White Coat Syndrome

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Godsgirl16

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Hi everyone. I am a 1st year pharmacy student and this week my class will be learning how to take blood pressure readings. The problem is that whenever someone at the doctors takes my blood pressure I get nervous/anxious and I end up with a high reading. In class and for the next three weeks we’re going to practice reading it with our partners and it would be embarrassing if my numbers were up every single time. I’m 20, skinny, and I eat fairly right with no health conditions whatsoever. At the doctors they wait like ten min then take it again and it’s normal. But in class I don’t know if we are able to wait then take it. Plus being with a hundred people taking their BP in a room will make me anxious. What should I do? Does anyone have a similar experience?
 

AlwaysContrary

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I wouldn't worry about it. Half of your classmates probably won't be able to read it correctly anyway.
 
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Abby Atwood

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We practiced checking each other’s blood glucose and I’m a type 1 diabetic. (Granted blood glucose is something I have a bit more control over vs blood pressure). I just told the person that I’m diabetic and they shouldn’t freak out if the number is a little low or a little high. I also warned them when we were doing point of care HgA1c testing.
 
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I have the same white coat BP issue. It’s no biggie...not like you’re checking each other for hernias or something like that. You can always try to partner up with a mature student who likely won’t care.
 
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DrVader

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Hi everyone. I am a 1st year pharmacy student and this week my class will be learning how to take blood pressure readings. The problem is that whenever someone at the doctors takes my blood pressure I get nervous/anxious and I end up with a high reading. In class and for the next three weeks we’re going to practice reading it with our partners and it would be embarrassing if my numbers were up every single time. I’m 20, skinny, and I eat fairly right with no health conditions whatsoever. At the doctors they wait like ten min then take it again and it’s normal. But in class I don’t know if we are able to wait then take it. Plus being with a hundred people taking their BP in a room will make me anxious. What should I do? Does anyone have a similar experience?
I would try to get over it. Go to a average Walmart and look around...a little high blood pressure is nothing to ashamed of.
 
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ldiot

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Who cares if the reading is high? You aren't going to lose points in your class for it and I doubt anyone is going to judge you for it, especially since you are skinny
 
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Oink

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It shouldn't matter since you're just learning how to take people's BP. I have white coat syndrome too. I have no health issues and play a lot of sports too. Whenever I get my BP measured, it looks like I should be at stage 1 or stage 2 hypertension. The nurses and doctors always give me a strange look when they see those BP readings. I only remember one time where my BP was measured around ~120/80.
 
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lord999

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Eight months? How old were you when you started dating her...ten?
Mid-twenties, not something I'm particularly proud of myself, but on the positive side, my wife has nothing to fear in terms of me cheating on her (and that was something she experienced quite a number of times in her past). I'm not over that, even with her, but its manageable enough in our relationship. And if she does decide to find someone more physically affectionate, it's a tragedy to me but understandable. You don't always match with your spouse on strengths, you also do on weaknesses and insecurities. For this marriage, our issues are as complementary as is our feelings, and I would not have it any other way.
 
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297point1

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Mid-twenties, not something I'm particularly proud of myself, but on the positive side, my wife has nothing to fear in terms of me cheating on her (and that was something she experienced quite a number of times in her past). I'm not over that, even with her, but its manageable enough in our relationship. And if she does decide to find someone more physically affectionate, it's a tragedy to me but understandable. You don't always match with your spouse on strengths, you also do on weaknesses and insecurities. For this marriage, our issues are as complementary as is our feelings, and I would not have it any other way.

I was just giving you grief- you don't have to justify your actions!
 
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donromeo

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AnyOne selling BCPS study materials like ACCP and Med Review stuff?
 
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Well, you could mentally condition yourself out of it...take your BP in front of a mirror wearing your white coat. You might want to realize people in white coats are not as intimidating as you perceive; say your class mates (you are on the same level as them being peers). Might not work if this truly is more of a social anxiety root cause

Like others have said, I'm not quite sure why this would be something to be embarrassed about; it's a matter/fact many healthcare professions are educated on, so others should be understanding.
 

Godsgirl16

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Well, you could mentally condition yourself out of it...take your BP in front of a mirror wearing your white coat. You might want to realize people in white coats are not as intimidating as you perceive; say your class mates (you are on the same level as them being peers). Might not work if this truly is more of a social anxiety root cause

Like others have said, I'm not quite sure why this would be something to be embarrassed about; it's a matter/fact many healthcare professions are educated on, so others should be understanding.
I think it may be me not handling anxiety well. The only reason why I say it’s embarrasing is because I had one doctor prescribe beta blockers because of my high heart rate when in fact I was just very anxious (first time going to a new doctor and without my parents with me). I don’t want someone to think I have a condition that I don’t really have. I guess I shouldn’t care what others think but that’s my problem I guess.
 

Godsgirl16

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I hate being touching or being touched for any reason, so it's just something that you get used to in terms of knowing your own health. You get desensitized eventually.
I hope so. The preceptor said we’ll be doing it a lot in all our schooling.
 

owlegrad

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Well if your heart rate is high and it embarrasses you, just say you had coffee/soda before class.

But seriously suppose for a moment your partner has a high heart rate - will you judge them or think they should be embarrassed? Of course not. So you shouldn't be embarrassed either.
 
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