How to overcome your fear of needles this flu season
Flu season is officially here, meaning prime time for flu jabs. For some, getting the flu jab is more than just protection against an unpleasant illness. If you fall into the NHS ‘high-risk’ category, the flu jab is essential for protecting you against more serious illnesses such as a chest infection, bronchitis or even pneumonia. For everyone else, it is simply the most effective way of preventing the flu.
The biggest hurdle for many when getting their flu jab is overcoming a fear of needles. According to the NHS, this affects one in every ten people*. To ensure that everyone is protected against the flu this winter, we’ve put together some top tips to help you overcome your fear of needles.
Common symptoms of fear
There are different levels of fear when it comes to needles, ranging from fearing the injection itself to just the idea of the procedure. Some of the most common symptoms of fear include:
- Increased heartrate
- Heavy breathing
- Feeling faint
- Feeling sick
- Dry mouth
Changing the way you think about needles
Most people with a fear of needles fixate on the immediate stress of having an injection rather than focusing on the bigger picture. Whilst jabs can cause temporary discomfort, their main aim is not to hurt you, but to protect you against something more serious and harmful. Every jab is rigorously tested to ensure it is safe, effective and able to protect you. Keeping this in mind may help you focus on the reasons why you are getting the jab rather than the injection itself.
Tips to get you through your flu jab
Let your GP know your fears
Professionals administering the flu jabs are used to dealing with nervous patients. Let them know your reservations so that they can be more sensitive and reassure you. The more they can do to alleviate your fears, the better your experience will be.
Distract yourself with conversation
Try to distract yourself with conversation so that you have something else to focus on other than the jab. Even though you’re nervous, have a chat with the healthcare professional to keep your mind off the injection. It might help you to relax into the situation.
Count, breathe, relax
The most common relaxation techniques in any stressful situation is to slow down, breathe and count to ten. This helps you relax in the short-term and by the time you’ve finished, your jab will probably be over.
Our next Flu clinics at Morlais Health Centre
At Morlais Health Centre, we are used to dealing with nervous patients when it comes vaccinations and promise to help you through the process. Our friendly professionals are simply here to make sure you stay protected this flu season.
Here are the upcoming flu clinic dates for eligible patients:
- Thursday 7th November from 2-5pm at our Ivor Stree Surgery. This is for 2 & 3 year olds (intranasal vaccines), under 65’s in the “at risk” groups and over 65’s.
Find out if you are eligible for a free jab: