scared of needles anyone?

  1. Ok, the fact is....I'm not scared of needles, but i do hate them, and am a little worried about using them....the thought of sticking someone with a needle brings me a little anxiety.....

    I'm a little older then most college freshman (27) & will be starting my pre-reqs in the fall to get into a RN program... my final goal is to become a WHNP/CNM

    is the anxiety i have over needles something that can be overcome during NS..... do you get hands on experience prior to being expected to go out and start sticking people? LoL....

    i think my anxiety stems from not wanting to hurt anyone by not knowing what i'm doing.....

    ....i have been told, if i am not comfortable around needles right now, i have no business trying to go into nursing.....

    any advice? pearls of wisdom? or should i be looking for another career? LoL
    Last edit by LolaBunnie on Apr 16, '09
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   MikeyBSN
    Most nursing schools don't teach needles at all. I don't understand why people are so afraid of them. It's a tiny piece of metal with a point!
  4. by   Adenium
    I too came into nursing as a second career and with a hefty needle fear. I'd had lots of bad experiences with blood draws and IVs, and wasn't such a big fan of shots either. I was sweating bullets the first time I had to do an injection, which was within the first couple weeks of the program in a lab. However, it's gotten a lot easier. Even starting IVs, which I didn't get trained on until my job orientation earlier this year, wasn't so bad. We had a great instructor and just did a whole bunch in a row. Now, when a patient needs one I just go do it. If I get it great, if I don't I have someone with more experience try. I certainly don't go for an extended digging session and torture my patients as people have done to me.

    IMs still bother me, probably because I hardly ever give them. The needle just always seems too darn long. The most frequent thing I give however is insulin, which is in such a tiny little SC needle it's fine. Most patients don't even feel it. The only time I freaked myself out was when recapping the clean needle after drawing up the insulin....didn't realize the needle can poke right through the side of the cap if it isn't totally straight. Haven't repeated that mistake.

    I think you'll be OK. Just take advantage of every practice opportunity. We started with those little fake skin blobs in lab and then progressed to each other and then patients. Thinking about it is worse than doing it, and repetition helps. Good luck!
  5. by   April, RN
    You can definitely overcome your needle issue during nursing school. You said your anxiety stems from hurting someone by not knowing what you are doing. Nursing school teaches you how to give injections so you will know what you are doing! Of course you will be nervous the first few times you give one, but injections really aren't that big of a deal. You will see!
  6. by   LolaBunnie
    i think starting IVs worry me more then just injections....

    but i believe i was told you are not really taught that in Nursing school???
  7. by   April, RN
    No, most schools don't teach IV starts but if floor nurses at the hospital you end up working at do start IVs, you will be trained. Some hospitals have IV teams so you may never need to start one yourself. In my experience, due to infection rates, infiltrations, and other complications, hospitals don't want a nurse starting IVs on patients without having the proper training first.
  8. by   billythekid
    From what I've heard, many nursing programs do not necessarily teach IVs to students... I had previous experience as a paramedic, so I felt comfortable with IVs in my first nursing job out of school...

    A suggestion might be to get certified as a phlebotomist either before or during nursing school... that way when you hit the floor, you'll be an IV pro. It feels good as a new RN when everyone comes to YOU for the tough sticks or during an emergency.
  9. by   LolaBunnie
    Quote from billythekid
    A suggestion might be to get certified as a phlebotomist either before or during nursing school... that way when you hit the floor, you'll be an IV pro.
    the last couple weeks i've been thinking about either doing a phlebotomist or EMT course.... any suggestions about which might be better?
  10. by   Hushdawg
    I have a terrible needle phobia that I struggle with anytime I receive an injection and even more so when I have blood drawn. Oddly enough it does not bother me when I need to give an injection.

    My problem is not with the needle itself but the very uncomfortable sensation of fluids being forced into or drawn out of my body.
    It is like I can feel the pressure change very intently.

    The only blood draws I've ever had where I did not feel woozy or have any ill effects from are those I've had in the Philippines. I dunno how they train here that is different from the States with that regard but it works!

    So regarding your "needle phobia" you should not focus on the pain aspect because really the needles do not hurt that much.

    You also need to focus on the fact that you are HEALING people, not hurting them, so the prick of a needle to deliver medication or to draw fluids for testing should not bother you at all once you shift your perception.
  11. by   cherubhipster
    lord I think I posted almost the same exact post here before I started school! haha!

    My fear was related to anxiety over not really knowing what I was doing. But once I got my practice down, I loved giving injections! Now I look forward to it because it makes me feel very nursely!

    I always think of something one nurse told me.. "It doesn't hurt to give injections like it does when you get them!! You won't feel a thing!"
  12. by   stellina615
    You will definitely get used to it! The biggest thing that I had to get over was the way that other nurses tell you to inject the patient using the needle as if it were a dart. I was SO upset by this and I thought it sounded awful and barbaric. But guess what? They are totally right! What's worse than having just someone give you a quick injection is someone who tries to be gentle and goes slooooooowly. Get a teeny bit of momentum going behind that needle, because sometimes sometimes skin is harder to poke through than you'd think! Good luck!
  13. by   scared'o'needles!
    It's not the jab itself that worry's's the fear and the worry after the event of blood borne viruses infection (as low as they may be).
    It won't seem that low if you are the unfortunate one that gets an illness.
  14. by   NeoNurseTX
    Quote from LolaBunnie
    i think starting IVs worry me more then just injections....

    but i believe i was told you are not really taught that in Nursing school???
    We were taught IVs and injections in NS...practiced on patients in the hospital that needed it done..not on each other, yay!

    If anyone LIKES needles, they have other issues going on. When it's YOU that's starting an IV, you're too focused on what you're doing to get weird about it...except maybe the first time.

    Me...the first time I drew blood after not doing it for about 6 mos I nearly passed out. It was soooo weird and it really freaked me out. Same with in NS ..first time seeing sx, IV starts, LPs...completely blacked out but afterwards I was fine. Now I do it all the time without a second thought.