it and it helped immensely. A really good tip is to tense the muscles in your body and relax them. Start in your feet and move up through your abdomen and to your shoulders. Concentrating on at least tensing your abdomen and relaxing it help. The fear of blood is the only type of fear/phobia that causes a drop in blood pressure so tensing your muscles would help to raise it. It really works! I did some behavioral cognitive therapy with a counselor which helped a lot too. Also recognizing the fact that it's ok to be nervous rather than beating myself up for being nervous around blood has helped. Try to think thoughts like, "They are helping this patient, not hurting him." I'm happy to say that I gave me first big IM shot a few weeks ago, and I'm doing awesome with it. If your school has a counseling center, usually it's free and they can help you with issues like this if you need more help. Stay positive and try out the muscle tensing and relaxing!
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