Almost passed out during clinicals!! - page 3

I'm a second year nursing student, and am currently in my med surg rotation at clinicals. The hospital I'm in now is much more exciting and learning oriented than the previous hospital I had been in.... Read More

  1. by   LVN2PEDS
    Quote from fm1089
    I'm a second year nursing student, and am currently in my med surg rotation at clinicals. The hospital I'm in now is much more exciting and learning oriented than the previous hospital I had been in. That being said, I'm seeing a lot more than I ever have. Yesterday, I was watching a nurse remove a catheter from a patient's jugular vein in the cardiac step-down unit. I was ok at first, but as she was putting pressure on the neck I started to feel dizzy. I tried to think about other things and looked away from the patient, but that didn't help. I began to fall over and almost blacked out. Luckily my friend was standing next to me and got me in a chair before that happened. I had one of those ensure nutrition drinks and a few scoops of cereal pre-clinical, and only had 3 hours of sleep, but I think the actual removal was what made me faint. Afterwards, one of the nurses was smirking at me and said something like "idk, that's like a sailor being afraid of water." This obviously didnt help my confidence at all as I was already second guessing myself. Has anyone else ever experienced something like this?? Is there hope to get over it? I'm just scared it will keep happening..
    Yes it happened to me during a surgery rotation in nursing school. First surgery was a tonsillectomy. Almost passed out. One of the scrub nurses helped me out of the room and was very understanding and asked if I had eaten I had not and she advised doing so next time. After lunch I attended an Endarterectomy which was kinda bloody but had no problems at all! Don't let that smirking nurse get to you! She is probably hiding her own inadequacies!
  2. by   kmarie724
    When I was a student, I passed out at clinicals while observing a circumcision. My clinical instructor noticed what was happening and caught me and sat me in a chair and one of the nurses got me some orange juice. No one made me feel badly about it.

    I also nearly passed out while observing a c-section. I was 32 weeks pregnant myself at the time and starting panicking at the thought of possibly having that done to me!
  3. by   LightMyFire
    When we were learning about pressure ulcers I Googled pictures so I could look and make faces and get it out of my system before I actually saw one in real life. On my floor we see a lot of them so I'm glad I did this. Most of it is the shock. It happens even to those of us who aren't very squeamish and like any kind of emotional shock it lessens with exposure. I'm sure all of us have something that still gets to us. Hang in there. The field you choose may not involve much of the thing that freaks you out.
  4. by   mustlovepoodles
    That other nurse is an idiot. There is no shame in passing out. In fact, it's not even a conscious act. Some peopled go their whole life and never pass out. Others pass out from time to time, and some pass out regularly. In time you will probably get used to seeing invasive things and you will find a way to compensate. Hopefully, you will at some point NOT pass out.

    I have passed out three times in my 36 year career: Twice in nursing school and once in the NICU about 17 years ago.
    *During my surgical rotation I had to go in on a knee replacement. When they fired up the saw, that was the end of me. I felt myself going, so I just sat down and passed out. They stepped around me and eventually I came around.

    *The first time I gave a shot successfully, I passed out cold. Thankfully, my instructor caught me and kept me from hitting my head on the concrete. I woke up lying in the bed on the other side of the curtain from my patient. T

    *The third time happened when I was pregant with my 3rd child. I was taking care of a tiny infant who had a shunt placed earlier that day. I found her dressing completely saturated with blood. Obviously, I had to take off the dressing and clean things up. When i peeled off the tape a HUGE clot rolled out into my hand. Oops! I passed right out. I felt myself going down and all I could do was hang on to the side of the bed. One of the other nurses got me down, then turned to the baby and cleaned him up while I lay there on the floor.

    I do not believe that fainting episodes makes one a bad nurse. Stuff happens. Get up and get back to work as quick as you can. If you act like it's not a big deal, people around you will probably feel the same way.
  5. by   medic9872
    I saw a nursing student pass out while watching a lumbar puncture. No one made her feel bad about it they just took care of her. She's a great nurse now. When I started my first iv in EMT school the guy I stuck had to lay down and put his feet up. LOL It happens. I've had more than my share of nauseous moments and I've actually thrown up in front of a pt once (I had kidney stones). Don't let one snarky person get you down.

