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Shaky/Uneasy around blood?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Aerus, May 6, 2012.

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  1. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 5+ Year Member

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    Hey everyone!

    What are your thoughts about becoming a doctor if you might be shaky around blood? Based on your experience in medical school, is this something that you can overcome with experience? Can you just lose your uneasiness with blood? Do the third year clincal rotations just knock out all of that uneasiness and turn you into hard robots that can stand seeing any amount of blood? Or is this something you can't learn and people either have it or don't?

    I'm not terrified with blood and can stomach it. I absolutely love certain bloody movies (<3 SAW Franchise) but I sometimes shake when I see certain bloody scenes in movies (hard to explain). When my friend had a huge bloody gnash in his leg, I felt a little shaky too.

    Is this a concern for anyone who wants to be a doctor, preferably go into Primary Care?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. VisionaryTics

    VisionaryTics Señor Member 7+ Year Member

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    Systematically dismembering a corpse over a six-month period will desensitize you plenty. You'll be fine.
     
  4. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod 7+ Year Member

    You get desensitized to just about everything in med school, blood included. I certainly wouldn't avoid med school because you're a little uneasy around gore.
     
  5. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis Preliminary Medicine 7+ Year Member

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    Tell that to the second year med students who faint in the OR :D
     
  6. D elegans

    D elegans 5+ Year Member

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    Haha this is what I was going to say. First moment of anatomy lab when we pulled back the plastic covering of the cadavers it was a little unsettling, but after a bit of slicing away some skin it became a purely academic endeavor.

    Surgery will be academic as well. The "cool" factor will probably override the "eek" factor when it comes to blood.

    Far, far worse for me than blood and exposed anatomy is the sight/smell of sh*t. That makes me want to vomit profusely.
     
  7. D elegans

    D elegans 5+ Year Member

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    Who is that in your avatar? It kinda looks like a demonic Tony Blair.
     
  8. NeuroCT Geek

    NeuroCT Geek

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    I have a friend who says this exact reason holds him back from applying. He has a cousin that was dismissed from medical school because he fainted too many times.
     
  9. NeuroCT Geek

    NeuroCT Geek

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    Jack Black?
     
  10. VisionaryTics

    VisionaryTics Señor Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jack Black. I used to look almost exactly like him when I was overweight.
     
  11. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod 7+ Year Member

    Yikes. I'd say that's a pretty extreme case, though. A good friend of mine passed out during his first month of surgery - it was the first day, if I recall - and he's going into urology. :shrug: I'd say most people overcome the uneasiness pretty quickly on wards, if not during anatomy.
     
  12. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 5+ Year Member

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    Thanks to everyone who posted! I feel much better.

    Just wondering though, would you consider the fact that you're desensitized a good thing in general, outside your job? :D
     
  13. surftheiop

    surftheiop 2+ Year Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it, I asked a couple attendings about this before medschool and they just laughed and told stories about having medstudents (even interns) faint for one reason or another and then go on to be fine.

    And while cadavers certainly have no actual blood left, I've had zero problems sawing them to pieces while I thought that would be a big deal to me.
     
  14. surftheiop

    surftheiop 2+ Year Member

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    I remember thinking "WTF has happened to me this year", when during a practical I was looking at a decapitated head on a table and thinking, "I wish this was fresher so I could tell if that was a nerve"
     
  15. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 5+ Year Member

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    :laugh:
     
  16. D elegans

    D elegans 5+ Year Member

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    On our final practical there was one cadaver so dismantled and shredded at first I couldn't tell if I was looking at an *ss or a face.

    But yeah, you'll have no problem. The only way it affects your outside life is if you're in mixed company with med students and non-med students and you start talking about anatomy like it's nothing over food (other people will feel queasy). Yet another reason to keep school and the other parts of your life somewhat separate.
     
  17. NeuroCT Geek

    NeuroCT Geek

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    Wait.......there is life outside of med school?
     
  18. Cali2

    Cali2

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    It probably won't be big problem, like most of the other posters said, most people desensitize pretty quickly. Plus, except for OB/Gyn, Surgery,and ER there is not typically *that* much blood in medicine. Just stay hydrated, be aware of your own personal threshold and, like the surgeons will tell you, stay away from the sterile field and sit down if you get any hint that your going to faint!
     
