Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Shadowed in the OR...almost passed out!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by brains, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. brains

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    The other day, I shadowed an anesthesiologist in the OR. The first case arrived. She was a four yr old little girl getting her tonsils removed. I don't know what went wrong with me, but as soon as she was anesthetized, I felt like I was going to pass out or worse :barf: !! The surgeon hadn't even began, and I had to put my head between my knees and sit down. :eek:
    I see blood all the time because I work in CT/MRI and I've seen worse when shadowing an IR.

    I think the main reason was that she is a child and I am a mother. Has anyone else ever experienced this or am I just freaking out???
     
  2. goodluck2

    goodluck2 Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I had similar experience twice for five years. Do not worry - it comes and goes. But for me it is vital to know what is going on while I am watching vs. just watching.
     
  3. bubbleyum

    bubbleyum Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    1
    jenny83, how did you go about getting an OR/surgeon shadowing position? i am jealous.
    i am having the hardest time trying to get even a pediatric shadowing position, or anything!
     
  4. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am currently shadowing a chief cardio-thoracic surgeon in the OR. I got the position simply by calling his office directly; trying to go through the hospital administration proved a dead end.
     
  5. bubbleyum

    bubbleyum Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    1
    thanks plasticman. did you just cold call after looking him up on the internet or something?
    i guess i am timid about calling up random doctor's offices, i feel like i am bothering them about intruding on their time when they are possibly not interested at all in mentoring students...
     
  6. jebus

    jebus Membership Revoked
    Removed 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    6
    Yeah, I totally second that, especially in Albuquerque! I was able to get all sorts of stuff except in an OR.
    I think you're right when you say it's because it's a kid. I shadowed a doc in the NICU and I had to stop after like week because it was really hard for me to see. I'm glad there are people who really have a passion for it because it is hard to watch babies who are so sick.
    And bubbleyum, psychiatric wards are an easy place (well, they were easy for me) to get a volunteer position. You get to see the worst of the worst - old people who throw poop? you bet your ass! The geriatric ward was great. And they're all old and belligerent. Just like I want to be. Plus, it's really satisfying to see them one week all crazy as hell and then 2 weeks later they're all normal. Relatively speaking. - and get great hands on experience because they're so understaffed. I was even able to present an article at daily rounds - to the residents and physicians. I don't think the patients would have cared. Some of them were too busy telling me I was married to them. When it's the men telling me that: ewww.
     
  7. Camillekc

    Camillekc Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    1
    I hope it's normal. I've heard it'll pass with experience. Specifically it's the fat or the sound of metal instruments scraping against bone that does it for me. People's bodies aren't supposed to make sounds like that. unanethesized women giving birth i've kind of gotten used to, but definitely surgery still makes me queasy.

    I'm really interested in helpful suggestions too, if anyone else has any.
     
  8. brains

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    It was really easy. And I can shadow him from now on! How it worked was my dad had spoke to him about my goals when my dad was his patient. He gave my dad his home number and told him to tell me to call him (wait...did that make sense?)

    The Interventional Radiologist lets me shadow him when I want as well. :thumbup:
     
  9. werd

    werd Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    37
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    yeah it happens all the time. when i was shadowing in the OR they must have asked me like every 5 min if i was okay, like they were almost expecting something. i had a blood pressure-dropping experience shadowing some pretty messed up stuff in the ER one time... to me it's worse when you can see their organs AND they're up and screaming about it... ewwwww.
     
  10. brains

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    oh thank God! I thought I was the only one. Seriously. Some of the other docs and techs I work with told me they never felt that way, and I started to worry. But now I'm okay :)
     
  11. mrhealth

    mrhealth Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    when i was doing a project in the ER, i had a wave of something pass over me and i felt very uncomfortable when a big trauma came in. i was talking to some docs about it and they said its very normal for med students to have this type of experience. i think it passes with time (desensitization). i wouldnt worry about it
     
  12. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,298
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Completely normal feeling! Most of us have this happen at some point and sometimes it happens at strange times. The OR can be stressful and everyone is nervous their first time in there. It doesn't help being wrapped up in a gown and having a mask over your face! Many med students say the mask over the face is what makes them feel faint.

    Don't worry, you will get used to it. Just make sure to sit down and get out of the way so you don't contaminate the sterile field.
     
