A trip to the hospital about a year ago resulted to a life changing event for my 5-year old daughter, Amber. I admitted her to CDO Polymedic General Hospital due to coughing and a 2-day fever. She was no longer eating, and so I decided to get the help of a dextrose. Having a company health card (thanks God), I was not really worried about hospital and medicine bills, so a minor illness would not keep her away from the hospital.


When we entered the ER, a fresh-graduate looking male nurse attended to our needs and did the initial admission preparation like installation of the dextrose. Amber was comfortable at first, but it seemed like the nurse did not hit the right spot. Amber squealed for help. Over and over again the male nurse, who that time was assisted by another male nurse, tried to hit the right vein at the other hand. I almost exploded at them with that sight of incompetence, but kept calm. Just imagine seeing your child crying with pain, I wanted to scream, “Be gentle to her!” When it was over (after 3 attempts), Amber leaned in my shoulder sobbing.

Right after this incident, my daughter is becoming belonephobic. At the sight of the hospital building, she would beg me not to bring her there. Going to her regular medical check-up is a pain in the neck. And I have to promise her that no needle will be used. During our US Embassy medical examination at St. Luke’s Medical Center Extension Clinic, her fear was awaken. You see, when applying for an immigrant visa, you need to complete all vaccinations needed by the US Government. Just imagine how tormenting this could be to her. The attending nurse had to postpone her turn because she was screaming and crying aloud, disturbing everyone in the Vaccination Room. I cried and begged her to have her shots. Still, my effort was futile. Kung hindi madadaan sa santong dasalan, gawin sa santong basbasan.This was what we did. I along with two other male nurses strangled and pinned her.Yun! We had it done.

Right now, I am reading information about how to eliminate, if not minimize, my daughter’s needle phobia. As a parent, I am her comfort and protector. I always tell her this, “Ako na lang na imo sakit be para okay na ka …” 


2 thoughts on “Belonephobia

  1. hehe… i deal with this problem often, Ting. i’m not very comfortable working on child patients, but i’m left with no choice. sometimes i make referrals na lang kung di jud ma-handle..

    it is quite common for most kids to fear needles, or any sharp object for that matter. add to that the bewilderment why his/her parent/guardian isn’t doing anything to cries for help.

    the best thing to do is to talk about it in the simplest terms he/she can understand… why it has to be done, and what to expect. never lie. and reassure that you will be right by his/her side. you may hold hands, or if small enough, he/she can sit on your lap.

    by the way, i notice a few parents who scold and even pinch their kids when they do not cooperate. i am peeved, big time. rather, be reassuring. if parents can’t bear it, they better go a short distance away from the child and let the professional handle.

    it might help if there is some form of distraction for the child. maybe you can bring along a favorite toy, or book. i usually play familiar music on my pc…

    you can call the staff first to get them ready. request for the more experienced ones to handle your patient, never the inexperienced.

    hopefully Amber will outgrow her needle phobia. 🙂

  2. Thanks for that Doc Jun. I’ll take it from the expert (you). For now, the last suggestion is the easiest. I noticed, that most hospitals always have interns or fresh-grads assigned to their ER especially during wee hours. Well, I can not blame them. Nurses are in demand abroad, so it’s seldom to see “experienced” nurses around, unless its the Head Nurse.

    Darn, I can not really forget of that male nurse.

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