Had I been told when I was in pharmacy school that I would have to give shots to patients, I would have high-tailed it out of there. Goodbye pharmacy, and hello accounting! After all, I have suffered from trypanophobia all my life. Anytime syringes were involved, I was sure to pass out. The list of my fainting episodes is a running joke in my family including when:
- I saw my sister get her ears pierced when I was 9.
- my friend gave herself her insulin before a meal, and my head ended up in my plate. Luckily there was no food in it yet!
- my boss gave me the details of his knee surgery, especially the anesthesia part.
- at least eight times I had to get blood drawn or immunizations.
- the two IV’s I was given with the c-sections of my two kids.
- and, the best one, the first time I sold syringes in a pharmacy.
My heart dropped when I read that Target pharmacists were going to start giving immunizations. My first instinct was to tell my boss the truth, that I was the equivalent of a 4-year-old when I saw any syringe.
But, then I decided this was my one chance to overcome my phobia and face my fears head on. After dipping my toes in the water with the online training, I attended an 8 hour live training where I dove in head first. I survived without a single scene being made.
Since then, I’ve grown to enjoy giving immunizations. It’s forced me to learn something new and step out of my little pharmacy box. I was worried the whole process would disrupt work-flow, forcing my regular guests to wait longer than usual. I was worried someone else would suffer from trypanophobia and would faint on me also. I was worried I might fall back on my old ways and faint while giving a shot. Knock on wood, none of my worries have come to pass…
I’d like to say I’m 100% cured, but that wouldn’t be true. Last winter, I had some blood drawn and passed out on the poor nurse. I wasn’t as grown up as I thought. So, next fall when I’m giving you your flu shot, do as I say and not as I do and just “Be brave!”
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