Many people are afraid of needles. In fact, The Menninger Clinic's Infection Control coordinator, Dee Henderson, RN, hears about this fear a lot. Yet it's vital to overcome it in order to live a healthly life, since most of us will have plenty of opportunities to "get stuck" during our lifetimes: flu shots, tetanus shots, blood draws and TB skin tests, just to name a few.
Some coping strategies that Henderson recommends include:
- Concentrate on the benefit you'll receive. Thinking of the bigger picture - avoiding the flu, for example - can help when you're getting your annual flu shot.
- Be honest with your provider. Let the person who's administering the shot, IV or test know about your fear, and ask if you can lie down instead of sit for the stick.
- Practice mindfulness. During the procedure, mindfully eat a piece of candy or a raisin; doing so can distract you while also instilling a feeling of calm.