There were so many
embarassing moments in my student years that it's hard to pick a single, worst moment, but it's probably this one:
In my OR rotation in school (I went to a diploma school, so we actually spent six weeks doing four days/week of clinical in the OR, scrubbing or circulating on cases all day), I was scrubbed in on a vaginal hysterectomy, and the surgeon had me pulling on a clamp that was retracting the woman's cervix. Now, I grew up in a medical family (dad MD, mom RN), have been around blood and guts all my life, and am not at all squeamish. HOWEVER, I have naturally low blood pressure, and am also a tall woman (6'). Since the surgeon was seated, he had the lights pulled down so they were practically right in my face. It was v. hot and stuffy inside my gown and mask, and I was having to stand v. still with both arms up over my head, pulling. Well, although the blood from the case wasn't bothering me at all, all of my
blood was pooling in my legs and staying there, and I was quickly getting more and more woozy and light-headed. I tried shifting around and stamping my feet a little, but, before long, I knew that I was soon going to pass out. I spoke to the circulating nurse and told her I needed to be relieved just
before I started slumping to the floor. She caught me and literally dragged me out of the OR, my instructor was summoned, and she found me on a gurney with the free OR nurses clustered around me, patting me with cold, damp washcloths and being concerned.
I assured my instructor that there was nothing significantly wrong with me except standing for too long in one place with my arms up over my head, and she sent me down to the coffee shop to get a snack before the next case in "my" room started. When I returned and checked the schedule, I found to my horror that the next case on which I was supposed to scrub was another hysterectomy by the same two surgeons I had just swooned in front of
I was mortified and embarassed and terrified and every other word you can think of to have to go back into the room and face the two surgeons again (my instructor would not allow me to chicken out, and sent me back in there), but they were v. pleasant and mellow about my earlier performance, and, in fact, spent the entire second case swapping stories about all the times they had thrown up or passed out while they were in med school.
So, in the end, it turned out ok, like most embarassing moments in nursing school ...