kaylasdf123

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I've been reading these posts for awhile and have never posted anything before. I'm currently a post-bacc student and in the process of completing pre-reqs for medical school. And although I am sure I want to be a doctor, something just happened at work that makes me feel unsure if I would be a good doctor and that worries me.

A coworker of mine who sits a few feet away just had a seizure and instead of springing to action or calling 911, I completely froze. A ton of thoughts were racing through my head...I knew you had to turn the person to the side and make sure nothing was obstructing his pathway but I was just completely frozen and unsure and didn't want to do anything deleterious to his health. Now I'm questioning whether or not I would even make a good doctor...

I know there are some members on SDN who are very vocal and critical with their opinions and that's fine but a few words of encouragement and understanding would also be great as well.
 
Jan 1, 2010
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I think it takes time for some people. Perhaps you need to familiarize yourself with a situation where patients need your help. Try volunteering or working as a care tech or possibly being a hospital sitter where you stay in a patients room and basically watch over them so they don't pull out tubes and such.

I know when I was a care tech a few years ago, I was not ready for what I was in for, but learned a lot from the experience. In fact, I wish I would have stuck with it. Once you get over being overwhelmed with the idea of taking care of 8-10 patients, you realize, hey these people are people! They need care and someone to understand what they're going through. Basically the more you are in the situation, the sooner you should feel comfortable and know what to do. I hope this helps.
 

Geekchick921

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I think you are untrained, like most of us here, and it's completely understandable, probably preferred, actually, that you didn't jump in and try to do anything that might have caused him harm. Don't sweat it.
 

Frazier

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I know there are some members on SDN who are very vocal and critical with their opinions and that's fine but a few words of encouragement and understanding would also be great as well.
Well, the two above me offered you words of encouragement and understanding. :)
However, to balance the mood in here I will offer this: you will make an awful doctor! :mad:

jk (maybe(but not really to the maybe(or maybe not really to that not really(or maybe kayla will make a great doctor. who knows?) (sikkke)))).

Ahh, balance. :oops:
 

kaylasdf123

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Well Frazier at least you made me laugh during a down moment.
 
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Get some clinical experience. Freezing up with you're unfamiliar with things like a seizure isn't abnormal.

If you've spent some time actually being around stuff like that like in an ER or something and you still freeze up, choke, get sick and/or faint on a regular basis then it might not be the career for you.

It probably won't take you long to acclimate and you'll feel more confident once you're used to blood, pain, etc.
 

MilkmanAl

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I think you are untrained, like most of us here, and it's completely understandable, probably preferred, actually, that you didn't jump in and try to do anything that might have caused him harm. Don't sweat it.
What she said. You have plenty of time to get desensitized to and prepared for situations like that while in med school.
 

apumic

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I think you are untrained, like most of us here, and it's completely understandable, probably preferred, actually, that you didn't jump in and try to do anything that might have caused him harm. Don't sweat it.

This. You're a bystander at this point. Yes, 9-1-1 (and moving things out of the way to avoid head/spinal injury) would have been your best option as an untrained layperson but "freezing" is totally understandable. (BTW, grabbing and placing or attempting to place a seizing person in the recovery position to ensure an airway while s/he is still seizing is likely to result in injury to both of you and not do much/any good anyway as the person is going to come out of that position faster than you could hope to get them into it. After the seizure ends, this is appropriate.)

Anyway, I really wouldn't be too concerned about your reaction in that circumstance. It's different in the hospital. Fairly recently, I had to respond as the first staff member in on a down (faked heart attack/possible malingering or conversion d/o) pt. Your role as an employee (or contractor) helps to dictate what you do (in my case, call for a nurse and assess together, decide that a heart attack is highly unlikely given the signs, symptoms, and circumstances of the pt, and send the pt low priority to the ED for further evaluation). In an actual emergency and with the appropriate training, you will simply do what you've been trained to do.