Not surprisingly, this is one of the biggest fears of teens, even many college students when going to sleep for their wisdom teeth. Since they have never had an IV before they don’t know what to expect.
Do IV’s hurt? It depends who is doing it, how experienced they are, how they do it, how hydrated you are, how good your veins are and how fearful you are when going in.
Experience and confidence in the person starting the IV are a big factor. Like anything, the more you do something, the better and more confident you become at doing that task.
This can be the next biggest factor because there are ways to disguise the start of the IV, if that provider chooses to do this. In the hospital, most nurses don’t have the time or the resources to try, but we do!
Although it may sound bad at first, after doing it the way we do it, virtually everyone simply laughs at how scared they were–for nothing. Our numbing technique helps tremendously to relieve the “ouch” you may be expecting.
Drinking extra water the day before, perhaps along with some Gatorade-type of drink with electrolytes to help retain the water you drink (so you don’t pee it all out) can help plump up/expand smaller veins with the extra fluid.
Having good veins automatically makes this task easier for most providers.
If you go in super-afraid of what may turn out to be a very painless procedure (start of the IV), your fear may cause your veins to shrink, making it harder for the provider. Relaxing as much as you can, knowing that the IV allows the surgeon to put you to sleep for your surgery, can go a long way to making it easier for your IV starter to help you.