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Is anxiety during medical processes normal?

Doctors often have to do invasive procedures such as surgery, which can be bloody and unsettling. how do pre-medical students/residents get used to the feeling of doing these types of invasive procedures?

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Mark’s Answer

Like most things, getting comfortable with these types of procedures takes time and repetition. But not everyone is the same. Some people are going to very quickly get used to invasive procedures, and blood, etc. Other people may remain squeamish and never get used to it. Most people are somewhere in between. I've known people that changed majors because they realized they were not going to ever get used to the difficult or "gross" parts of their healthcare job. I delivered food to patient rooms for a while in high school. Getting used to the smells and sounds in hospital rooms took time. Getting used to seeing people in pain and discomfort was something I never became comfortable with. It's not for everyone.
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Maya’s Answer

Hi Hanan!
Yes this is a rational and normal worry to have but one of the reasons medical schools and other medically related fields require some sort of volunteer work and shadowing work, is to provide you with an opportunity to go into these fields and see how you react to it and if you can commit to it. For the most part, you would just have to get used to it by being in these hospital environments but to help reduce these kinds of anxieties I used to watch surgery videos on youtube to get familiar with these kinds of images so that once I started working in a hospital it was not so surprising to see. Thats just what I did though, you may find other things to work for you but just know it is normal to feel anxiety about these things at first.
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Usha’s Answer

Hi Hanan,
Yes definitely! But I can reassure you that you grow and learn more about yourself and overcome worries and anxieties the further you get into your studies. While you are exposed to many different subjects and course works, a lot of your anxieties are processed on this journey. If anxiety persists, focus, and try to work on it. But you will be surprised about yourself; the more you learn and the more you know, you might see talents and interests for yourself, which weren't present at the beginning of your studies. Med school is definitely not a sprint, but rather a marathon. A marathon, which is worthwhile and very rewarding :)
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Estelle’s Answer

Hi, Hanan,
Having anxiety about medical procedures is absolutely normal. Medical students naturally become more and more comfortable with invasive procedures as they gain experience. The more you learn about anatomy and the procedures themselves, then easier they are to observe. You will gradually focus on the procedure itself more than the aspect of invasion. As in life, the more you know and understand, the less daunting jobs become.
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X’s Answer

Hi Hanan!

Nerves and anxiety may sometimes be part of the process while completing invasive procedures such as surgery! It may be beneficial to keep a clear mind and remain as relaxed as possible during the procedure. Anxiety can be dealt with in a variety of ways, but it is always important to breathe and try to focus as best as possible. With time and practice, your confidence grows and it will get better. Good luck!
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