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Job Skills Pre-Med Students and Physicians: How do you work w/tremors?

  1. Mar 5, 2015 #1
    I'm curious as to how physicians deal with shaking hands, especially during surgical procedures(minor or major). I'm sure that some of you find watching your caffeine intake and making sure that you eat enough helpful. But when that fails, what techniques do you use to stabilize your hands so that you don't harm your patient?

    Thanks so much for answers! I'm going into the medical field and am curious about this topic.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah, shaking hands are bad news. I'm just an EMT (part-time), and I had to give up coffee to be sure that I didn't scare any of my patients. :smile:

    There may be some parts of the medical field where a slight shaking of your hands won't be a problem. But for general physicians, nurses, and medics shaking hands would be a show-stopper. You can't be handling sharps with shaking hands...

    You should talk with your doctor to see if there may be some treatments or RX drugs that can help to address this issue. Your doctor can do some tests on you to determine the source of the problem, and suggest possible avenues of treatment. Good luck! :smile:
  4. Mar 5, 2015 #3
    @berkeman - Thank you! I'm earning my EMT certification this spring, and I expect that it won't be a major problem. However, I'm going to become a trauma surgeon-I have a few years to figure it out, but it's a concern. I know the cause, and it's pretty difficult to treat, so I'm looking more for ways to work around it. For example, I've heard that resting your hands on the patient instead of holding them up can help, or using one hand to stabilize the other. I should have been more specific. But thank you so much for the reply! :)
  5. Mar 13, 2015 #4
    You should be talking to a surgeon about this right now. Do not commit yourself to a pre-,med program without having solved your problem. Even an internist might find tremors a problem.. Patients might interpret the shaking as nervousness which does not foster good patient physician rapport. Surgeons need quick, , accurate hand and finger motion
  6. Mar 13, 2015 #5


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Yeah, you don't want to be nicknamed "Shaky the Surgeon".
  7. Mar 14, 2015 #6
    Magnesium? It is a muscle relaxant. I know there are anti tremor medications used for people who take too much lithium, but do you really want to go that route?
  8. Mar 14, 2015 #7


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    Staff Emeritus
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    We cannot give medical diagnoses or advice on this forum, if you have a condition along the lines of essential tremor that's something that has to be discussed with a doctor.
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