heartonsleeve

5+ Year Member
May 19, 2013
41
6
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I have worked in the ER and shadowed dentists before, blood does not make me queasy. For some reason, the last dentist I shadowed I ended up fainting and woke up on the arm chair apologizing profusely. Thought it was not a good breakfast or nerves or dehydration or whatever I could chalk it up to. This time I prepared myself more for the new dentist, ate well and did all the preventive measures and found myself passing out again! I went to the bathroom to regain my composure and I came back and started to faint again! I went to sit on a chair and couldn't regain composure AGAIN so I mumbled something to the front desk and walked out and fainted against the side of the building. I'm humiliated and feel so bad I didn't thank the dentist or say goodbye or anything.

Has this ever happened to you while shadowing? This is the second dentist I've done this to now, I don't know how to rectify the situation. I just shot a text explaining why I left and apologizing, I don't want to call her because a) I'm humiliated and b) she is with patients. I'm trying not to be extreme and think this is the end of my dental career aspirations but TWO times of fainting?! Any insight would be appreciated. :(


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
OP
H

heartonsleeve

5+ Year Member
May 19, 2013
41
6
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I went last time the first time it happens and he said it happens, I was probably watching the procedure too intently and it happened to him in medical school yada yada but I'm going to go to the doctor to double check again on Monday. I don't think it's completely abnormal to faint during shadowing though, hoping I'm not the only one. I do however think it's abnormal to be fainting twice now :(


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

JLT223

Dental Student
2+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2015
2,944
2,987
Status
Dental Student
This isn't a place for medical advice. If you fainted due to the procedure, its time to rethink your career goals.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CallMeDoct
OP
H

heartonsleeve

5+ Year Member
May 19, 2013
41
6
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
This isn't a place for medical advice. If you fainted due to the procedure, its time to rethink your career goals.
I'm not looking for medical advice, maybe I should have composed myself before writing my post if it seemed that way. My apologies. I'm not going to rethink my entire career goals because of this that easily. I just wanted to hear if any others have fainted while watching a procedure and I was glad to receive some private messages sharing their experiences with it.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

doktorinprogres

5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
267
199
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Don't lock your knees, shift weight/move your legs around, give compression socks a shot.
 

Charles_Darwin

2+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2016
828
831
Status
Pre-Dental
I seriously think you need to visit a doctor OP! My ex used to intern at a doctor and also fainted twice, turned out she had hypoglycemia. Go to the doctor before you faint and hit your head on something. But I can relate to you a bit too, I used to be an EMT and I interned at an oral surgeon afterwards. The sights were fine with me, I'd seen a lot worse but the beeping sounds of the monitors used during extractions used to give me a bit of anxiety & lightheadedness, I needed to sit down the first time. I still really want you to get that checked out. It's definitely not a career ender but you need to be safe and sure it's not something unsafe
 
  • Like
Reactions: CallMeDoct
OP
H

heartonsleeve

5+ Year Member
May 19, 2013
41
6
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I seriously think you need to visit a doctor OP! My ex used to intern at a doctor and also fainted twice, turned out she had hypoglycemia. Go to the doctor before you faint and hit your head on something. But I can relate to you a bit too, I used to be an EMT and I interned at an oral surgeon afterwards. The sights were fine with me, I'd seen a lot worse but the beeping sounds of the monitors used during extractions used to give me a bit of anxiety & lightheadedness, I needed to sit down the first time. I still really want you to get that checked out. It's definitely not a career ender but you need to be safe and sure it's not something unsafe
Hey thanks everyone for the replies! I am gonna make sure to get this checked out by a doctor. I don't want this to turn into a medical advice seeking thread but I appreciate all replies and promise I'll have this looked into. Thanks everyone and I hope you all have an awesome weekend!


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

sarriball

SDN Bronze Donor
Bronze Donor
2+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2014
1,236
1,735
Status
Dental Student
Against the side of the building? I can't imagine pulling up for your biannual cleaning and seeing that.
But seriously, how long were you standing for?
 

tooth_girl_95

2+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2016
8
2
Status
Pre-Dental
This has happened to me 4 times while shadowing. I know how embarrassing it can be, trust me! I love blood and oral surgery! I have had blood work done and results showed no abnormalities. My Doctor told me that this "fainting spell" is actually quite common in many young adult women (maybe men too?). In my case, the dizziness resulted from a lack of blood circulation to your brain from the dilation of your blood vessels in the lower extremities. She said that I should try doing calf raises and make sure I am staying properly hydrated. I hope you can find some relief in knowing you aren't the only one. If I were you I would still try to be seen by your primary physician. I thought I had hypoglycemia, diabetes, anemia, etc... but I have found that when I shadow I need to sit periodically and let my legs rest. Most dentists don't mind letting you sit in an extra assisting chair to observe the procedures.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hellofuturedentists

Nelson16

2+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2015
29
22
Status
Dental Student
Don't worry, this happened to me multiple times too. Despite the embarrassment, it was never really a huge deal - no need to reconsider density or anything crazy like that. My problem was that I probably wasn't eating a good enough breakfast and was too intimated to ask for a snack at the office. It definitely gets better the more time you spend around those types of procedures. Also, if you're feeling lightheaded there's nothing wrong with just letting the doctor or DA know and taking a minute outside the operatory to grab some water.
 
  • Like
Reactions: xerxes106
Dec 12, 2013
472
488
Status
Pre-Dental, Other Health Professions Student
I had exactly what Nelson16 described. Too small of a breakfast and lots of standing and leaning I eventually passed out my 2nd or 3rd time shadowing. Not squeamish so it was really confusing.
 

krdent

2+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2015
138
99
Status
Dental Student
It never happened to me but, the dentist I shadowed said he has had a few interns faint before. He said he even fainted when watching a procedure once.
Even though I haven't fainted, I have gotten light headed before. The big thing that helps me is that I shift my weight while watching procedures/ bend and unbend my knees. I pretty much try to move around as much as possible without the dentist or patient noticing. this has helped me stand for 4-5 hours at a time while shadowing.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

bilbany12

2+ Year Member
May 9, 2015
128
49
Status
Dental Student
You need to drink water before you shadow. Drink like an entire bottle, and then throughout if you can. I used to get fainting spells while shadowing and for the longest time wondered why. I read somewhere to try drinking before, and I started to do that. Hasn't been a problem since. ;)