  19. D elegans

    D elegans 5+ Year Member

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    I've heard rumors
     
  20. Abby_Normal

    Abby_Normal 5+ Year Member

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    Mine was probably when I realized that talking about how I being in the anatomy lab in the evening by myself (with just the cadavers and the sunset over the city...) very relaxing to people outside of medicine tended to elicit slightly strange reactions.

    As to blood, I grew up with cats who like(d) to kill small animals. I spent much of my childhood wandering into the kitchen in the morning to find a pool of blood with a lone organ (the vet said it was probably the gall bladder--apparently cats don't like that) and a tail in front of the fridge...that said when I found a whole dead mouse in my apartment a few months ago, this combination of anatomy and childhood exposure was not enough to stop me from freaking out and calling my parents (who, of course, laughed).
     
  21. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO 7+ Year Member

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    Your! Your! Your!
     
  22. GarfieldKoe

    GarfieldKoe

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    I certainly wouldn't avoid med school because you're a little uneasy around gore
    [​IMG]
     
  23. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y! SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    As others have said, you'll get desensitized over the course of med school. Even the stories of 2nd years passing out in the OR, well that's part of the desensitization process.

    Moving to pre-allo.
     
  24. plumhill

    plumhill 2+ Year Member

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    I wouldn't worry too much. If you have the opportunity to do so, try and see a cadaver (if you're nearby a medical school, some kind soul might take you around the gross anatomy lab after hours). Also, just remember that very few people truly like the sight of blood and guts...you just have to get used to it. It might also help you to volunteer more extensively in some place like the emergency department, which does sometimes have trying sights/smells.
     
  25. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis Preliminary Medicine 7+ Year Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  26. mmmmd

    mmmmd tasty 2+ Year Member

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    If you want to desensitize earlier, you could always use youtube. Plenty of relevant search terms. For example, spleens is of the light variety. ;)
     
  27. AvidAvatar

    AvidAvatar 5+ Year Member

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    I think you will be fine. Being a bit uncomfortable is something you can get over.

    Now on the other hand, I used to work with a girl who was a neurotic pre-med, who was also absolutely allergic to the site of blood. For one of our research protocols we would have to spin blood to run in some tests. She could hardly do it! Blood in a vial was too much for her. One day a vial somehow fell and broke. The resulting blood splatter made her immediately pass out and bang her head on the side of a table. I don't think she will be able to move to far in a medical career, poor thing. :(
     
  28. WellWornLad

    WellWornLad 7+ Year Member

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    Believe it or not, fear of blood is unique among phobias. Not only does it have a genetic predisposition, but unlike most other phobias it is associated with a vasovagal response, i.e. fainting (thank you, psychiatry rotation).

    What this means is that while you will probably acclimate as many posters have already mentioned, you should get some OR time in and just make sure you don't have a full-blown hemophobia, because you may want more structured therapy to deal with it first (at least until you stop fainting...)

    Just be sure to find a nice surgeon and warn him beforehand that you may, in fact, fall down.
     
  29. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president 5+ Year Member

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    This is what I am worried about too. How do you put up with that when nasty smells make you want to vomit?
     
  30. mmmmd

    mmmmd tasty 2+ Year Member

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    Don't smell through your nose. I never understand why, when people smell something that reeks, they tend to KEEP SMELLING. Just breathe through your mouth :p
     
  31. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    Time to man the **** up son
     
  32. NeuroCT Geek

    NeuroCT Geek

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    Seriously. If the sight/smell of blood is what stops you from pursuing medical school, you should just begin studying for the PCAT.
     
  33. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 5+ Year Member

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    Sure! Hypothetically, I guess.

    That's a very creative idea. Although, since I do watch bloody movies regularly, there must be a difference between a lot of real life blood and a lot of graphic blood. I'm not sure if this type of desensitizing would work on my case particularly, but this might work for any of my friends!

    Don't worry, I definitely don't have a phobia of blood. I enjoy watching a lot of bloody movies and help my siblings with minor bleeding. It's just that I felt sort of shaky when my friend was seriously injured and was severely bleeding. This isn't a huge concern, but I was curious if this might become a problem later on.

    Thanks for the input, though!

    Wow...that's a sad story. :[ Hope it works out for her, wherever she ends up. And thanks for the input!

    Please reread my original post carefully, please. Thanks.

    If you're still confused by my thread, you should reread it. I never said the sight/smell of blood stopped me from doing anything. This is a mere curiosity.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012

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