Fear of Needles in Adults

Fear of NeedlesAbout one in every 4 – 5 adults has a fear of getting injections or blood drawn — so you have lots of company if this is you! It is more common < 40 yrs, and among women. It is often associated with  feeling sweaty, dry mouth, shortness of breath, nausea, or (near-)fainting. Chances are, you know this fear is unreasonable; and you are three times more likely to have had a traumatic injection experience in the past.

So, you know you need vaccines – what do you do?

  • Tell us about your fear!  Things we can do:
    • Give injections while you are lying down, if you always faint (we don’t like head injuries)
    • Prepare your vaccines before you enter the room to have them given
    • Keep you out of the room if others in your group or family are getting injections
    • Remind you to look away
    • Keep the muscle relaxed: put your hand on your hip!
    • Use distractions
      • Visual:
        • Focus on a poster on the wall
        • View a little video on your smart phone
  • Auditory:
    • Bring your ear buds and music
    • Tell the nurse a story or get her/him to tell you one
  • Sensory:
    • Ask for the “buzzy bee” that gives a gentle vibration on your arm – it helps!
    • Use self-soothing methods
      • Slow and regular breathing
      • Close your eyes and picture your “happy place”