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Introduction   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 inter


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.

A.  Describe a time when you were in a social situation that triggered a bioreaction(s) by doing the following:

1.  Describe the environment around you before and during the bioreaction(s).

2.  Describe the stimulus (which the amygdala interprets as a threat) that triggered the bioreaction.

3.  Describe the bioreaction(s) (i.e., fight, flight, freeze, and appease) you experienced.

4.  Describe the physical sensations (e.g., sweaty palms, tight muscles) you experienced in your body when you became aware of the bioreaction(s).

5.  Describe the feeling(s) you experienced in the social situation before, during, and after the bioreaction(s).

6.  Describe what you would do differently to successfully navigate this type of reaction the next time you experience a similar social situation.

a.  Reflect on why it is important to react differently when you experience this bioreaction.

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

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Bioreactions and Response to Stimuli



Author Note

Bioreactions and Response to Stimuli

Question 1

It was just minutes away from changing the shift, and I was in the patient room. It was my last pass for medication that evening. The patient room was cool. The patient's blood pressure was 172/95, and the heart rate was at 70. I looked at the patient and noted that he was confused (Gäde, 2004). I, therefore, took the initiative of calling the physician in charge of a PRN order of Vasotec. As requested, the physician ordered for a dose. However, I noted that it was more than I have never given before. I took a 10ml syringe and pulled as normal, with 8ml of saline. I used my ordinary identifiers to scan. Before I was almost attaching the needle with the medication, I flushed her IV.

Question 2

Absolute fear, thinking of the possibility of my license being lifted was the stimulus that triggered the response. I also thought of a situation of being jobless and even worse, causing the death of someone. My eyes were filled with tears as I thought of doing the paperwork. The thought of me calling the family of the victim telling them that I had made a mistake was exhausting. I pray that this fear does not cease to exist as I continue with my career.

Question 3

My body froze and went to a condition of a fight. My actions could have led to the death of a patient, and at that time, my life flashed (Binder et al., 2009). Although I knew that people make mistakes, I was not sure of what could have happened to me. I wondered of the possibility of not working as a nurse any longer. I asked myself what I could do in case I was fired. I asked myself a series of questions including whether I could afford my mortgage and if I would be able to cater for my family in case the worst happened.

Question 4

I experienced a chill down my spine as well as being frozen. My heartbeat speeded up, beating faster and faster (Cherry, 2009). I experienced a twitch in my hand, while my stomach felt fuzzy. It stopped. I looked at the IV guide, and at that time, I experienced a sense of relief down my lower abdomen. The heartbeat slowed down, my body relaxed, and my forehead stopped sweating.

Question 5

During the situation, everything happened very fast. I was filled with fear and fight. The heartbeat accelerated above average. My mind began to go fast, my hands sweating as well as my forehead. My whole body became hot, while my back started sweating (Young Diggers, 2010). There was a lot of sweat at my back that my shirt was stuck to it. All of a sudden, it stopped. After the situation, my body cooled down. Negative thoughts were erased from my mind. I stopped feeling like my gut was wrenched, and I was filled with a sense of relief. During that time, I was so happy to ask if that was correct or second-guess myself.

Question 6

In case I found myself in a similar situation in the future, I would hope that my body would respond in the same way because one can make errors when being so comfortable. The biological reaction made me know that my mind can help me navigate to an answer. During that moment, my mind listened, and I have learned from it. I would have killed a human being, but I did not. I am therefore happy that the worst did not happen. I went home from the situation, and I was drained mentally. I hugged my family when I was home, and it felt relieving. What I will do next time is that I will ensure that I am not overly comfortable while working. Since I took an oath, promising to protect lives, I will guarantee that patients receive appropriate care.


Binder, M. D., Hirokawa, N., & Windhorst, U. (Eds.). (2009). Fight-or-flight response. In Encyclopedia of neuroscience. Springer.

Cherry, K. (2009, October 28). The fight-or-flight response prepares your body to take action. Very Well Mind.

Gäde, G. (2004). Flight or fight – the need for adipokinetic hormones. International Congress Series, 1275, 134-140.

Young Diggers. (2010). The fight or flight response: Our body’s response to stress.

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