Question about injections

  1. I've always been wondering: I've noticed that sometimes when i have an injection, it really hurts. However, other times i barely feel a thing. So my question is, is the pain of needles to do with the person injecting it, to do with the size of the needle, the actual vaccine or something else altogether?

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    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 50


  3. by   jenac
    I think the "pain factor" depends on a few the type of med...weither it's subcu or relaxed you are...etc. Some meds are more painful to inject, like Rocefin. I would also think it's relative to the amount of med injected. Like a 0.5cc insulin injection probably hurts more than a 0.10 injection. I'm sure a deeper injection into the muscle is more painful than one into the skin. If your tense-you'll feel it more, regardless. I think there's several factors to consider.....just my thoughts.
  4. by   traumarns
    lmao, i just got my flu shot and boy oh boy, i am really debating which hurts worse, tetanus or flu. lol
  5. by   caroladybelle
    Rocephin and almost any injection containing an antiemetic will be painful IM. Also the interferons can be uncomfortable. Ativan, Valium(should be Iv, but still painful) and Libruim are painful (ativan d/t viscosity). Size of the injection needle and amount being injected generally affect how it feels. I also recommend the use of the ventrogluteal site for IMs as injections are always less painful there (and safer).
  6. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heart of texas

    Giving injections, starting IVs etc are a skill. And I have seen some nurses who were lousy at both. There a few nurses that if I saw them coming at me with a needle, I would just as curl up and die. You know the ones Im talking about, it seems like they just slowly push that needle through the skin. too much hesitation.. Yes some meds cause pain, we all know that. But a nurse good with needle minimizes that.

    doo wah ditty
  7. by   indynurse
    I was taught in Nursing school to push the needle through the skin quickly and then push the plunger slowly to give the med time to start disipating into the surrounding tissue. I rarely have anyone complain and the ones that do are the ones who jump when I am swabbing the site before the injection.
    Of course, the best pts to give injections to are the ones still numb from their epidural. :-)
  8. by   CATHYW
    originally posted by traumarns
    lmao, i just got my flu shot and boy oh boy, i am really debating which hurts worse, tetanus or flu. lol
    :roll lmao too! i will never forget the time i thought i'd be smart and get my tetanus shot and flu shot both on the same day-one in each arm. no prob, hey? weellllll, we then traveled 12 hours by car to get up here. when we got here i could not abduct my arms! i could barely move them away from my body! plus, i am in the lucky 10% who has a localized reaction to the dt vax. except, this time it was so bad i nearly developed cellulitis! wound up feverish, and felling crappy, for the whole weekend! it was almost a week before i could raise my arms again! lesson learned: never have 2 vaccines again, at the same time! i feel for poor little babies. and, people wonder why they get so irritable after their shots!
  9. by   Youda
    Agree with all of the above. Just a couple things to add. Z-tracking keeps medication from seeping back into the sub-q tissue where it is more irritating. As far as just the needlestick, pain has more to do with hitting a little nerve ending. Often, they are more plentiful over a blood vessel, but not always. As a IDDM, I have learned where all the nerve endings are NOT. Also, try inserting with the bevel up, even with a sub-q or IM (not just for IV sticks).
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    One of the simplest (and most often overlooked) details is waiting for the alcohol to dry on the skin before injecting the medication. Trust me, it works!
  11. by   martitarubita
    How painful the injections are depends on the conservatives the medication has. Few medications have lidocaine, so they dont hurt as much as normal saline, which is very very painful.
    But, of course, it also depends on the nurse ability and the size of the needle.

    Sorry for my english:zzzzz
  12. by   Overland1
    A nurse (Lynn R.) with whom I worked a couple of years ago (she was a Peds nurse for years, but transferred to Interventional Radiology) suggested the following:

    Prep the site as you would normally, but then press the alcogol wipe onto the site with moderate pressure for about a minute while you explain to the patient the need to not move the site and to just let the site relax. Remove the alcohol pad (the site will dry within a few seconds) and "do the stick" (bevel up, always); this markedly reduces the pain at the site. She said it worked great on most every kid she had to poke, and even on some adults.

    I began doing this with patients in the ER and the ICU, as well as on some Peds patients when I get floated there, and it really does work. I teach this to my Advanced EMT students as well.

    By the way, most of us have probably noticed that IV and injection needles are generally sharper than they were several years ago. One of the manufacturer's reps explained that somebody with a bit of mechanical knowledge finally realized that, if the bevel is "flatter", then the needle point is sharper, and therefore causes less pain. Makes sense to me - I just wish I had been the one to come up with that idea first.

    Again, sincere and profuse thanks to a most excellent nurse for her suggestion.

    Last edit by Overland1 on Oct 17, '02