    Sent from my iPhone using
  6. by   fm1089
    Yeah it sounds silly but I don't think I would have been as beat up about the whole thing if that nurse didn't kick me while I was down. As much as I wanted to brush it off like I didn't care, he really got in my head. It was almost like he knew exactly what to say to make me feel worse.
  7. by   aachavez
    I can't say that I've been close to fainting (altho there's still plenty of time for that!) I have felt hot, and nauseaus, mostly for really bad wounds. Tunneling, to be specific. Everytime the nurse or whoever is using the q-tip to shove down in there and measure how deep it is (and in this really terrible nursing home, they're usually VERY deep....) that's when it tends to hit me, that not quite right feeling. SOme of my classmates have felt faint, and had to sit down, get some cool air.

    And as far as a sailor being afraid of water.... my dad gets seasick at just the mention of waves. He was a sailor in the Navy for 20 years, and a damn good one at that. Forget that rude comment, it happens to just about everyone.
  8. by   itsnowornever
    I'm an l&d nurse who has to learn to circulate and scrub....I get dizzy and hot all over watching the sections. LOL. I've learned to focus on other things than watching the actual surgery, you'll be fine.

    Posting from my phone, ease forgive my fat thumbs!
  9. by   Ackeem
    one of my batch mate nearly pass out last week while watching a nurse doing pre-morgue preparations to a patient that died right in there in front of us, as if that already wasn't traumatizing for the poor girl.
  10. by   ßåߥ
    I didn't read all the responses but from my short experience, it may not even be all the blood and gore you think it is.

    If you are wearing a mask, that may be the problem. I almost passed out on two occurrences. One during my first surgery which was removal of cancerous tissue of the labia and surrounding lymph nodes. The second was insertion of a PICC line. Both were the only times I had every worn a mask for a long period of time. A little while later, I was given the opportunity to watch an open bowel obstruction removal and resection. I was really nervous before the surgery because I thought I was going to pass out again but I was talking to one of my classmates and she said to just focus on breathing.

    During the surgery, I did just that, making sure I was breathing and taking deep breaths every once in a while. Lo' and behold, I made it through the whole 2 hour surgery without a problem. Also, that surgery was more invasive than the previous two, with guts everywhere, so I knew I was not afraid of blood or anything, but rather putting my self in a self-induced hypoxia from not getting enough oxygen through the mask from shallow breathing.

    Try that next time and see if it works for you as well.
  11. by   lydzMtl
    My first day of clinicals it took me 5 hours to go into the patients room... I skiped all her morning meds until noon cuz i was way too afraid of taking her vital signs...once i get the currage ( and my teacher literly pushong me in with the machine) to enter the room... The patient who only spoke chinese stares at me opens her legs and what do i have staging in the face the most hairy Vag*na i have ever seen and the lady starts screaming at me and pulling on her urinary cathether which i had no idea what it was at the time loll 3 months into my nursing studies... i ran right out and just panicked...ran to my teacher and told her i was done and disnt want to come back...So yeah... Loll dont now a graduate of may 2012 and full time working nurse and absolutely LOVE my job... Sure people and clinicals are gonna be hard on you and you WILL second guess yourself... But do yourself a favor... If it is your true calling just put everything asside and just beleive un yourself...!
  12. by   mariebailey
    Blood & guts totally gave me the hee bee gee bees b/f nursing school. I was told by my best friend's dad, who was a plastic/reconstructive surgeon, not to let that hold me back from pursuing a career in health care b/c you get over it. Even while in nursing school, I passed out while getting my own blood drawn. My gag reflex still works, but I'm over the passing out.
    You'll be okay. Good luck.
    Last edit by mariebailey on Feb 11, '13
  13. by   Daisie4100
    I am a second year as well. The other day a nurse was watching a fellow student of min remove a PICC and she almost blacked out. This is something she does frequently but she said she had never really thought about doing it while she was doing it. She has been a nurse for 15 years. I figure if it can happen to her it can happen to anyone. A couple of weeks ago I was watching an ECT treatment which was done in a tiny closet of a room and I almost passed out because I was feeling so claustrophobic. Luckily I made it out of the room and sat outside the door for a few minutes and was fine. The nurse that said that to you was out of line. That's what they mean when they say nurses eat their young. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just remember this experience when you are working with students after you become a nurse!