Fears, sweat and tears: A tale of giving that first injection




I can remember giving my first injection like it was yesterday. My hands were shaking. I could feel the beads of sweat on my forehead.

Of course, my patient was so afraid of getting an injection there were tears in his eyes. My professor was standing right over my shoulder, breathing on my neck.

I landmarked the patient’s deltoid, cleaned the area … and BAM! I gave my first IM injection.

I’m sure this situation sounds familiar to a lot of you. For those of you who are just starting out, here’s how to reduce the stress of giving that first injection.

Acknowledge your fears

It can be extremely scary to give your first injection. Acknowledge the fear so that you’re motivated to ask questions and get prepared.

Prepare and practice

For me, the fear wasn’t of sticking someone with the needle. My fear was, “Am I doing this right?”

Go to the sim lab and practice with your friends. Go over what you have to do — step by step — until you know the steps backward and forward. Knowing exactly what you have to do before going into your patient’s room will boost your confidence.

Ask questions

Never be afraid to ask when you are unsure of something. Upperclassmen and professors are good resources for knowledge. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. This is something you should carry with you throughout your entire career. Also, remember that although your clinical professor may be intimidating, that person is there to help.

Be confident in your abilities

After asking questions and practicing over and over, be confident in yourself. You are now prepared. You know what gauge needle to use. You know how to properly landmark. You know the proper steps to give an injection safely and effectively. Your patient will pick up on your confidence and be more relaxed during the injection.

I hope you use these tips to help relax before giving that first injection.

Your turn

Have tips that helped you get through that first injections? Please share them below.


About the author
Kristen Ponticelli

Kristen Ponticelli 

Kristen Ponticelli is a senior nursing student at Molloy College in New York. Her posts from a student nurse’s perspective will appear on Nurse.com the last Friday of each month. Write to Kristen by sending an email to blogs@nurse.com.

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