How to prevent fainting??? - page 2

I sat in the OR last week, and loved it! No problems at all! But today, I watched a bone marrow aspiration through the sternum, and had to leave the room and sit down! I have never come so close... Read More

  1. by   grentea
    I think a lot of people would feel faint while watching that! A really good tip if you have to watch something like that again is to tense and relax your muscles. It helps to keep your blood pressure up. Also don't forget to breathe! I've been seeing quite a lot of interesting things at clincial lately and if I feel faint I start tensing and relaxing my muscles (especially concentrate on your abdominal muscles) and I've found that it really helps to keep from feeling faint. This is a general tip given to people who are afraid of blood because interestingly enough, it's the one of only phobias in which blood pressure drops (rather than rising), and I think it applies to seeing really invasive procedures liek your bone marrow transplant.
  2. by   NurseRachy
    you are a very experience fainter!! I've never fainted, been grossed out, but never even thought about fainting. Have you had a medical exam to find out why you faint so much. And are you a nurse? how do you do procedures ?[/QUOTE]

    Hello medsurgnurse, yes i am a nurse (Div 1) and am about to start working in cardiology. I also work in Health Promotion (separate from nursing) and have been to my local doctor and been referred to a cardiologist for ? long QT syndrome ( ). All my ECG's have been perfect and that hypothesis has been dismissed. I have low BP so that has been blamed by my local GP. I keep very fit and healthy and haven't fainted for about 7 months. To be honest my medical investigations concerning my syncope have came to a standstill. My mother and brother faint at the sight of a needle so I'm a bit inclined to think it might be genetic.
    I'm usually fine dealing with most procedures and wound care but I do my darndest to avoid trigger scenarios (like bone marrow aspirations). People are mostly supportive of my requests to avoid certain procedures as a few other nurses have their own dislikes aswell. I can deal with teeth, dentures, eyes and feet without any problems so that is usually my trade off

  3. by   StudentnurseKJK
    Oh dear I cannot sustain myself from laughing!! I googled 'any tips to stop fainting' as I am a student nurse and have fainted nearly twice in two weeks! After reading your posts it has made me feel alot better about it.. NurseRachy - your soooooo funny!!!!! Thank-you
  4. by   criticalRN10
    oh my gosh i'm totally freaked out about starting rotations now!!
  5. by   mama_d
    I can't do L&D b/c I get faint with spinals. I had a patient a few years back who was getting a bedside LP done, I figured "Heck, it's been YEARS since I saw a spinal procedure done, I've seen plenty of crazy stuff since then, I'll be fine." Nope. The patient had wanted me to hold her hand b/c she was freaking out, and it ended up being me holding myself up by the bedrails as we clutched hands for dear life. We laughed about it afterwards.

    When I was pregnant, I could stick people, but watching the blood flash and especially tubes filling made me queasy and lightheaded. I had to start having other staff go into the room with me to swap tubes out take over the IV stick once I hit the vein. But I could watch them draw my blood and the tubes fill up with no problem. Made no freaking sense.
  6. by   criticalRN10
    How do your collegues treat you if you tell them you might faint and you need help? I'm so scared i'm gonna have a weak stomach for this stuff- or this whole fainting thing that you guys all say happens alot lol its not likeyou can help that!!
  7. by   CorpsmanRN
    A couple people hit some of the advice I tell patients (or others when it comes to standing in formation of some sort): Do not lock your knees/keep slightly bent & BREATH. While working as a phlebotomist, I had patients take a deep breath on the stick and then asked them opened ended questions to keep them talking (which means breathing & not focused on the procedure). Some don't do well to begin with. I had one patient get so worked up, he fainted when I put the tourniquet on! BUT, a huge factor with most of my phleb. fainters...10-12 hour fasting required for the draw.

    But I have a couple close calls myself. Once was observing the administration of lidocaine to an open wound between fingers. The other was holding up a patients hair while Dr. was hyfrecating some moles. I honestly believe the surgical lamps used during these minor procedures was the main cause of my near fainting Those things emit so much heat and I was so focused on observing the procedures, I might have slowed my breathing. Plus I wasn't really doing anything "active" during the procedure to keep me occupied (If I'm doing the numbing or actual procedure, I have no problems). Funny I almost faint with a simple mole removal, yet was able to watch an autopsy without any problems (well, the ladeling of stomach contents was a little gross but that was it).
    It's interesting how it can just happen to you out of the blue. Last clinical rotation, a classmate who worked in a GI clinic & assisted with numerous procedures fainted at the site of a PEG tube coming out of a patient. She had no idea why she fainted, the site didn't bother her.

    Don't fear rotations I'm sure there are more nurses or doctors out there who have had their share of a fainting or near fainting spell, or a "I think I'm going to hurl" moment...they just won't admit it Just breathe, you'll do fine.
  8. by   surgicalbum
    I am a CST (cert. surgical tech). During my first clinical rotation, we were advised to make sure to:
    - eat breakfast (if you don't normally, eat dry toast and some juice)
    - keep breathing
    - if you feel faint, tell the doc/tech and back away from sterile field.
    - sit down, drink some oj (if poss)

    It never happened to me but it did to a classmate. Try to think about the good this procedure/surgery will do for the pt.
  9. by   nerdtonurse?
    And if you feel dizzy or like you might faint, for pete's sake, say something! I was watching a doc do an initial bandage change after a skin graft (and the doc was awesome at wound care, and a great teacher), when I suddenly felt my fellow student leaning against my arm. I thought she was leaning over to see better, but she was fainting. We got her in an empty room, and her BP was a little low, she felt clammy, so we sat her down and got her feet up, while I quizzed her on her cardiac hx -- I work on a tele floor, I assume EVERYBODY's got a cardiac hx until proven otherwise. She was fine, she just hadn't eaten. It just scared me because if she'd leaned in the other direction, she'd have face planted right into a wheelchair and a lift
  10. by   shrimpchips
    squeeze your butt cheeks together
  11. by   ManderRN
    This happened to me a few weeks ago. It was our first and only day in the OR. I didn't eat breakfast as advised, and after about an hour of watching a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (when the burning smell came) I started to lose it. I was fine up until that point. I could feel my legs getting weak and I felt nauseated, so I voluntarily left the room. I had to brace myself on the arm rail in the hallway until a passing nurse saw me, and rushed me into the breakroom and forced orange juice down my throat. By that point I was losing feeling in my arms and hands, and the room was spinning. I never passed out completely, but I know that it was close. Then I had the fun embarassment of all my classmates coming in to make fun of my pale/white self! If there's ever a next time, I'll make sure I eat breakfast first!
  12. by   Snowbutterfly
    Hello.I just wanted to seek help because I fainted while I had my duty at the OR this morning. I am a fresh BSN graduate and I still have to take the board exam. I was just holding the retractor and then I felt dizzy. I ate a light breakfast that day. I also felt that I was out of breath, maybe because of the mask or the lights, I really didn't know. This had also happened before, I also had a fainting spell but I didn't really collapse. I don't want such a thing to happen again.
  13. by   HyperSaurus, RN
    I almost fainted while visiting my patient in hemodialysis. The smell of the room, combined with all of the tubes filled with blood, and my having not eaten the entire day was a bad combonation. I all of a sudden got very hot and nauseous, and my partner said I turned white. I wanted to sit on the floor (In choir, we're always told 'if you see stars, don't be a hero-sit!), except the pt was on contact precautions and I was afraid the nurse was going to get upset. I did find a chair in time though. And then I at a cup of potato salad in two bites :P

    Moral of the story--you see stars, you unlock your knees, breath, and sit! (and tell someone).