The thought of having someone stick a needle in your arm to draw blood can be scary. If you always feel anxious when you need a blood tests, you are not alone. Many people also feel this way, but anxiety before drawing blood can cause different symptoms such as trembling and sweating, making the process more difficult and painful.
You may also feel stressed, resulting in a temporary spike in your blood pressure. This causes narrowing of your blood vessels, giving your provider a harder time finding your vein. Being scared of seeing your blood may cause hyperventilation or make your breath quickly, increasing your carbon dioxide level. This may result in light-headedness and passing out.
If you feel anxious or scared about your blood draw, the following tips from phlebotomists and nurses can make you feel better.
Do not look at the arm
If watching your blood enter a syringe is no fun for you, try looking the other way. Watching your blood leave your body can cause vasovagal syncope, a condition where your system overreacts to an unusual sight. This makes your blood pressure and heart rate drop, reducing the amount of blood flowing to the brain, and you can pass out.
Take deep breaths
Ask your provider how long the blood tests will take and count down
Start a conversation with someone during the blood tests
Inform the provider if your veins are difficult to find
Drink plenty of water before your blood tests
Ask If someone can come with you for moral support
Wear warm clothing to your appointment
Ask for a distraction
When medical professionals insert the needle for blood collection, many people hold their breath, but it can stop oxygen flow, leading to more anxiety. Taking slow and steady breaths can help you feel more relaxed. Instead of focusing on the blood draw, you can shift your focus to counting your breath.
Although you can’t tell the exact during for a blood draw, asking your provider for the duration and counting down gives you something to take your mind off the procedure.
You may not feel like talking when you’re about to get your blood drawn but chatting with someone can help calm your nerves. The topic you chose doesn’t matter, provided it keeps you engaged; it can help you get through your blood draw.
If phlebotomists and nurses usually have difficulty locating a good vein, you can warn the person about taking your blood. With a heads up, your provider will know what to do and use techniques for hard-to-find veins to locate your vein quicker.
Your provider may advise you to squeeze your hand into a fist to bring your veins to the surface or try a band around your arm. These procedures will save you and your provider a lot of time.
Some blood tests need fasting before the test, but others have no restriction. When dehydrated, your blood volume decreases, making your veins narrower, but drinking water can plump up your veins.
If your provider instructs you not to eat, confirm if water is also off-limits. If you can take water before your test, ensure you drink a lot of water to keep you hydrated.
If bringing a loved one to your appointment will make you feel more relaxed, ask your provider if it’s okay. Your provider may allow you to be with someone during the blood draw if you are in a private room.
Your veins become constricted when you feel cold, making your vein difficult to find, so ensure you wear warm clothes. Ask your provider for a heat pack if you didn’t wear warm clothing. You can also move around a little to warm your body up.
If other techniques don’t seem to calm your nerves, inform your provider you feel anxious. This helps the person collecting your blood know how to care for you. Blood sample collection is an anxiety-inducing process, so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed with your reaction.
You can get the best blood test London at Private Blood Tests London. Call us now on 020 7183 0244 to schedule an appointment with our doctor for your blood test.