Health Is Everything: A Medical Blog

IV Therapy Tips For Nervous Patients

There are many types of IV therapy treatments. You can have a vitamin-infused solution dripped into your bloodstream to ease dehydration and fatigue, or you can have chemotherapy drugs administered for cancer. Each treatment is different, but the method of administration is the same. A needle is inserted in your vein, and over a period of about 30-90 minutes, medicine slowly trickles into your bloodstream. If you are someone who gets nervous around needles or when getting medical care in general, this whole idea might make you nervous. Here are some tips you can rely on for a better experience with whatever type of IV therapy you're planning on having.

Practice deep breathing techniques before your appointment.

If you start to feel worried and anxious during your IV therapy, deep breathing will help calm you down. Just make sure you practice deep breathing before your appointment so you know how to do it well. There are a lot of techniques you can find on YouTube and other video sites, but an easy one is to inhale to the count of 5, hold your breath for 5 seconds, and then exhale to the count of 5.

Talk to your practitioner while the needle is being inserted.

Having the needle inserted is often the most nerve-wracking part of IV therapy. An easy way to distract and calm yourself is to talk to the nurse or practitioner who is working on you while they're preparing to insert the needle, and while they're inserting it. You'll be focusing on the conversation, so you won't pay as much attention to what's happening to your hand.

Ask for a smaller needle.

Practitioners generally choose the size of the needle they use based on the size of your veins. But if you're nervous, you can ask for a smaller needle. You won't feel it as much when it goes in. Just be aware that this may mean your treatment takes a few minutes as liquid flows more slowly through the smaller needle.

Bring your own music or other entertainment.

Pre-load some great music, podcasts, or even videos on your smartphone and bring your headphones along so you can listen and entertain yourself during the treatment. It will fly by without so many feelings of anxiety if you're focused on your entertainment.

With the tips above, you can have a more pleasant IV treatment session. Over time, if you have these treatments regularly, you should become more adapted to them.