Jul 19, 2009
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I've always wanted to be a doctor. When I was little, I thought IVs and shots were soooo cool! 3 or 4 years ago, I started fainting whenever a needle goes into me or someone else! Its not that I'm scared - I got facet injects (12 or so needles!) every month in my back the past 2 years for track and field. But I faint when I get an IV, even with my eyes closed, have to get blood drawn, or watch someone get a lumbar puncture! I can feel the faint coming on, but I try not to be a wimp so I don't say anything. And then I faint! Its so frustrating! and embarassing! Anyone else have this problem and did you make it stop? And as a side question, will this affect me in med school or as a doctor?

I'm an EMT and we see some massive bleeds and I get blood on me all the time, so its not the blood thats doing it.
 

apumic

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This probably is something you should get screened by your PCP before asking it on a forum. Most obviously, it simply sounds like classical conditioning; however, b/c you're working as an EMT and it doesn't bother you there, it makes me wonder if something could be going on biomedically that no one here would really have the knowledge/experience to catch. That having been said, if it is simple conditioning, you can treat yourself with systematic desensitization. Self-treating here, assuming you understand what SD is, should be possible and SD would be the most evidence-based tx for this kind of problem (as well as the cheapest).

As far as effecting your work as a doc, well... hard to say, but if injecting others makes you sick as well, then yes, it could be an issue at times. Really, it would depend on your specialty. Normally, in most specialties, techs and nurses will perform injections (in the hospital) but you need to be able to do them as well for certain procedures as well as to get through med school in the first place.
 

Blesbok

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I came in here thinking you were talking about getting stuck while working with them. :oops:
 

vasca

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I use needles like.. all of the time. The novelty of carrying a syringe with a nasty needle loses it's novelty after a few months of using them nonstop everyday for 32 hour shifts. I became very adept at drawing blood from premature babies. Just yank 'em in!

I've lately been injecting myself vitamins. The injection doesn't even hurt, but the stinging sensation of the drug sure does! >_<
 

mic2377

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So, my question is, how do you see massive bleeds, get blood on you, etc. but not see needles ALL the time?

Any EMS scene associated with lots of blood and massive bleeds that I have been on always involves lots of IV's, needles, etc.

The best cure for this is to just get stuck alot. After awhile, you won't have any problem at all. For this, either 1) take up hard needles drugs, or 2) volunteer as a IV subject for a local paramedic class, or 3) be a paramedic.

I actually used to faint from needles as well, but after getting upper-level EMS training, I am not afraid of needles WHATSOEVER. In fact, I am fairly sure I could give myself an IV now if the occasion called for it.
 

smarttee88

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I have this same problem but only when I have blood drawn. I can get a shot and be fine (actually like watching it, strange). During my last physical examination I asked the PA who examined me about why this happens as I am not afraid of blood or needles and she told me that it was a reaction from my nervous system and not to worry about it. I dont know how accurate that is but ive kind of just grown to accept it. I usually warn the person taking my blood that I will pass out afterwards and to not be alarmed when it happens.
 

hal9000

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Yea needles scare the crap out of me too. There's a simple fix though. Just think about something else that causes more pain that you've endured just fine.

For me, when I get woozy by the needle, I just think about a nice, fat papercut right between my middle and index fingers. Then I think about that in combination with a sweaty palm, and the sheer pain it causes. I focus on how uncomfortable the whole situation is. Works every time. :thumbup:
 

xmsr3

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I too used to hate needles, but you know what cures that? Practice, for me donating blood plasma twice a week. At first I cringed everytime I saw the big needle and I couldn't look at it taped to my arm, the blood flowing through it.

But now, after doing it dozens of times I am totally over it and don't mind watching them put it in. Heck even the pain of getting stuck seems to have gone down.
 

Parthenon89

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-become an EMT
-get used to blood
-watch the SAW series

these are just a few things that might help.
 

mic2377

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On the subject of needles, though, I must say I cringe a little when I see a big-bore IV, ie something 16-g or bigger. No matter what, it hurts to get stuck with one of those. They are so big it looks like they take a core sample.

I recall sticking a drunk dude (GCS~12?) with a 16g, and he yelped like a little girl. He wasn't unresponsive any more.

Just wait till you see the 12g caths they use for chest decompression. NOW those are scary....! And, wait till you see one used.
 

Mattabet

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As best you can, try not to worry about it. When the time comes, you'll be totally surrounded by needles and things, and you'll get used to it because you'll have to. Eventually, your body will just get bored of being bothered by it.

In that vein, I'm actually kind of terrified of crabs and such - the little scuttley little S.O.B.'s that creep up on you under water trying to get you to step on them so they can pinch the hell out of your foot.

<-----
So the picture at left is a little attempt at immersion therapy. Plus, it's a knife fight... Riddikulus!