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How to Best Handle A Patient When They Jerk During an Injection?

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by MagicalGirl MagicalGirl (New) New Student

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I work at a doctor's office and I have to do several injections a day depending on the doctor's orders. Most patients are very easy to work with. They know how to relax their bodies and hold still during injections. However, every now and then, I come across a patient that just can't seem to relax and I give them the option to NOT do the injection if they are not comfortable. They insist they want it, but during the injection, they jerk their arm and make the discomfort greater. If it's a glute injection, they will jerk their hips or legs. What is the best way to handle these patients and make them more comfortable? I wish there was a way to make injections totally pain-free. FYI: My patients are all adults. 

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iluvivt has 32 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion.

2,728 Posts; 24,728 Profile Views

Al you can do is prepare them snd assess them before the injection.Ask them if they are good at at holding still  because  you need them to focus on doing just that.If they say they are a jumper.give them something to  do just before you poke them...such as take a deep bresth... or have them hold  a squishy ball or one of those squishy blood drawing items or ask them to tell you their favorite place to go on vacation.You want to distract them. 

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"nursy" has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.

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I usually try to give the injection just as quick as I can with very little warning. I'm pretty much saying "little poke"  as I'm poking.  The more you try to get them "ready"  the more they get worked up and nervous about it.  I used to work in Miami where the hospital would get members of the Miami Hurricanes football team after they would have injuries, etc.  These giant 250  lb hulks of muscular manhood would cry like babies when they saw a needle.  So I made sure they never saw it....I would kind of sneak up behind them with the needle out of site, do my quick alcohol rub, "little poke"  and inject....and most of the time they were actually surprised that I had already injected them!  

For glute injections I tell them to put their weight on the leg opposite to the injection site, that releases the muscular tension on the injection side.  

Also make sure you're using appropriate sized needles, i.e. the smallest you can use for whatever you're giving.

Finally, maybe in all of the trying to get them to "relax."  you're unconsciously transmitting your anxiety that they will "jerk" which just makes them even more nervous.    Hope this helps!

 

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

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If you are doing an IM injection, just encourage relaxation. The more they anticipate it, the more they will jerk.

IV sticks, rest your pinkie on their hand, or just below whatever site you are using. That will allow you to follow the patient as they jerk without losing the site. wait for them to relax again, and slide the needle into the vein.

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TriciaJ has 38 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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Proper technique can go a long way toward making an injection quicker and less painful.  Can you dart the needle in using wrist action?  Or do you put the needle tip on the skin and push it through?  It's amazing how many people I've seen do it the second way and it does give the patient more time to flinch and jerk.

Not saying you do it this way, but something to be aware of.  The previous advice is all spot on.

 

 

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