Needle phobia

  1. Hiya everyone,

    I went down to the health department today to get my TB test done. No problem, it didn't hurt a bit, nothing like I was expecting (I'm a little sore *now*, though). Anyhoo, I have a terrible needle phobia of my own -- I can watch other people get pricked, and I have no doubt I'll be able to do the poking, just something about it being done to me, particularly if it involves my blood.

    So TB tests don't involve blood, so I didn't think to take any of my usual precautions, such as eating beforehand to avoid fainting. My mistake! I happened to catch a glimpse of my arm after she was done, and there was a *drop* of blood. I lost it. I had to sit down with my head between my legs and everything and came >this close< to fainting. *Very* embarassing! What am I going to do when we have to practice IVs on each other?!?!?

    Anyone have advice for getting past this? I always try not to look and I'm usually fine. Next week I'm scheduled to have blood drawn for the MMR titers, and I hope to be ready for that!

    Krista
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   BrandyBSN
    Krista! Its ok!

    It is a lot different poking someone else, than having to get poked yourself. Honestly, I go donate blood as often as i can, but I get sick if I look at it when they are putting the needle in, and I dont want to see my blood in the bag after. I think that is natural. You are not alone!

    BrandyBSN
  4. by   janleb
    I can give injections with no problem. But I get woosey when getting my blood drawn,(serious) I have to have candy available because I get that yucky I am going to pass out feeling. I don't know why I am like that, maybe I was scarred as a young child:P
  5. by   realnursealso/LPN
    Just wanted to let you know that anyone else can bleed all over, but if I bleed at all and look I pass out. You are not alone and I have been a nurse for 22 yrs. Good luck to you on your new career. And just don't look at your own blood.
  6. by   KristaB
    Thanks, everyone!

    I'm really glad to know I'm not alone! I have a history of fainting at the sight of my own blood and also when I get shots (and I tried to give blood once -- they did a hematocrit on me first and I passed out, bumped my head on the lady's desk and got myself a nice concussion!).

    Anyway, thanks for the votes of confidence! I hope you're all right that it won't affect me while working on anyone else. The woman that did my TB test yesterday told me to wait a few months, and I'd know why they say it's much better to give than to receive.

    Krista
  7. by   zannie
    needles and having blood drawn don't bother me..... the only needle I am scared of is tetanus (sp?). I'm due for one too! GRRR.

    BUT, what does scare me is my lab partner tearing my arm up trying to find my vein. ;-) hehehe. S'ok..... They'll probably be just as scared of me doing the same to them.

    --zan
  8. by   TeresaRN2b
    It's okay if your phobic of needles poking YOU. It would be a bigger problem if you were afraid of poking others. I worked as a phlebotomist and was very good at drawing blood, but that doesn't mean I don't get a little nervous when someone else is sticking me. Think of it like this you being afraid of being poked helps you to have empathy for your patients. I have passed out more than one time from having my blood drawn and I think it helped me to be a better at drawing blood because I had more compassion for my patients and I was sincere when I said I understand. Don't worry about it just practice your technique and be good at it. You may never get better at yourself being stuck. It only matters if you can stick other people.

    Teresa
  9. by   kennedyj
    Typhoid is the worst for me. Worst than tetnus. IF military deploy you get an IGG shot. It is the one that turns babies into men!!!! Its like a 5cc shot of cold honey in the cheek. the cold shot rips the muscle and it burns too. Supposed to be 2.5cc in each cheek but who has time when you have over 1000 to do.
  10. by   shyviolet78
    I don't mind getting shots, but if I look while my blood is being drawn or when an IV is being inserted, I get that sick feeling. Probably because a few years ago, I was in the ER and a student nurse inserted an IV in my hand and "exploded" (not sure if that is the right term) the vein. My hand swelled up and turned black and blue, after it finally stopped bleeding. It was 2 days before my wedding too, so in all of my wedding pictures, that hand is behind my back because it was so hideous looking! Other people's blood don't bother me a bit though.
  11. by   canoehead
    Excuse me if I find the idea of a nurse afraid of needles funny!
    I hope you are feeling better. (heehee)

    Of course if you are receiving an injection from a nurse to lazy to do it correctly, I can understand the fear. One more reason not to go into the military I guess.
  12. by   kennedyj
    Actually I enjoy giving shots and IV starts. Escecially the hard ones where others have failed. Although I am no superhero.

    some tricks Ive learned:

    Many people after they draw blood they put the gauze over the site, press down, and then pull the needle out this only bruises and damages the vein.
    - if you cover the site don't push down on the gauze until the needle is out. Don't worry if a drop of blood comes out.

    If giving am IM shot (this works well for kids or those who don't like shots)

    wipe the site and say Im going to tap 3 times. tap 3 times about 2 inches lateral to the sciatic nerve. It runs the reflex arc between the gluteus and the CNS and back. The body says its only a tap. after the 3rd tap the needle goes in.
    It will feel just like a tap. Try it!
  13. by   JennieBSN
    Originally posted by canoehead
    Excuse me if I find the idea of a nurse afraid of needles funny!
    I hope you are feeling better. (heehee)

    AAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!! I'm a big chicken, too ya know...

    Krista, honey, don't you feel bad at all. I used to get laughed at regularly during clinical labs because of my nausea, near-fainting, and green skin after being stuck by a needle of ANY size...tb syringe, fingerstick...didn't matter. I have been asked politely by the red cross to NOT donate again, as I've passed out every time I've donated. My MOMMY had to drive me to and from my immunization appointment prior to starting college, because I KNEW I would be woozy and unable to drive after all that poking. Whenever a needle comes near me, it's 'stretcher, siderails up, please...okay, NOW you can stab away.' I have begged my way out of an IV on more than one occasion. I just got my yearly TB test, and man, did that nasty little bubble make me NAUSEOUS.

    I can stab anyone else like I'm playing darts. I'll fight you to start an IV. But come near MY bod w/that crap, and it's kiss my butt goodbye...you'll be picking me up off the floor.

    You'll probably be able to stick other folks just fine. Don't worry about your own phobias. You just make sure that you repeat after me: 'stretcher, siderails up, please...'

  14. by   JennieBSN
    BTW...my 'needle phobe' patients always breathe a sigh of relief when I tell 'em I'm a big wussie, too...


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