Fainting Nurses

Nurses Relations


I am a nursing student completing my first round of clinical. Currently clinical is at a rehab facility. Today while changing the dressing of a stapled and sutured hip surgery incision I became lightheaded. It was almost to the point of passing out. I had to sit down, cool off, and calm down. This has happened once before. When I saw my Mom's incision at a follow up appointment. In both instances it had been 10+ hours since I had last eaten. I understand that this could have had an influence. However, this makes me extremely nervous that I will not be able to hack being a nurse. Has anyone experienced the same or similar situations? If so, I would love and appreciate any insight and advice. Thank you!

Eat, eat, eat. It sounds as if that is a factor here. Even if its just to jam a quick protein/carb bar in your mouth, do it. And don't ever go to a clinical hungry.....that may be the day lunch is late. Ask me how I know :)

I have been a nurse for 20 yrs and have fainted a time or two or three before I completed the program. I think it is normal and should begin to disappear as time goes on. Remember all of this is new. Don't give up on yourself!

Specializes in Rehab, Med-surg, Neuroscience.

I suffered from fainting spells that turned out to be panic attacks during my first year as a nurse on the job... I'd have to say I'm pretty sure what you are experiencing is very much related to going without food for that long. I would make sure you eat something before going into these situations, even if it's just a protein bar. Start doing this soon, or your body will think its time to faint every time you're faced with a wound, even if u have eaten, because it's become an unwanted habit... I would also get checked by your PCP just in case. I hope you feel better soon!!!!

Specializes in Med/Surg/ICU/Stepdown.

Having a bought or two of a weak stomach doesn't mean you're not cut out for nursing. I've found that nearly every single nurse has one or two things they're just not able to stomach. In those cases, if you're lucky, you have a good teammate that can help you get through it. ;)

Specializes in Cardiac, CVICU.

It's okay! I have seen and heard of this before. We have a girl in my program that faints all the time. We were assisting the nurse with a PICC and this girl walked out of the room. A guest actually knocked on the door to let us know that she passed out in the hall way. The second time this girl passed out was in my arms while I was trying to get her some water. We found out that she was a severe anemic, which caused fainting when she became squeamish. And, she has been forgetting her iron supplements, so she almost passed out while going through a screening to give blood.

Another girl in our program fainted during a NG tube lab. I wasn't there, but I heard about the incident.

SOOO!!!... This kind of stuff happens, even if you have a strong stomach. You just have to get used to this kind of grossness (it's an acquired taste!).

Students fainting is pretty funny, but is nothing to the hilarity of husbands fainting in labor and delivery. You at least had some reasons contributing to your dizziness, like lack of food, overwork, performance anxiety, those stupid hot polyester student uniforms (do they still wear those?). Wait until you see a big 250 pound construction guy pass out. My favorite was a Navy Seal who was wobbling before he even got in the door. When he saw the doctor scraping that placenta out...CRRAAASSHHHHHH...My point is, you are not alone :) I made a resident pass out, too, once, I just remembered that.

You have to eat well before clinicals which I know isn't easy. Bring snack bars to eat on the way there if nothing else.

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

High power energy bars help....don't forget to BREATHE! in your anxiety. Students have a bad habit of holding their breath when anxious and doing procedures in their concentration. Don't lock your knees it will pool the blood....and yes it will pass....((HUGS))

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg.

Eat. Make sure you eat before clinical and take a protein bar to have on hand when lunch will be later than expected.

Specializes in ER.

You'll be fine. Before you know it you'll be able to eat while doing 'gross' procedures, if you could. You'll be talking about gross stuff at the dinner table and wondering what's the fuss when the family says to stop!

You need to eat!! I picked up waaaaaay too many students or rushed them out of the room pre-faint when I worked in the OR!! it's dangerous on so many levels. Actually had a student argue with me after I caught her in mid fall going for the sterile field and corner of the OR table during a c section. She argued she was fine, i told her about my role as circulator and she was not allowed back in till she ate.

It will get better as you get exposed to things. But you definitely can't go that long without eating... Until you graduate and start working!!

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