By Ryan MacArthur |
Although getting an IV is a fairly common procedure, one out of every four Americans has a fear of needles. While it’s safe to say most people don’t relish the chance to receive IV treatment or get a needle poke, insertion using an IV needle is a key part of the process.
One of the biggest misconceptions about IV therapy is that the IV needle stays in the patient’s vein throughout treatment. Try to think of the needle as a vehicle for a tiny, plastic device called a cannula. The cannula is what actually connects the patient’s vein to the tubing that carries medicine, blood, drugs, or fluids into their body.
Once the healthcare provider chooses an insertion site they will insert the IV needle into the vein. When blood begins to enter the cannula, they remove the IV needle and make sure the cannula is securely in place before administering IV treatment. From there, the doctor or nurse will dispose of the IV needle in a safe manner.
Dealing with a fear of needles isn’t easy but there are ways to cope with the nervousness. According to Matt Callis, an RN with over 20 years of experience treating patients at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital, getting information about the procedure can be helpful towards alleviating any anxiety.
“I usually just explain the procedure and let them know step by step what I am doing,” says Callis. “If there are family or friends available, sometimes it helps for them to hold the patient’s hand or to offer moral support.”
Other resources about IV needle insertion on myIV.com:
Image Source – Hearts in Healthcare: https://heartsinhealthcare.com/intentional-practice/
Fear of needles — nature and prevalence in general practice: NIH. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19283260
How to Insert a Cannula: https://www.wikihow.com/Insert-a-Cannula