Observing Bioreactions Kari Andrews Essay

Observing Bioreactions Kari Andrews Essay

It was a nice warm day and my husband, and I were out working on staining a deck for some extra money for a business that we would later in life start from scratch and build to be one of the most successful wood restoration businesses in the Omaha, Nebraska area.

We were just getting ready to start setting up and my husband’s phone rang. His father had called and stated that our three-year-old son had fallen off the swing and he thought that we should come by and check on him. My husband doesn’t get excited about much so the way he described to me did not seem that it was that emergent.


We get to my in-laws and my son was lying on the couch sleeping. He appeared to be rather pale but other than that he looked comfortable. When we woke him picking him up, he was starting to whimper a little. I offered him a Kleenex to wipe his tears and he was not able to lift his arm. This should have been a clue of what was about to be revealed.

We drove frantically to the nearest Urgent Care as he fell back asleep. My husband carried him into the very cool and dark waiting room. The room felt very calm, and we should get in rather quickly. The nurse came in and took his vitals he woke up during that time and stared crying again. I felt so bad for him that my body started to ache.

The doctor then came in and said that they would take him back for an x-ray and that we could come with. We carried him to the even darker x-ray room and laid his body on the cold table for the x-ray. He was very calm for the doctor who was very kind and talking very softly at his eye level. We then were taken back to the exam room to wait.

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My heart was pounding, and I don’t know why, being a nurse in a sub-acute pulmonary pediatric unit I should think this was something small and routine. But this was my child, and I felt every ache he was feeling clear to my bones. I sat there impatiently shaking my leg and started feeling nauseated. I then remembered that I had only had coffee this morning and it was now almost 2:00 pm.

The doctor came in and told us the news that I should have prepared myself to hear before that time. His right arm was broken right below the shoulder. He stated that they would put him in a sling that he needed to keep on and take the x-rays over to an orthopedic doctor as soon as we could. Without thinking I felt the need to go fill grandpa in on the news who had just arrived in the waiting room.

I walked out to what then appeared to be a very bright room. Everything was so blurry. I started feeling my breathing increasing and my collar of my shirt feeling tight. I told my father- in-law the news and then got back up quickly to be back with my son.

I walked through the double doors of the patient exam room area, and everything was moving. I got extremely dizzy and then the lights started to go out on me, and I told the nearest nurse that I thought I was going to pass out.

The next thing I know I wake up on an exam table myself with the doctor and the nurse moving my legs up to my chest and down. The doctor was very concerned then for me! He insisted on calling 911 even after giving him my rather perfect health history. I tried to say that I was fine and just passed out. They took me out the waiting room as the ambulance arrived. Now I was feeling fine but rather embarrassed from all the unnecessary attention that was now on me.

After a perfect EKG we were released to go home, and both my son and I took a much-needed nap.

I realize that I had just gotten overwhelmed and was feeling my son’s pain and it caused me to have a bio-reaction. I had to learn how to deal with this early on as a nurse. I can remember when I was younger and working as a teenager in a nursery with plants and I kid across form me accidentally cut off the tip of his finger and I had the same bio-reaction. For that reason, my mother and father had always discouraged me from becoming a nurse.

Another time I experienced this bio-reaction was my first time in surgery during nursing school. The mother of twins was just being prepped for a C-section and the curtain started to fall over my eyes. I remembered what my grandfather had suggested when I was working at the nursery and kneeled down against the wall put my head down and concentrated on my breathing. It worked! I didn’t pass out! Later in my career during a clinical in the ER I was able to stand in during a ventriculostomy drain was placed into and unconscious female’s skull who had arrived by ambulance.

Being more aware of my body’s reaction and what to do during this bio-reaction has helped me work through some very emergent things that has come up in my personal and in my work life.

Bioreactions (i.e., fight, flight, freeze, or appease) include quick responses to stimuli or threats that are dangerous and fearful experiences, many of which are caused by social interactions.

Bioreactions help the brain reinforce certain pathways. This is one way to learn. Some pathways then associate that past reaction with similar events. The fear response may then become associated with other non-fearful events. Because the brain is so good at making these associations, we are not even aware of the miscue.

