Fainting....Please HELP!

Nursing Students Student Assist


Hi everyone! I'm a 19 yr old ADN student and have been in my program for nine weeks. I have been doing really well so far and have been seeing so many new things it makes my head spin and I normally handle gross stuff pretty well. Anyways, we just started at the hospital and I was asked if I would like to watch a subclavian dialysis catheter insertion (I know this must seem so trivial to a lot of nurses) and there was a lot of blood and the vein was sticking out hard core and the patient was squirming in pain. I felt super hot and knew it was coming so I quietly stepped out and fell onto my classmate's arm and he took me to the nurses lounge. I sat there and cried for about 10 mins because all that is running through my mind is "I can't be a nurse anymore" and that "I'm too afraid to be a nurse." I'm so sad because I love nursing and I don't wanna give it up. I'm not looking for ways to stop fainting I just want to know if any nurses fainted in the beginning too and if they got over it. Any words of encouragement would be great. Lord knows I really need it right now.

Specializes in Emergency Room.

My first "near" fainting episode occurred after watching a Dr sew up a woman after tearing "down there" during childbirth. I have never had any children and childbirth freaks me out. I also didn't have breakfast that morning. So, I assumed that since I disliked OB and saw the Dr sewing up that sensitive area and having no food made me nauseous. Not only that, but the odor of female juices and wastes during that childbirth experience was more than I could bear. I left the room immediately once I felt my fingers/feet/legs begin to tingle and the room started spinning. After walking out of the room my instructor saw me and took me to sit quickly. She said my face was green. :D I was glad that I left the room when I did because fainting and landing in a pile of goo would have been disturbing for all witnesses. After this episode I learned a few things: 1-Eat before clinicals. 2-Prepare mentally/emotionally before attending the clinical. When exposed to something new like you had been, it's natural to feel "bothered." Investigate the reasons why you reacted to the situation the way you did: Do you not like blood? Do you feel inadequate/overwhelmed? Does seeing people in pain make you uncomfortable? Instead of deciding you can't be a nurse, rule out clinical settings that you don't enjoy. If nursing is a career you truly want to pursue, push forward. Realize that there will be clinical settings that you enjoy more than others.

Good luck to you!:up:

All of us either have, or will have experiences like this at some point! At least yours has a rational reason - i've had friends who have fainted while preparing a shower for a patient! :lol:

but really... I know its hard to believe but we all go through things like this, some of us just don't show it as well as others. I used to HATE needles, like i literally passed out a few times in highschool while receiving shots. With all of the shots I had to get to become a HCA, I learned to suck it up, and now I just take a deep breath before the insertion of that needle.

I know some practicing nurses who still are uncomfortable with blood... Either this gives you an opportunity to learn your weakness and overcome it for another encounter, or you might decide not to work in an area with central lines. It's okay to say you need to step outside for a minute.. The pt is freaking out just as much as you are!

Ha at least you had a good reason .. a dangling vein does sound pretty nifty .. anyways ... good breakfast next time =)

Food on your tummy will help, I sometimes feel a little light headed when observing in OR, the smells really get to me. When I am actually doing something, I can handle it, no problem

Hello everyone. Thank you so much for the advice! It helped me a lot! I've now been through OR and OB with no problems and put in IVs like it's nobodies business now! Thanks!!! :)

Relax....it happens. With more exposure the risk is decreased. I worked ambulances and years later when I started nursing school. We were practicing in lab some skills and I got woozie--could you imagine. Of course, I told no one. You are a student and give yourself some slack. Things happen.

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