  13. madi

    madi Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aye aye. I had the same experience watching a hernia repair in the OR once. The surgeon told me that the vast majority of students that have shadowed him hit the floor the first time. He said it's relatively normal. Just make sure to accept the fact that you're feeling it when it comes, and get out of the way if you sense that you are on the verge of passing out.
     
  14. brains

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)

    Yeah, i think he was pretty aware of what was happening to me even before I said something. He also told me that if I feel like I'm going to faint, to either sit down or go straight to the floor.
     
  15. BOBODR

    BOBODR Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sometimes it happens. I had volunteered for two whole semesters in an OR and seen ortho surgery (to me the worst because of the drill and hammer for hip replcament), hernia, cranealectomy, etc and never felt anything. Then in the next semester after this I shadowed an OR surgeon and he specifically asked me about my past experiences to make sure I could handle his work. It should have been no problem but in the first week he had me work with a third year med student who was doing an in office procedure. He was simply removing these fatty nodules from a guys back (fat = yellow). Well I hated cheese at this point in time, and he said as he pulled it out on a hook, that it looks just like cheese. Suddenly I felt really hot, went blind where i couldnt see anything, and almost collapsed.... it was the worst feeling ever but now I can just laugh at it but at the time I was embarrased as all the nurses kept asking me if I was ok. Luckily the OR surgeon was cool with it and told me hois own passing out story :thumbup:
     
  16. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    LOL. I have been in the OR many times with my uncle, luckily it has never happened to me, but i have been told it can happen to the best of them. OP, you will be fine.
     
  17. brains

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Oh my god! That would have sucked! Atleast he was understanding and had a sense of humor about it. I probably would've ralphed right then and there!
    I definitely agree w/ beanbean in that the mask doesn't help either. It only makes it worse.
     
  18. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,130
    Likes Received:
    2
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Something similar happened to me actually. I was observing an otolaryngologist perform a tonsillectomy on a 6-year old girl, and at first I was fine, but after a while I felt not so good, and I had to sit down for a while. Actually, he kind of expected it, and had told me before that if I felt faint or anything not to be afriad to say something. I think this happens , which I am normally not at all. It seemed like I couldn't breathe freely, which freaked me out I think.

    I also think it had something to do with the mask. I felt kind of claustrophobic or something. Stuff in the ER was okay though, I think because I didn't have to wear a mask. Good thing I don't want to go into surgery. :)
     
  19. masterMood

    masterMood Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Post Doc
    It's mostly body "tubes" that freak me out.

    Liike in Black Hawk Down, when the guy's leg is blown off and they try to clamp his artery near the hip.

    But then I'm like suck it up like a man you sutpid @$(*)@*#)(@#@()#*.
     
  20. jmnykrkts

    jmnykrkts Registered Hoser
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anything involving eyeballs -like eyeballs that are cut, smashed, poked or whatever- is not cool at all. That and faces with no skin. Get that sh$%t outta here!
     
  21. -Goose-

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    jenny-

    that definitely sucks, but i'd bet its probably pretty normal, considering its your first time in the OR (or at least seeing a peds case in the OR)... something about the OR can really freak people out the first time they're in it. i shadowed an orthopod last year... b4 his first case, we ate some really sweet ( :barf: ) made-fresh-from-powder scrambled eggs. when he first cut skin, i started feeling all hot, yet undescribably cool at the same time... i was fine until he started jiggling the knee all around, witht the tib/fib just dangling (literally hanging by tendons, muscle and skin)... for some reason, i felt the eggs coming up. i tried to play it cool and said i needed to "pee"... right. maybe the green look of my face gave it away, b/c the staff was laughing (they all knew me pretty well) as i walked out....

    anyways, i went back in and watched the rest of the case just fine. thankfully, it was a temporary "first-time" kind of thing and, God-willing, i can still be a surgeon one day ;) .

    as far as peds cases go, i worked this summer in an outpatient surg center doing research w/ a ENT surgical dept (LOTS of peds cases)... it is pretty rough to see them go under the knife for the first time... it seemed so utterly wrong to me, but you eventually 'get used to it' (if thats possible), realizing that its all for the good of the child in the end.


    .
     
  22. -Goose-

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    that being said, some people do have a predictable vasovagular response to sight of surg/blood/guts/etc that cannot be avoided... yes, the mask definitely contributes.
     
