Fear of Blood!

  1. Hello all- I enjoy this forum and I have a problem that I thought you might be able to help me with (well maybe some of you). I just graduated yesterday and start on a med/surg floor next month. The problem is that during clinical I passed out twice. Once during a C-section and once while observing surgery. I never actually passed out while on the unit, but came close with gross procedures or blood. I think my biggest problem is with blood. I've never done a blood draw, but I'm going to be starting to do them soon- I'm very afraid that I'm going to pass out and I was wondering if anyone else ever had this problem or has some advice for me. I know it's silly, and you're probably thinking I went into the wrong profession for someone with a weak stomach. I know it's rediculous, but I've come this far so I can't turn back now- any advice would be wonderful!!!!
    -Lauren
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    About chacmool

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 28; Likes: 7

    6 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    It's not unusual for non-OR nurses to have a problem watching surgeries, and many of us have problems with something....I have a hard time with vomit and oral secretions. I don't really have any advice for you, except if you medsurg doesn't work out for you because of this, don't give up. Try another area of nursing where you don't have to see things like this, such as clinic or office nursing.

    Question: would you be able to hang a bag of blood?
  4. by   TX_RN_CAPA
    Lauren,

    I was in the same position 21 years ago when I started my first position. I graduated without ever having started an IV or drawn blood. My experiences in OR in school left me sitting with my head between my knees every time! :uhoh21:

    I was very fortunate to have a great preceptor and an understanding patient for my first IV start. Luckily I hit it on the first shot and I managed to stay upright and coherent. Since then, there have been 1000's of sticks and I have never had a problem with passing out. Doesn't mean I don't get grossed out with really bloody situations (and I don't do gory movies).

    Hang in there! You'll do fine. Take a deep breath (and don't hold it -- LOL) and you'll get through it!

    Good Luck!
    Susan
  5. by   Flare
    I can remember passing out twice in nursing school and once during lecture...
    of course i was having some big problems with hypoglycemia at the time. Everything is more under control now.
    Remember to eat a good breakfast (protein, protein, protein!!)
  6. by   rn undisclosed name
    It gets better. My first experience with blood was when I was working as a nursing assistant in a nursing home and there was a male pt with a foley who got out of bed and went to the bathroom. I had a feeling in the back of my mind he'd do this. Anyways he forgot the foley was in him and it was pulled out. The floor and wall of the patient's room was covered in blood. I couldn't go in there and other people I worked with had to go in and clean it up. I believe the pt was also sent back to the hospital.

    When I was in nursing school I would get queasy watching an IV be started. Now I can start an IV and the blood doesn't bother me. I hang blood on patients. Watch dialysis being done. These are things I couldn't stand before and would almost pass out from. So yes it can get better.

    Certain wounds are enough to send me over the edge. Basically when I get like that I stop looking at the wound for a few seconds and then I can go back to what I was doing. Luckily a lot of the bad wounds are taken care of by our physical therapy department.

    I haven't actually seen any surgical procedures other than a pacemaker implantation which had a good deal of blood and I did well with that. I'm curious to see how I would do in the OR for other surgeries.

    Hang in there!
  7. by   chacmool
    Thanks for the responses! It makes me feel better to know that you just get used to it. The eating breakfast thing doesn't help for me- I ate shortly before I passed out both times before. I just wish there was some way to stop it when I feel it starting to happen- looking away is helpful sometimes, like you said, but not always! Let me know if you have anymore tips!
  8. by   nurselsteele
    Quote from chacmool
    Thanks for the responses! It makes me feel better to know that you just get used to it. The eating breakfast thing doesn't help for me- I ate shortly before I passed out both times before. I just wish there was some way to stop it when I feel it starting to happen- looking away is helpful sometimes, like you said, but not always! Let me know if you have anymore tips!

    Here's a trick that my 17 yr old used, ( he wants to be a doctor)
    He signed up to donate blood at the blood drive, he used to pass out whenever he got injured at the first site of blood, down he went, mind you he is 6'2 242lb football player!
    He was petrafied when it was time to donate but he knew that giving up his blood would help someone that needed it, he made it through the blood draw, they pulled his needle & down his best friend went, to the floor! Mind you his best friend finished donating 10 mins before my son! Tom said after his buddy hit the floor a shy of relief went over him, I think the fear of the unknown or the "strange" gets to us!

    Good luck & hang in there!

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