Provider News

Helping Patients Cope With Needle Phobia

January 5, 2022

“‘It Won’t Always Be This Way.’ Helping Patients Cope With Needle Phobia,” by Rose Ibarra. From InHouse, Seattle Children’s internal newsletter.

  • “It Won’t Always Be This Way.” Helping Patients Cope With Needle Phobia
  • Help for Providers, Patients and Caregivers From Our Child Life Specialists
  • Coping With Needles Group for Patients

Help for Providers, Patients and Caregivers From Our Child Life Specialists

With PCPs in the U.S. offering the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine this fall to 28 million children ages 5 to 11, the Child Life team at Seattle Children’s is offering the following resources to providers looking for support in easing their patients’ vaccine nerves.

  1. A 1-page handout, “Injection Tips & Tricks,” for providers to share with caregivers before their child’s appointment
  2. A tip sheet for parents and patients, “Reducing the Pain and Anxiety of Needles.”
  3. A patient handout, “My Plan for Needles,” for kids with needle phobia to take with them when they get shots or blood draws
  4. Call 206-987-2037 to speak to a certified Child Life Specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital for more tips and tricks when working with pediatric patients.

Coping With Needles Group for Patients

Through April 2022, Seattle Children’s is offering a monthly virtual Coping with Needles Group (Spanish) in English and Spanish for youth ages 6 to 17 and their caregivers. Each group meets for one hour per week for 4 weeks.

General guidelines in terms of priority:

  1. Patients with a pre-existing medical condition that requires needle procedure (e.g., diabetes) and the patient is struggling with adherence due to their needle fears.
  2. Patients who have struggled to receive routine medical procedures such as blood draws or vaccines due to needle-based fears so much so that these have been delayed/avoided and limited patient’s functioning or participation in certain activities (e.g., camp, returning to school, etc.)
  3. Patients who struggle with intermittent needle procedures and require vaccination or other needle procedures as recommended by a health care provider.
  4. Patients who have needle worries but have been able to complete required needle procedures and have no scheduled needle procedures in the next 6 months.

Access: Referrals from community providers are welcome. Our January group is full, but our February, March, and April groups have space as of early January. Groups may be held beyond April 2022 depending on demand.