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Phobia of needles....need help

Nurses   (968 Views | 5 Replies)

motherof3sons has 22 years experience and specializes in LTC.

5,869 Profile Views; 223 Posts

So during my son's (17yo) hospital stay we dealt with his phobia of needles by just getting thru it. Now at home he is re-living those experiences and almost breaks into tears thinking of it. Just thinking of it causes his anxiety level to go up and almost panic.

He was most fearful of someone coming at him with a needle when he was asleep. THis all stems from having his wisdom teeth out and the staff came at him in a hurry didn't take time to prepare him and stuck him 3 times to get his IV access then hit him with versed. I wasn't in the room and learned of this after.

Any wisdom for helping him now that we are home??

I just pray that his abscesses will completely heal and we won't have a round 2 hospital stay!

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

2 Followers; 19,599 Posts; 66,341 Profile Views

Well here is the thing. He is afraid of needles "coming at him while he is asleep"? Is this in a dream?> Or, Is that what happened in the past? If so, then you can easily ask your nurses and phlebotomists not to stick him while he is sleeping, always ensuring he is awake before this happens. If his phobia is all that severe, maybe counseling may be helpful. May only need one or two sessions to help him. Lots of people have this fear and if it is pathologic, meaning it disrupts his daily living or thinking, counseling will probably be helpful. Otherwise, ensuring no one "surprises" him with a needle is going to be very helpful. Good luck.

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motherof3sons has 22 years experience and specializes in LTC.

223 Posts; 5,869 Profile Views

He sleeps with his arms folded up towards his chest and fears someone trying to start an IV or draw blood on him without him being aware. It isn't disrupting his life now that we are home but it was difficult for him in patient or if we talk about it. The lab, RN's and all were aware of his phobia and didn't do anything without telling him or waking him first.

The worst time was when he was waiting for his surgery and knew that he was going to have his IV changed while under anesthesia. He was in a panic and just couldn't stop thinking about it. It was very hard to watch him go thru that. The anesthesiologist was kind and gave him versed to calm/relax him.

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SionainnRN has 5 years experience and specializes in Emergency Room, Trauma ICU.

914 Posts; 8,433 Profile Views

It sounds like more of a psychological issue that needs to be dealt with by a trained psychiatrist.

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

670 Posts; 8,632 Profile Views

It sounds like more of a psychological issue that needs to be dealt with by a trained psychiatrist.

Agreed 100%, this sounds like an issue that needs a professional evaluation.

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firstinfamily has 33 years experience as a RN.

790 Posts; 5,734 Profile Views

You could try a LCSW who would be authorized to do therapy or a psychologist. I find Psychiatrists like to push drugs sometimes more than address the issues. Sounds like he has a panic attack and while he is young and healthy most likely will not have to endure many episodes of having his blood drawn. But as he gets older this fear most likely will stay with him and he needs professional therapy to over come it. It is a kind of phobia and there is therapy for all types of phobias, so that is the route I would go. Reassure him it is no different than someone fearing spiders or what ever else. Hope his recovery continues to go well.

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