If you hate needles but need blood drawn, here’s how to make the task less cringe-worthy. From The Silver Lining: A Supportive & Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer.
● Tell the phlebotomist (the person who draws your blood) or your nurse that you have needle phobia.
● Look away or close your eyes. If you’re frightened, why torture yourself by watching?
● Take deep breaths, especially when the needle punctures your skin.
● Allow a maximum of two sticks per person. Hold your ground. Tell the person, “I have a two-stick-maximum policy. I’d like another phlebotomist, please.”
● Request a butterfly needle. It is the smallest needle available and just as effective.
● For especially difficult veins, you can request a topical numbing agent (though not all labs have them).
● Busy your mind by counting backward from some unreasonable number that will actually make you think as you count down (e.g., 1,359,112).
● Don’t chat with the phlebotomist. It is important for the person taking aim at your veins to be fully focused on the task at hand.