Saturday, September 16, 2006

Vagal triggers*

My son is worried about anatomy lab. As soon as the dead rat shipment arrives, his class will be dissecting these departed rodents. And Mike is NOT looking forward to the opportunity. When he brought it up at dinner the other night, I was all set to regale him with stories of all the critters I've disassembled through the years. My husband, however, asked in a strained little voice if we could change the subject.

Is there anything that makes a doctor weak in the knees? Absolutely yes, and highly likely to happen early on in training. One of my vivid memories from medical school is watching my good friend (who was also a fairly new mother of a baby boy) hit the linoleum as we observed a circumcision.

I'll tell you what gives me a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach--finger injuries! Did those of you who've come to the office having crushed a finger or ripped off a nail--you know who you are!-- suspect that I would be more comfortable cutting up a dead rat than checking out your injured digit under those yards of gauze?

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*Any intense experience--emotional, visual, visceral, etc.--that stimulates the vagus nerve, causing a slowing of the heart rate and a drop in blood pressure that may result in fainting.

1 comment:

dorsey moore said...

a friend in nursing school went down when the class was being taught how to give a sponge bath. I don't know if she made it to the gory stuff.
And I agree with you re. finger injuries, noticed you managed to be out of the office when I came in with my own smashed digit.