Overcoming Fears of Blood & Needles
Oct. 31, 2017
Today, Halloween, is the spookiest, creepiest day of the year. Itâs a day also often marked by blood and fear. Itâs in that spirit that we effectively combine those latter two things and discuss how it is we can conquer our fear of blood and needles. When that nurse says those horrible six words, âyouâre going to feel a stick,â thereâs no need to run screaming. We asked one of our leading Concorde resident experts to chime in on ways to over those fears when the nurse comes calling. Hereâs what she had to say.
Overcoming the fear of the nurse coming with the needle and bloodâHere are some helpful hints for individuals who get nervous when it comes to needles and blood,â said Linda Warsaw-Gazzola, LVN, Vocational Nurse Instructor at Concordeâs campus in Garden Grove, Calif.
- A simple step is to make sure you are well hydrated prior to a blood draw. Why? Because then the nurse who is taking your blood will be able to find your veins more easily. Full veins are much easier to access (and, the more fluid you drink, the plumper your veins get). Ideally, you want to start drinking more fluids the day before your blood draw and continue to drink water before you have your blood drawn. You donât have to overdo it; just make sure you have about 64 ounces a day. This is normally the amount you need for good health. Also, make sure to limit caffeine (it acts as a diuretic).
- Donât be afraid to ask for help. Let the nurse who is drawing your blood (or giving you an injection) know you are fearful. S/he can do their best to minimize your discomfort by providing comfortable seating, using a tiny needle and distracting you with conversation.
- During the blood draw, donât hold your breath! A lot of people tend to hold their breath in anticipation of the needle, which does not help at all, especially if you are a person that tends to feel faint. Focus on your breathing; breathe at your normal rate. If you do this, you are far less likely to feel light-headed. If potential pain is what makes you nervous, the person drawing your blood might have some numbing medication to minimize the pain. Also, realize that the pain will be over in an instant.