Tips for Minimizing Pain

Receiving medication via injection is a painful process for the patient. However, you can minimize the discomfort by following these tips:

• Encourage the patient to relax. The more they tense their muscle, the more the injection hurts.

• Replace the needle with a new needle after you withdraw medication from a vial or if the medication is irritating.

• Position the patient on his or her side—with knees flexed if you are using the ventrogluteal site. Position the patient flat on the abdomen with toes turned inward if you are using the dorsogluteal site. Use the same technique if the patient prefers to stand.

• Don't inject into sensitive or hardened tissues.

• Compress tissues at the injection site.

• You can prevent the antiseptic (e.g., alcohol wipe) from clinging to the needle during the injection by waiting for the antiseptic to dry before injecting the medication.

• Dart the needle to reduce puncture pain.

• Inject the medication slowly.

• Withdraw the needle quickly and straight.

• Use the Z-Track technique.

• Ask the patient to cough on the count of three. Inject the medication when the patient coughs.

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