How to help a patient if they have a fear of needles

It’s pretty often that as a healthcare professional, you might come across a patient who fears needles. Their heart and stomach might rush when they imagine a needle inserted into their skin. Their anxiety might even be so severe that sometimes they avoid getting shots and seeing a doctor. Trypanophobia, commonly known as needle phobia (fear of needles), affects about 10% of Americans, and  3% to 4.5% experience what is known as a blood-injection-injury phobia at some point in their lives.

If requiring injections to manage a chronic condition, trypanophobia may have a significant impact when it comes to numerous routine medical procedures, including taking immunizations. Fear of needles might place you in a challenging situation where you must decide whether to trigger your patient’s anxiety for self-care frequently or for them to put off managing their health. Here are some helpful hints to help make your patient feel more comfortable and at ease when prepping them for a syringe:

  1. Encourage them to look away

    There is no reason to observe what is happening. It won't take long for the person holding the needle to finish.

  2. Deep breathing techniques

    Our bodies tighten, and our breath gets shallower and faster when we're terrified or anxious. Take deep and slow breaths through your nose, and then slowly exhale.

  3. Have a Chat!

    Look for something to distract your patient from what is happening. You can talk to them, have them watch something on the phone, squeeze a stress ball, visualize themselves on a beautiful beach, or listen to soothing music.

  4. Numb the injected Area

    Ice or over-the-counter lidocaine cream may lessen the discomfort and calm your patient’s mind if the agony of injections might cause them concern.

  5. Recommend the patient to gradually expose themself

    It is possible to make anxiety, in this case, of needles, less frightening by purposefully exposing one’s self to them. Exposure therapy may start with seeing images or films of needles before moving on to seeing someone else receive an injection.

  6. Ask them!

    Be Informative by asking the patient if they do have a fear of needles and tell them to take some time to relax to get assurance when they are ready and prepared.

  7. Use safety needles

    To ensure the safety of your patients and their comfort, use Numedico’s ClickZip retractable safety syringe. This technology provides valuable protection for health workers, patients, and others in the community.

For more details, visit