Published May 23, 2000
I totally understand. I was the same way. I hated giving shots.
I got better at giving shots, after doing it more often. When I got out of school, my first job was on a medical/surgical stepdown unit. I'd give patients shots constantly. I basically got immune to it. I never shaked.
I worked the medical/surgical for couple years. Now I'm working a cardiac unit. We never (rarely) give shots. I give I.M. shots only couple times a year. Now I get nervous again.
So what I think will help you is exposure. Perhaps explain to your instructer your fear. And asked to do more I.M. injections. Exposure might help your fears. It's only a thought.
What really helped me was having to give injections to a bunch of people at a local factory. They had people lined up for immunizations and we had to mix them and give them to about 40 people each. By about the tenth shot in a row it was pretty routine. I know that's tough to do when you're scared already but it might help to do something like that to sort of help "desensitize" yourself to the experience. Also, try to remember that whatever you are giving that patient in that shot- regardless of that moment of pain- is much more adventatious to them. I hope this helps. Good luck to you! Shannon
I just finished my first semester of nursing school!!! I did really well in theory and clinical EXCEPT - I have a horrible time giving shots and I almost fainted watching a doctor put in a central line and I had to leave the room. I can put in foleys, change G-tubes, even change dressings on terrile looking ulcers but I am terrified of sharp objects and think I am going to REALLY hurt the patient. I can not stop shaking when I do this. I know I am going to be a nurse - but I really need some help on how to overcome this fear. Thank you
Yes, MES, there is an unpleasant aspect to
nursing and it seems you've found the one that bothers you. When you encounter this, remember to take a deep breath, don't lock your knees, and say to yourself - "Sometimes you have to enter the patient's body to help the patient get better, and this means needles, tubes, ot whatever is involved - this may look icky but they are actually helpful to you because they are tools assisting you to treat the patient." Remember these are usually short-term tubes, and injections are over in a jiffy. If all else fails - say "This is a part of what nurses do and I WILL be a great nurse because I can help the patient through the unpleasant aspects of their treatment. By explaining what you are doing and momentarily distracting the patient, you can ease their experience. I focus not on MY experience but on the patient's experience during these unpleasant procedures. If you focus on the patient, you will soon forget your feelings on the icky part of nursing. We are there for the patient. Good luck!
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