Reducing Fears at Doctor’s Appointments

1Many patients have extreme fears attributed to the doctor's office. The appearance of white coats, needles and other medical items actually set off adrenaline within these patients. Because medical appointments are critical to your overall health, it's important for you to try and overcome them with a few smart tips.

Speak Candidly About Needle Aversions

If you're afraid of needles, tell your medical professional about this phobia. Patients who try to face their fears and fail might injure the caregiver with sudden movements or gestures. When the caregiver understands that a person is scared of needles, they can use a number of different techniques to work around this obstacle. In fact, some medications can be given in oral form as an alternative to injections. Simply discuss your needs with the doctor before the situation arises. It takes some planning on the part of the caregiver to alternate between injectable and oral medications.

Discuss Alternative Evaluation Techniques

Some medical evaluations can be outright stressful for certain patients. If you suffer from claustrophobia, being confined in an area is frightening. Traditional MRI machines are literally tunnels that patients must lay inside of for an evaluation. To reduce your stress during this evaluation, ask about an open MRI machine. These devices have a different shape, which allows you to have a wide-open sensation as the machine takes its readings. With today's technology advancing every day, there is almost always an alternative to the traditional examinations.

Ask About Mental Distractions

Surgeries and other procedures may be standard for doctors, but patients can be apprehensive. If you're very concerned about being scared during a procedure, ask about approved distractions. Depending on the procedure, you may be able to watch television or listen to music with earbuds. Alternatively, you may want to be placed under general anesthesia for certain procedures. This anesthesia simply puts you to sleep as the doctors perform their work. You wake up afterward without any knowledge of the procedure's details.

Inviting a loved one to your appointment is a clever way to lean on a friend when times are rough. Bring a loved one who you can trust with your personal information. The doctor may discuss serious issues in front of the loved one as you're in the examination room, however, so pick a trusted friend. With help from both friends and your doctor, your next appointment should run as smoothly as possible.