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Why you should never ask a patient, “Are you afraid of needles?”


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“Are you afraid of needles?”

For some strange reason, this question has been ingrained into our thought process when we go to administer an injection.

We politely ask if our patient is “afraid” of needles before we stick them. I still haven’t figured out where it originated.

Seriously though, I haven’t met a patient who actually LIKED needles! I mean, who enjoys being poked with something sharp?

That’s like asking someone, “Do you like to bleed?”


While we are on the subject, if you truly feel compelled to ask the question, be sure to include anyone present in the room. True story–some individuals will faint just from the sight of the needle.

Oh, and one last thing (and this is the most important tip when administering a subcutaneous or intramuscular injection, so pay attention!). WHATEVER you do, as you are flicking your wrist to dart the needle, DO NOT say, “little prick.” I would highly suggest you say the words, “little pinch.”

You can’t even imagine the comic relief and rebuttal comments.

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