Article by Stuart Mott, LPN
Dialysis needles are large and scary! Fear of needles and pain is a reality for most people on dialysis, especially in the beginning. Some have true phobia, and require special techniques and interventions to self-cannulate. All patients, once they become familiar with dialysis, worry about who will put their needles in (and potentially cause access damage that can lead to a hospital stay, surgery, or loss of their lifeline). Some avoid travel because they don’t want an unknown staff person to cannulate them. All of these fears can reduce quality of life. Patients who cannulate themselves learn to overcome these fears—and this task is not as formidable as it may seem.
Copyright © 2011 Stuart Mott, LPN