After CNA training, you will be asked to work with many different types of patients, depending on the health care facility where you have found employment. While in nursing homes your care will mainly be focused on the elderly, in hospitals, you will be required to implement the knowledge you gained throughout CNA training to care for babies, children, teens, adults, and the elderly. Each patient will be unique, and you will have to adjust your technique when working with each individual one.
If you find yourself caring for children after CNA training, you may often be called upon to assist in relieving their fear, perception of pain, and distress when they are undergoing venipuncture. This may be required whether you have earned your certification in phlebotomy or are simply assisting a phlebotomist in the patient’s care.
After CNA Training: What NOT to do to Relieve a Child’s Fears
Most children by nature are afraid of needles. Most often this natural feeling of uneasiness about blood draws is simply due to a fear of the unknown. Children are often scared that the needle will hurt much more than it actually will. It can be difficult to draw blood from a fearful and uneasy patient, however, so it will be your job after CNA training to ensure that their distress is relieved and you, or the phlebotomist, are able to draw blood safely and correctly.
Before we list the appropriate measures that should be taken to calm a child who is afraid of needles after CNA training, however, it is important to note what you should NOT do. Never, under any circumstance, physically restrain the fearful child in order to perform the venipuncture procedure. This is no way to handle the situation, and could cause further distress. Even if a parent is holding the child firmly on his lap, the child will only react negatively and face future psychological suffering.
How to Properly Handle Needle Fears After CNA Training
Research has shown that reducing anxiety and predetermined fears of pain can actually reduce and keep the amount of pain experience during a venipuncture procedure under control. Here are a few simple ways you can do this after CNA training.
- Be Calm- Children can sense when their parents and their caregivers are stressed and anxious, and their distress will increase because of this. After CNA training, always approach children calmly. Talk in a low, soft, yet firm voice.
- Don’t Rush- While you might have 10 other patients to visit, stop and spend some time with the child. Give him a bit of time to accept what is going to happen and to calm down himself.
- Distract Him- Everyone needs to be distracted every now and then from the things that scare them the most. After CNA training, distract the child while you are preparing to draw blood. Get him talking about his favorite new television show or what likes or doesn’t like about school. While he is looking at you, he isn’t looking at the needle.
- Use Rewards- Motivate the child after CNA training to sit still and be part of the process by offering rewards when the venipuncture is complete. Small rewards, like suckers or stickers can be used during every step and will make the process much easier.
After CNA training, you will be required to work with a number of different patients. If you work with children, make sure you understand the best and the worst ways to calm their fears during the venipuncture process. This will make drawing blood easier for you and your phlebotomist after CNA training.