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Needle Phobia

As a kid, I was convinced that glass thermometers, like needles, hurt. I lost my shit when the doctor busted out with a big honking needle.

I've only fainted once, in college, after a blood draw. It wasn't my fault, though, because I'd looked away, and when I looked back, the nurse was wiping up a puddle of bright red blood she'd spilled all over my medical form.

20% of the general population experience a fear of needles, according to Healthline.com. Needle phobia is a thing. It comes with its own terminology:

Belonephobia: an abnormal fear of sharp pointed objects, especially needles

Trypanophobia: a fear of injections

Vaccinophobia: a fear of vaccines and vaccinations

This fear actually makes sense in terms of evolution. Heavy-handed symbolism aside, if, like Aurora on her sixteenth birthday, one sees a sharp, pointy thing and thinks, MUST TOUCH, one might not live to pass on one's genes.

I have no problem popping the blueberry-like, bulbous body of a large black widow under my thin flip-flops, but watching a medical personnel squeeze one drop of liquid out of the tip of a syringe activates my fight or flight (mostly flight) response.

Unfortunately, I've already signed the paperwork consenting to my nursing program classmates and I sticking one another for practice. I'll have to warn them that I might be crying the whole time.

Advice for overcoming phobias include gradual exposure to the object feared, looking at pictures/videos of it, talking about it, writing about it, and handling it (if possible, and safely). We'll see if any of that helps.

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Some Tips from Orientation

No canvas shoes; blood and urine will spill.
No jewelry besides flat wedding bands, unless you like the image of mashing diamonds in the microbial-habitat equivalent of raw hamburger meat. Protruding jewelry might snag elderly patient skin. No facial piercings; nurses will rat you out in a heartbeat.
Do not violate HIPAA.
Do not engage in criminal activities. Even when you’re not a nurse, you’re still a nurse. They’ll make you go through hell to get your license back, if you ever get it back.
Get CPR-certified, vaccinated, background-checked and drug-screened.
There may be times when you’re willing to pay $80 for a hotel room just so you can get a few hours’ sleep.
ATI, ATI, ATI.
Keep textbooks handy in your car.
Spend time with your family this summer--they won't see you for two years.
If reading poetry under the conference table can get you through orientation, it will probably get you through the RN program.