Bioreactions are automatic responses that happen within 11–14 milliseconds. In most cases, they are not under your control. However, you can learn to become aware of when you are experiencing a bioreaction by paying attention to what is going on in your body.


To become aware of your bioreactions, it may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:


  • What event/experience led to the bioreaction?
  • What emotions did you feel?
  • How did your body react?
  • What, if anything, did you do differently when you noticed you were having a bioreaction?
  • Why is it important for you to be aware of your bioreactions?


Your submission must be your original work. No more than a combined total of 30% of the submission and no more than a 10% match to any one individual source can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from sources, even if cited correctly. An originality report is provided when you submit your task that can be used as a guide.


You must use the rubric to direct the creation of your submission because it provides detailed criteria that will be used to evaluate your work. Each requirement below may be evaluated by more than one rubric aspect. The rubric aspect titles may contain hyperlinks to relevant portions of the course.

Note: Complete the Learning Brains and bioreaction material found in module 1 in your course of study before completing this task.

  1. Describe a time when you were in a social situation that triggered a bioreaction(s) by doing the following:
  2. Describe the environment around you before and during the bioreaction(s).
  3. Describe the stimulus (which the amygdala interprets as a threat) that triggered the
  4. Describe the bioreaction(s) (i.e., fight, flight, freeze, and appease) you
  5. Describe the physical sensations (e.g., sweaty palms, tight muscles) you experienced in your body when you became aware of the bioreaction(s).


  1. Describe the feeling(s) you experienced in the social situation before, during, and after the bioreaction(s).
  2. Describe what you would do differently to successfully navigate this type of reaction the next time you experience a similar social situation.
    1. Reflect on why it is important to react differently when you experience this


  1. Demonstrate professional communication in the content and presentation of your submission.

File Restrictions

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A description of the


The description is missing details or includes


The description of the envi


environment before and during

unclear details about the environment before

specific, contextual, and se


the bioreaction(s) is not

and during the bioreaction(s).

environment before and du








A description of the stimulus or

The description is missing details or includes

The description conta


threat that triggered the

unclear details about the stimulus or threat that

specific details about


bioreaction(s) is not provided.

triggered the bioreaction(s).

that triggered the bior




A description of the


The description reflects limited awareness of


The description reflects


bioreactions(s) experienced

specific bioreaction(s) and includes minimal details

bioreaction(s) and includ


is not provided.



A description of the physical

of the candidate’s personal experience.


The description demonstrates a lack of awareness

the candidate’s personal


The description demo


sensations experienced during

of the specific physical sensations that occurred

specific physical sensa


the bioreaction(s) is not

when the candidate became aware of the

when the candidate be










A description of the

The description is missing details or includes

The description includes


feeling(s) experienced in the

unclear details of the feeling(s) experienced in the

details of the feeling(s) e

social situation is not

social situation before, during, and after the

social situation before, d












A description of what could

The description is not practical or does not

The description is pra


be done differently to

appropriately address what the candidate would do

appropriately address


successfully navigate the reaction is not provided.




differently, or the response is not feasible to successfully navigate the reaction in a similar social situation.


would do differently navigate the reaction situation.



A reflection on the

The reflection includes unclear insights or does not

The reflection includes pe


importance of reacting differently during the bioreaction is not provided.



demonstrate understanding of the importance of modifying the candidate’s response when experiencing the identified bioreaction.


demonstrates understandi modifying the candidate’ experiencing the identifie



Content is unstructured, is

Content is poorly organized, is

Content reflects attention to deta


disjointed, or contains pervasive

difficult to follow, or contains errors

focuses on the main ideas as pre


errors in mechanics, usage, or

in mechanics, usage, or grammar that

chosen by the candidate. Termin


grammar. Vocabulary or tone is

cause confusion. Terminology is

used correctly, and effectively c


unprofessional or distracts from

misused or ineffective.

meaning. Mechanics, usage, and


the topic.                                                                                                               accurate interpretation and unde

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