These guidelines are based on the premise that 'needle phobia' is uncommon and an inappropriate term for the distress and/or anxiety experienced by children/young people when subject to invasive procedures. Fear is a normal response to a threatening stimulus that involves three response systems (physiological arousal, covert feelings and thoughts and overt behavioural expressions).
Aims of the Guideline
- To minimise the distress experienced by children/young people around invasive/distressing procedures and to facilitate the development of their coping skills for the benefit of their health care and well-being.
- To optimise the competency and confidence of 'front line' staff in dealing with potentially distressing procedures.
- To minimise the use of restraint (as distinct from positioning and holding).
- To identify when other services (e.g. hospital play specialists, clinical psychologists) may need to be involved.