Patients afraid of needles... - page 4

Every often we get a patient that has a fear of needles. What do you do? What's your secret in calming these patients? Please share your most memorable experience with the community. ... Read More

  1. by   Apple-Core
    Yeah - I have to give advance warning to the person taking my blood that I'm likely to flip out. I usually have to lie down.
  2. by   carolyncollins24
    I am one of these patients who is terrified of needles..and I mean absolutely totally terrified. Most people trivialize this fear and I have been made fun of through my entire life. I have had 3 children, going to the hospital at the time of birth with nothing. I have had an endoscopy with no anesthesia, IV. I have had even surgery with no anesthesia just a numbing shot which was bad enough, but no IV. I had multiple incidents of abuse by medical staff& others as a small child that by 5, I was having panic attacks, constant nightmares. I was threatened with shots to go through my entire body at 4 yrs. Others used my fear of needles to scare me so they could laugh at my reaction, even medical staff. I have gone to a therapist who said my fear was justified and ingrained. He said that I must go to medical personnel who had some compassion for my fears..and they are tough to find, as each further occurance, makes my fear more profound although I have found several who were very kind and then I can feel safe. The last time I had a procedure 5 years ago, they laughed at me. I tried to tell the nurse where needles hurt less for me and she said she was the boss so she did things which caused me significant bruising. They pumped me full of drugs (I tried to tell them that I have drug sensitivities) and as a consequence, I couldn't wake up, was sick for a week afterwards, and lost 6 pounds. Now I am twice as scared. And that is one of out of multiple bad experiences. I have nightmares from bad medical experiences almost every night and it takes me months to get it off my mind. Just going in that place for my husband's surgery took me a week to recover from. I have had blood gush out of me all over the walls from bad sticks, significant bruising which caused pain for a long time, I have been given drugs that I am allergic to, etc. I even got a buzzy and cream to help. My point is that although you may think these patients are just wimps or silly idiots, your attitude can make a difference between patients getting care they need or having their fears made worse. I have been trying for almost a year to get the courage to have an endoscopy and searching the country for a doctor who will understand my fear and be able to work with me. I can usually do most things that don't require needles or IV. My therapist said to give them instructions as to what helps me feel more safe. Sometimes that can backfire as they see me as being difficult, so they are meaner to me, trying to assert authority and that makes it worse when I am just trying to make the experience less anxiety inducing for me.
  3. by   AussieRN12
    Tats are a different feeling as well though
  4. by   Mudpinesredneck
    I'm deathly afraid of needles yet I have a tattoo, and plan on getting many many more. One of which is going to be a tattoo of my sinus rhythm for a personal reason and a reminder of my life experiences.

    The one time I had an IV in me, my left arm went totally numb, and a separate time a nurse I'm pretty sure blew my vein. Months later it still feels pain putting pressure over that area

    Both times were before I had my tats. The nurse just kinda said to me "Come on, you never got a tattoo before?"

    Tattoos are a different kind of pain.

    Now, on that tattoo though....Twisting patterns hurt. I am NOT looking forward to getting those T waves on me. The QRS complexes will be easy as cake
  5. by   Lottie Spence
    I sympathize with you. I am one who is also afraid of needles. So, I have to find comfort techniques to make me less afraid. I take tylenol, use warm compresses on my arms, and drink water to bring my veins to the surface and help me relax before getting any shots, blood draws,or IV's. Sometimes after using those techniques I still have issues. It's different for everyone. You have to find what works for you. Good Luck.
  6. by   nursephillyphil
    i have them turn the other way and dont tell them when im about to poke them, i just do it.
  7. by   Have Nurse
    That's unsettling to have to have multiple sticks. My daughter is like that. It was many years ago, but she had diabetese issues at the time and was always a "hard start."

    We just requested anytime she needed an IV to have Anesthesia do it. They got it every time!
  8. by   Have Nurse
    I am so sorry that you had to experience all of that!! It concerns me though also, that you have had drug sensitivities that were ignored...?? The Patient Rep, (Advocate) might be a nice place to start with regard to your treatment with the staff ill-treating you.

    Personally, I hate getting sticked as well but I haven't experienced what you have.

    When I do the Flu Clinic at our facility, I do come across one or two staff that want the shot, but are absolutely terrified about the needle. I take my time with them, and explain what I am doing. I go slow, because one of them has to actually stop, sit with pillow at her diaphragm, breath and even meditate a bit before she can handle me injecting her. And I allow that. As a result, even though there are other staff who are quite capable of giving shots, she specifically wants me to do it. That honors me because it builds trust.

    I hated it when I would hear parents threaten their kids with: "If you don't behave, I'll tell the nurse to give you a shot." It compelled me to firmly but respectfully set them straight.

    "You don't want your kid to be afraid of medical help when they might really need it, do you? Don't make me the "heavy", because I'm not having it."

    Some clam up after they hear that. Others apologized both to me and their kid.
  9. by   steelenurse
    It is unprofessional to belittle a patient for any reason. I take time to build trust with my clients. I have a
    patient that has severe eczema causing his veins to be very difficult. I have him hydrate before the visit.
    I have tried heating pad but, does not work as his skin is so thickened. I use a vein illuminator which helps only a fraction but, we have build such a relationship that the few times I have to stick him twice he is still okay with it.
    Other times I will have patients like this and I try and take them in a non-clinical type room. We have 1 with a home like recliner and let them choose music and relax and then we do the injections slowly with them always in control of how many and how fast. Over time they get better as they have less bad experiences and more positive ones. We all need to remember that anxiety and fear are just like pain (It is what the patient says it is!)