If you’re getting a physical or need to be tested for a specific condition, there’s a good chance you’ll be getting a blood test. A blood test can help determine the state of your health in a number of ways, and with over 7 billion of them being done annually, you’ll have to have it done at some time.
There are also a number of reasons people may be nervous about getting blood drawn, including anxieties around needles, fear of the pain that they may associate with the procedure, or just seeing their own blood. To help ease the tension and anxiety you may feel about needles and getting your blood drawn, let’s look at the reasons why they are necessary, how to prepare for them, and how you can stay calm during this procedure.
Residents of the Little River, South Carolina area nervous about blood tests can receive compassionate healthcare from Dr. Rogers Walker and the experienced medical team at Walker Urgent and Family Care. We offer walk-in care for the whole family for a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions with many diagnostic tests available, including blood work.
Why blood tests are necessary
Clinical laboratory tests are a vital part of diagnosing any conditions you may have or assessing the risks of conditions you may find yourself coping with later in life. These include an array of different screenings, such as imaging tests, hearing tests, electrocardiograms (EKG), biopsies, colonoscopies, and blood tests. Each is designed to help examine a different part of the body, but none of them give the whole picture of your health.
Blood tests are vital for looking at the chemicals and nutrients in your bloodstream. The results of these tests allow your provider to ensure things are functioning properly and to catch any anomalies in your bloodstream, which can indicate specific problems that need to be treated.
Blood screenings help for diagnosing many conditions, including problems in your kidneys, liver, heart, and thyroid, and are an important tool in detecting issues like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, bleeding and clotting disorders, and problems in your immune system.
How to prepare for them
Most blood tests don’t require too many steps to prepare for the procedure, but some tests may require you to avoid eating or drinking for a specific period of time prior to having blood drawn (sometimes up to 12 hours, with these tests frequently done in the morning).
Drinking water before blood tests is often encouraged because the veins will appear plumper and more visible, making life easier for your phlebotomist (a medical professional who specializes in drawing blood). Water also helps maintain proper hydration, as dehydration can also thicken your blood and lower your blood pressure, directly affecting the results of tests, which may make more testing necessary.
Ways to stay calm during a blood draw
Regardless of the reasons for your hesitance or anxiety, here are some steps to stay relaxed during a blood test:
Relieve mental tension
Deep breaths and other methods of focused breathing can help take your mind off the procedure, as well as relax your body.
Distract yourself with music
Music can be a way to distract you from the experience if you listen to some enjoyable tunes before and during the blood draw. It can also help if the clinical environment of the doctor’s office makes you nervous.
There are several ways you can ask for help in this situation, including being told when to look away when the needle is inserted or asking for a topical anesthetic. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you have needle or blood anxieties.
Getting your blood drawn is important to keep you healthy, but it doesn’t have to be unpleasant, and if you have problems with the procedure, please ask for assistance. If you need blood work and you’re ready to schedule it, contact Dr. Walker and Walker Urgent and Family Care today.