  23. 63768

    63768 Guest
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Medical Student
    i don't know about y'all but the first time i saw a surgery and an injection/aspiration, i realized i was holding my breath (for some weird reason). ever since then, i have never come close to being queasy. and i've seen open knees, hips, and shoulders for total knee, hip, and shoulder replacements. seen an open heart surgery (the saw down the middle of the ribcage is awesome). seen arthroscopies in knees, shoulders, and elbows. seen hand surgery. yet to see a laparoscopic or spine surgery. i swear surgery is the best field for me.

    but to answer your question, it can usually pass. but some people just cannot handle intrusion into the body. keep at it and it may get better. you can also distance yourself somehow and it may be better.
     
  24. BooMed

    BooMed Optomist
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Messages:
    911
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Non-Student

    Oooh, I hate eyeballs. I've never even seen one with a problem and I actually sometimes pray that I will never encounter an eye problem in my whole career. :eek:

    I think it stems from this babysitting class I took as a kid where they explained (in detail) what might happen to a kid's eyes and what to do. I had just never considered the horror of having a needle stuck into an eye. :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  25. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    I haven't had any of this at all. I shadowed some surgeons in high school and I've been recently following around the chief senior Anesthesiology resident when he is on call. I've seen some pretty bad things....lots to do with eyes, which i really dont like (busted tear ducts, teenagers shot in the eye with BB guns, etc.) and some ortho. Never felt queesy once.

    To be honest though, after doing some large animal research for a couple of months, you get used to these kinds of things. Especially when you have to take samples post-euthanasia....it gets rather disgusting....wrist deep in coagulating warm blood.....ugggg
     
  26. BooMed

    BooMed Optomist
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Messages:
    911
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Non-Student
    I don't understand, do you mean women who haven't been given pain killers? Or women who are... awake? 'Cause I'm not sure that either one of those factors makes a birth less traumatic to watch! :p

    C-Sections kind of gross me out though. I really don't ever want to have one.
     
  27. LadyJubilee8_18

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    3,792
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I was shadowing a gastroenterologist and I felt very sick at the time even though I'd shadowed many other surgeries. He was using an endoscope to put stints in this woman's bile ducts and she wasnÂ’t fully under. Since she was still kind of awake, she kept gagging and vomiting into the endoscope. I felt like I was going to lose my lunch or pass out. I guess it's because I have lots of stomach problems. I think you feel worse in certain surgeries because of your experiences.
     
  28. brains

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)

    I saw this guy come in to get a CT once because somebody had threw a brick through his window,hit him in the eye, and his eyeball EXPLODED!!......but i wasn't grossed out.

    The thing I can't handle is knees for some reason. That and wet bread in the sink. :barf:
     
  29. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,298
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Everyone has something that really gets to them and sometimes it can be the silliest things. Completely non-medically related...I hate raw chicken..especially the skin. My husbands cringes at the thought of chewing Kleenex - something about wet tissue paper and teeth freaks him out. There was a post awhile back about a med student who was a bit phobic of cotton balls or something like that.

    Speaking of pregnant women...there is nothing like the visceral reaction to vomit that certain smells induce when you are pregnant. I still have flashbacks when I smell salmon and hazelnut coffee...just the smell not the taste.
     
  30. masterMood

    masterMood Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Post Doc
    what makes me squirm is putting a needle up the urethra
     
  31. Chris127

    Chris127 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am the EXACT same way. I cant even wear contacts because I have this 'thing' about eyes/putting objects near my eyes.
     
  32. theunderdog

    theunderdog Medical Student (Slave)
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    2
    what you have is a bad case of the heebie jeebies.

    in order to correct your disability for seeing blood, you have to rent out all the horror flicks at your local blockbuster.

    then, watch them in a marathon form and dont close your eyes when you see blood.

    it'll help you, guaranteed.
     
  33. RayhanS1282

    RayhanS1282 perpetually percolated
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    1

    Done and done....and I mean done. :D
     
  34. rpkall

    rpkall Darwin Award Winner
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    9
    I don't know about the horror movie trick. I'm not sure the answer to blood/injury/injection phobia is to add another layer of suspense, violence, and more feelings of being out of control.

