Feeling queasy?

Sorry if I’ve asked this before. Does anyone have advice about overcoming queasiness when faced with…not just blood, but people in pain along with the blood? Does it go away gradually? I know some of you have never had it…but I do, and I’m a little concerned. Tips? Tricks? Your experiences?

Just to be frank, its going to be something that you have to either overcome or give in to. I’m not in med school yet but it seems as though you may want to evaluate if this is something you really want to do. If so, there really is no other way but to suck it up. The more you are exposed to it the more, atleast I believe, you will be adjusted.

I’ve never really had a problem with this but my suggestion would be to start exposing yourself to similar environments.

Visit a slaughter house or a butcher, watch horror movies (zombie flicks are great for seeing body parts), be your own plumber (trust me, unclogging a toilet with your bare hands will definately make you tougher).

The problem seems to be when a patient is in pain or discomfort, for example out-of-it and coughing up blood during a procedure, or when a very bad wound is being irrigated, or when a kid is screaming while having a burn wound debrided (is that the correct term?). I think it’s the empathy kicking in. A cadaver would be different, I think. Dissections aren’t a problem.

If you have had a similar reaction, what did you do to get over it? Is it substantially different if you are in the process, doing something proactive for the patient, rather than acting as an observer?

I would almost bet that the reactions would be different if you were the acting caregiver. Your focus would shift and you’d go from being reactive as an observer to proactive as the healer.

This probably explains why good mothers make good doctors. Not only are they instinctively driven to protect and heal, but they deal with their childrens instances of pain all the time.

Hello there:

It will go away - you’ll be amazed when you realize it’s gone.

I remember when I was a respiratory student and I had to stick a patient for my first ABG - I was a freaking nervous wreck! But, I was being graded and had to do it - the patient was out cold (sedated, vent patient), so they didn’t flinch, etc. Sometimes you just have to just right on in there and do what you have to do. Let the adrenalin take over and you’ll do just fine.

Hey there -

I’m currently a paramedic student seriously considering med school. My queasiness occurs during planned procedures such as surgeries and other non-emergency situations. I guess when I have time to think about it is when I have a problem.

Heck, I know a couple of fantastic medics who vomit fairly regularly - it’s just become something they’ve learned to deal with…part of the job.

My dad said that when he was in medical school, he had several classmates who actually passed out during their first few rotations. He said that a few of them dropped out, but the rest worked through it and became the best students, and the best doctors in the class.

Don’t let it hold you back - we’ll be just fine!


It is really a transient thing…about 7 individuals felt sick on day 1 of gross anatomy…by the end of the semester…these people had their sandwich and a coke on the abdomen of their corpse studying for practical exam. Dont tell my Dean :slight_smile:


I understand the queasy feeling. I just finished nursing school and the first time that I got to observe a surgery I felt so sick to my stomach and I thought I was going to passout. I kept telling myself that I would be fine over and over again. I must have looked a little green though because the surgeon asked to me to not passout while standing.

Thanks for the great advice and for sharing your experiences. I really appreciate it.