SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Faint at the Sight of Blood

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jayvee, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. Do any of you current med students know of anyone in their class who fainted at the sight of blood? did they have to drop out of med school? or did they get used to it? any tips or tricks?

    I used to faint alot. After observing a liver transplant I thought I was over it but apparently not. I fainted while watching a breast reduction (ON TV!!!). I get dizzy when people talk about their worst injuries. When I tell anyone this they say "are you sure you want to be a doctor". Should I be unsure?
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Spidey

    Spidey Leorl's official stalker 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    uhm... that's kinda scary. I've always pretty much had an iron stomach, but even I am pretty freaked out at the idea of gross anatomy when we'll all have to disect a human corpse. You should maybe volunteer at a hospital where you can be around this kind of thing (needles and blood) and decide from that if you can handle it or not.
  4. MSTP boy

    MSTP boy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 22, 2001
    A surprisingly high number of students start out by getting queezy at the sight of blood, especially during surgery. Most seem to get accustomed to it.

    The potential to faint in a medically related situation is dangerous. It jeopardizes the health of the fainter and that of the patient. Psychiatry may be helpful.
  5. CANES2006

    CANES2006 Miami chica 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2002
    Miramar, FL
    Kinda off topic but I had a friend who was thinking about going into medicine. We both took this anatomy class in college. When we were exploring the intestines of a cadaver, she not only almost fainted, but she almost puked on the cadaver! Needless to say, she decided that medicine was not for her. :D I used to get a little queasy at the sight of blood. It is completely normal for you to feel a little faint. However, after seeing numerous brain surgeries, where blood (and sometimes pus..sp?)was all over the place, I got used to it. It's all a matter of psyching yourself in the beginning into thinking that you are just there to learn and look at it from a scientific perspective. You'll be fine. Good luck. :)
  6. tussy

    tussy Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 1999
    A lot of med students faint easily. There is nothing wrong with it. You do get used to the sight of blood and faint less easily. You do not need psychiatric help.

    You do need to recognize the feeling when you are about to faint, let someone know, and sit down. You may get teased a little, but it will not prevent you from becoming a doctor.
  7. Laura JC

    Laura JC 7+ Year Member

    May 10, 2002
    I took an anatomy class last year, and I thought the cadavers would bother me, but they really didn't. It just looked like dried out roast beef. It was the smell that bothered me, and I never got used to it.
  8. Thanks Tussy et al., I guess I won't know until I try it anyhow. I'm preparing my self by reading up on my anatomy before hand...
  9. I had this volunteer/class thing, where medstudents taught undergrads how to take bp and stuff, and somebody asked this same question. And the medstudent who was teaching us told us a story about 2 classmates of his:

    At UCLAMed, the students practice drawing blood on each other, in pairs. One guy started to draw blood from his classmate, and the classmate fainted... then he fainted too.

    I thought that was really funny and comforting. If you have any apprehensions, this anecdote should help it melt away. You will probably be learn to deal with any queasiness and get used to stuff.
  10. CUarzt

    CUarzt Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    State of Confusion
    i can stomach quite a bit of 'blood 'n guts,' but the one thing that gets to me is smells.

    something about foul odors are more likely to make me feel uneasy than sight/touch.

    anyone else? and just how bad is the smell while in gross anat lab?
  11. Reavill

    Reavill Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 30, 2002
    Detroit, MI
    The whole sensory problem with Gross Anatomy IS the smell, and I can say it can get really bad at some points. Double glove and wear Nitrile gloves if you don't want your hands to stink for the next few hours after you leave the lab. Regardless of what you do though you will be bothered by the smell of Gross for the first few days...then it will go away. Don't worry if you feel queasy or worse during those first few days.

    Also for some people with big problems with the smell etc. you really don't need to do much disection or interaction with your body to do well in Gross class. Look at the atlases especially the one that contains actual photos of cadavers (can't remember the name) as well as your trusty Netter. I know some of my friends who did really well hardly touched a body.

    The smell of gross really isn't the biggest problem though. The biggest problem is the amount of information that you need to learn/memorize in a short period of time. I read earlier that people were looking at gross before school began...don't worry about it. There really isn't much you can do before you get to actual classs so just enjoy your summer.
  12. lady bug

    lady bug 7+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    I took a class this spring where I had to dissect cadavers...i must say it is the SMELL of formadehyde or whatever they preserve those folks in that would make me light-headed and want to faint. It really had nothing to do with the sight of what i was seeing. Also, the smell of the internal organs is awful.
  13. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen 10+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    when i was in high school i got a laceration and passed out. in my senior year, i saw someone getting a unit of blood and I got queasy. In my sophomore year of college, i donated a unit of blood and passed out.

    In my senior year, I was doing research on rabbits and it involved dissecting them for a heart. Often times I would hit an artery and have it spray all over me. I got used to it and was sometimes doing it barehanded.

    Now I draw blood from patients as a phlebotomist.

    The key to overcoming the fear is to just get used to it. Be comfortable at the sight of it. Remember when you see blood it is usually someone elses! So why worry?
  14. GuitarMan

    GuitarMan Guitarman for President 7+ Year Member

    May 21, 2002
    Just a casual observation about oldman's last comment. It seems as a doctor when you see someone else's blood you should worry because you are probably expected to keep it from coming out where everyone can see it.
  15. riley290

    riley290 Slacker 7+ Year Member

    Jun 30, 2002
    There's a Dr. at the hospital our EMS transports to that pukes everytime a Pt does. He just leaves the room, pukes, and then goes back in and he's fine. It's really funny to see.
    Portlandia8 likes this.
  16. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat 7+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    Man, I hate other people's vomit. I don't hurl myself, but I usually want to.
  17. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2000
    kansas city, mo, usa
    You will get used to the sight of blood after fainting several times. It hurts to hit your head to the floor.

    I have a phobia of needles. I absolutely hate needles, they make me so queasy. I could give a needle fine, but I hate the feeling of the cold metal needle penetrating my skin. I still hate needles, but I just suck in and take it like a man.

    Another thing is smells. Poop is something that you will encounter in anatomy lab, its nauseating to look at and the smell is even more nauseating. So get used to it. Remember that you want to be a doctor and that its not fun to faint and puke every day.
  18. faerichilde

    faerichilde Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    I've watched open heart surgery in person and it didn't bother me, I've seen many cadavers, and they haven't bothered me. The thing that makes me queasy is little skin things. I almost passed out watching sutures in the ER and a biopsy in a dermatologist's office. It made me nervous, since I'm starting medical school this year, but it made me feel better to hear that other medical students have similar reactions. I'm sure I'll get over it eventually.
  19. rmf5055


    Mar 13, 2010
    Wow, I am the same way with the the surgery vs. skin thing! I am starting medical school in August and I have a couple question about clinical rotations (I know I have a few years but I still want to ask).

    How does the clinical rotation in surgery run? Do you have a procedural test like how to suture or is it all a written test? How much of the time are you required to help in procedures vs. just watching them?

    Thanks everyone!:)
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  20. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    hSDN Alumni
    Quick, hop in my time machine so you can go back 8 years to when this thread and these users were still active!

    I'm sure being able to describe how to suture is sufficient. Nobody will care whether or not you can actually do the things you talk about.
  21. Aphtalyfe

    Aphtalyfe 7+ Year Member

    Jul 28, 2009
    New York, NY
    The smell isn't a rotting corpse smell usually... its the formalin that people complain about usually.

Share This Page