Strategies to Overcome Fear of IVs
Here are six steps you can take to minimize fear of IVs and relax throughout the process.
- Talk with your medical team. Don’t keep your concerns to yourself. If you’re scared, your body can tense up, making IV insertion more difficult for you and your medical team. Share your concerns with your care providers and ask for their tips on how you can get past your anxiety.
- Think differently. Often, the best way to overcome fear is to understand the root of what is making you fearful. Maybe you had a bad hospital experience as a child. Maybe you’re afraid of losing control. The more you understand your fears, the faster you can cope with them.
- Ask for a numbing cream. These creams can reduce pain during IV insertion, keeping the area of the injection numb for a few hours. The cream will need to be applied 30 to 60 minutes before the IV is inserted.
- Lie down. If you tend to get lightheaded or faint, ask the medical staff if you can lie down while the IV is administered.
- Distract yourself. Distraction can calm you during the procedure if you’re afraid of IVs. Try listening to music or watching a video on your phone. Close your eyes and picture a stress-free place!
- Breathe slowly and deeply. Use breathing techniques to relax your mind and body. When you focus on your breath, oxygen speeds to your brain and your body relaxes.
Remember, fear of needles and being afraid of IVs is common, and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Your medical team is there to support you and telling them your concerns will only make it easier for you both.
If you are interested in learning more about what to expect before, during and after IV therapy, check out our blog on Techniques to Prepare and Care for an IV.