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fear of IVs and drawing blood

Pre-Nursing   (24,153 Views 14 Comments)
by Katniss0813 Katniss0813, ADN (Member)

Katniss0813 has 5 years experience as a ADN.

6,201 Profile Views; 164 Posts

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I will be starting nursing school this fall. I can deal with a lot of nasty stuff and not get sick, even though it looks really grose. The only part I have a problem with is a little fear of IVs and drawing blood, since I have always heard it hurts. I have never had an IV or had my blood drawn and I have tried to watch it being done but I always get light headed and feel cold. The wierd thing is I don't fear shots, although I did like them when I was a kid. Does anyone think I can overcome this fear?

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CrunchRN has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

4,187 Posts; 30,178 Profile Views

Yep, see and do it a couple dozen times and you will be fine.

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ChristineN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

3,464 Posts; 28,356 Profile Views

In school they will probably have you practice on fake arms. Not all nurses have to draw blood or place IV's as some hospitals have phlebotomy and IV teams. That being said, I worked at a hospital for my first two years that didn't require nursing to do this and I wish I would have learned sooner than trying to be the experienced nurse at a new place that had never placed an IV.

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HeatherEMT specializes in Emergency Room.

34 Posts; 929 Profile Views

Yes, I think you can definatley overcome this fear. You will find that this is one of the least gross or faint things you do as a nurse. You will get to a point when suctioning a trach makes you queasy and you will be begging for an easy IV. I am an EMT and I have never feared IVs or blood draws but, I was nervous to learn how to do it.. as I was worried I would hurt my patient or not stick the needle in the right place. I literally needed 3 days of training in an ER and I am extremly well at starting IVs now.. I am one of the people they call when there is like a 7 day old NICU baby that none of the nurses can get a line on. As the post above mentioned, there are some facilities and departments that do not require the "nurse" to know how to start an IV or draw blood.. this is VERY unfortunate however.. I have gained a lot from being able to do all the IVs that the nurses I work with DO NOT do... but, a nurse should definatley not be rusty on that skill, as it is a very basic and necessary skill as a nurse. What if you get a patient who already has an IV and your "phlebotomist or tech" has called into work?? Do you really not want to know how to start an IV? Or not be comfortable with it?? Or miss??? Your patient will lose a lot of confidence in you. You will get comfortable with it with experience. We all start in the same place you are. There are tons of people who have a hard time handling IVS and blood draws but, they overcome that fear and end up being excellent nurses with great IV skills.

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80 Posts; 2,692 Profile Views

Of course you can, just familiarize your self with needles. As gross as this may sound you can purchase needles from wallgreen's and practice on your self. I honestly don't see any better way to get over the fear than that. You are getting to the core of the problem and familiarizing your self with the procedure. Just don't over do it in one spot or it may become very sore.

Remember to clean the area with alcohol first.

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Iridescent Orchid has 1 years experience as a CNA, LPN and specializes in CNA/LPN.

597 Posts; 8,728 Profile Views

You can definitely overcome this! In fact, I'm willing to bet you'll be just fine after a few times engaging in the process. It definitely would be a lot easier for you if you've experienced this before. It's actually not all that bad to be on the receiving end of IVs or blood drawings. You pretty much just feel a quick pinch and that's that! Good luck! I think you'll be just fine. Don't sweat it. Remember, most likely, all of the people you're doing IVs on or drawing labs on have already had it done more than once before. ;)

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204 Posts; 4,349 Profile Views

If you practice this in school try to find someone who doesn't mind being stuck. I have big fat veins right on the surface that you can easily see and feel. I don't usually feel it at all when someone sticks me so I let anyone stick me.

I found if you can get the first one it's much easier after that. Don't let this deter you from something that you want to do.

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17 Posts; 951 Profile Views

I was so nervous to draw a classmates blood during phlebotomy that I seriously started crying in front of my entire class once I was done the first time! I even got blood but I was so relieved it was over I just broke down. I was completely embarrassed but after that day its something I love! I've worked in a lab drawing blood for 5 years now and I love the challenge of getting into someones vein. If I can do it so can you!

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Katniss0813 has 5 years experience as a ADN.

164 Posts; 6,201 Profile Views

Thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement. I think a big part of my problem is I fear the procedure itself being done on me. Some people tell me it hurts and others say its not that bad. I guess I'm just "making a mountain out of a mole hill", as the saying goes, stressing out about something that isn't all that horrible.

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80 Posts; 2,692 Profile Views

Try it! Trust me its not bad!

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204 Posts; 4,349 Profile Views

Thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement. I think a big part of my problem is I fear the procedure itself being done on me. Some people tell me it hurts and others say its not that bad. I guess I'm just "making a mountain out of a mole hill", as the saying goes, stressing out about something that isn't all that horrible.

For me if I look while they stick me it hurts. I think it is a mental thing because when I don't look sometimes I don't even know especially if I am talking to someone at the time. It really isn't as bad as some people say it is. It is important though to drink lots of water so your veins are nice and big.

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tech1000 has 2 years experience.

210 Posts; 4,053 Profile Views

Absolutely. I have done plenty of IVs and lab draws and it STILL grosses me out to watch another nurse give an IV. When it's my patient, I can do anything (except for eye injuries). It's like a project. You'll be fine.

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