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Having blood drawn for laboratory blood tests can be an anxiety-ridden experience for some people. If blood tests are a problem for you, check out the coping strategies below.
Visualization – The anticipation of the needle stick is usually worse than the actual stick. Try to minimize it in your head and think of it as a little poke or pinch, not something huge and painful. Consider listening to relaxation tapes before or even during your blood draw to help you stay calm.
Go with the flow – Stay hydrated before your test. Veins are found easily and blood flows better when you have plenty of water in your system. Consider walking around while you're waiting to get blood the flowing.
Dry Skin – Moisturize the puncture site well to minimize the pain of the needle stick.
Feel faint? – Always inform the phlebotomist if you feel faint. If this happens often during a blood draw, your blood can be taken while lying down.
Ask for help. – If the phlebotomist misses your vein twice, another technician might be called in to help. Plus, you always have the right to ask for another phlebotomist if you're flustered.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|