    People with this problem apparently get through med school all the time, if they work hard at it: by recognizing it as a sort of "handicap" and doing what they can to fix it (talking openly with friends, doing extra shadowing, getting counseling and/or anxiety meds, etc). Yes, desensitization is what you'd want to go for, I think, but I think you'd want to do it in a medical context, where you're exposed to blood in a controlled environment for a purpose: to save a patient's life (as opposed to horror movies, where the purpose of the bloodletting is often quite different).
     
  35. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Messages:
    8,510
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Medical Student
    don't worry. it's really common, especially when you can identify with the patient or identify with the relationship to the patient as parent to child. and don't be surprised if it doesn't really affect you (and I mean REALLY affect you) if a child dies that you had treated.
     
  36. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Messages:
    8,510
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Medical Student
    get out of the way is right. once when i passed out in the OR I fell and hit their sterile tray on the way down and sent their sterile instruments flying all over the place :oops: , not one of my best performances :(
     
  37. Nikki2002

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    13,152
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    damn
     
  38. Risa

    Risa like Lisa with an R
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,237
    Likes Received:
    0
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Eeeeeew me too! Sometimes, when I'm feeling a little masochistic, I jiggle my own kneecap around to give myself the heebie jeebies.
     
  39. sweet2th

    sweet2th ready to roll
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Does anyone but me feel an abnormal adversion to patient vomit? I know it is a nasty site, but I literally go nuts when I hear people even start to cough. I've done hypnosis for my vomit "fear" but honestly, who isn't even slightly effected by it???
     
  40. masterMood

    masterMood Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Post Doc
    di dthe hypnosis work?
     
  41. Will Hunting

    Will Hunting Aspiring Cardiologist
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    1

    I get to shadow a neurosurgeon in the OR. pretty sweet.
     
  42. ANYTHING with the eyes freaks me out too! I personally can't even do that test (bear with me, as I astound you with my knowledge and vocabulary of all scientific and medical) at the eye-doc where they blow a puff of air at your eye to check the pressure... KWIM? That test sends me flying across the room! :eek:
     
  43. lexy10

    lexy10 Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    Been there too, watching a heart transplant...non of the blood bothered me, but the smell of the burning flesh when the patient was being opened almost made me want to be sick...i've seen several transplants since then, i've gotten over the smell..in fact i don't notice it anymore....
     
  44. BooMed

    BooMed Optomist
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Messages:
    911
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Non-Student
    How about Lasik eye surgery?! :eek:

    You're awake while they are cutting your eye!!! :eek:

    With disturbing stuff in the hospital, my strategy is to try to be more interested than horrified. It seems like the people I've met who don't have a problem with getting grossed out are always really fascinated by what's happening.

    It bothers me to "distance" myself from patients like that, but in an ER/OR setting, I think it has to be done. I know there are certain specialties (Oncology, surgery) that aren't for me because that doesn't come naturally to me.
     
  45. sweet2th

    sweet2th ready to roll
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    I can't tell if it worked but the woman I went to said I would be wasting money if I came back for any more sessions...I would say that's a good thing. :)
     
  46. -Goose-

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :barf:
     
  47. MollyMalone

    MollyMalone I'm a Score Quadruplet
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,796
    Likes Received:
    20
    Everyone has something (or sometimes, more than one thing) that really squicks them out. You do get used to it eventually and are able to function.

    For me it's phlegm. *shudder* I've worked in health care for ten years now, and I still hate the sight of phlegm and the sounds involved in its expectoration. :barf:

    I found that what makes the difference is when you know that *you* are the person responsible for taking care of the situation. Much like when you become a parent and have to deal with various gross baby messes, necessity fosters ability. Obviously, as others have posted, repetition and desensitization help, too. Don't worry overmuch about it. Everybody gets through it!
     
  48. gdbaby

    gdbaby Prettier than before
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Yeah Jenny I feel you. I volunteer in the Infant Care Center at children's Hospital (next step after NICU) and sometimes I get woozey or depressed. That never happened before my son was born.
     
  49. chef_NU

    chef_NU G-Unit
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're a huge wuss and should totally reconsider going into medicine.
     
  50. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Messages:
    8,510
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Medical Student
    i don't think there is anyone here who is not repulsed by vomit.
     

Share This Page