“We’re going to need to run some tests.” Before even walking into their physician’s office, many people find themselves with a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms, fearing that their doctor will utter those fateful words. This is not limited to those undergoing major medical procedures and treatments, but for some, the fear is so great that they put off annual screenings or choose to medicate at home when feeling under the weather. 


It’s common to experience nervousness and anxiety when going to visit the doctor, whether it’s for regular wellness exams, or when feeling unwell. When early detection is key to overcoming many ailments, this fear can become more costly than the tests themselves.  Imaginations run wild, Doctor Google has predicted the worst, and the next thing you know, your fears have grown to manifest themselves as full blown phobias, making it even more dangerous when treatment is avoided.

  • FEAR OF DOCTORS – Also referred to as Iatrophia, the fear of doctors and medical tests is present in those patients who avoid seeing healthcare professionals for routine care or when they are showing symptoms of illness.
  • FEAR OF NEEDLES – Many experience a fear of needles or discomfort when receiving an injection, but for those with Trypanophobia the excessive fear of needles can be polarizing. Whether it’s the fear of blood or the needles themselves, this is especially dangerous for patients who have chronic conditions that need regular monitoring and testing.
  • CLAUSTROPHOBIA- Fear of enclosed spaces, Claustrophobia, can affect people when they need an MRI or other medical scans that involve an enclosed, tube-shaped scanning machine. Not only is the space narrow and small, but the patient must remain calm amidst the whirls and bangs sounding from the machine.


There are a number of techniques to overcome anxiety surrounding your upcoming doctor’s appointment or lab test. While many will tell you the first thing to do is stay off the internet and don’t Google your symptoms (and they’re not wrong!), here are some tips and tricks that you can use while sitting in the waiting room or pacing around waiting for results.

  • EDUCATE YOURSELF – This doesn’t mean take to the internet – instead, ask your physician what you can expect when you’ve been issued orders for lab tests. The physician or nurse can give you an explanation of the test so that there are no surprises.
  • HYDRATE – If it’s needles that cause your blood pressure to rise, drink lots of fluid before going in for your lab testing. This allows your veins to be more easily accessed and minimizes the chance that you’ll have to undergo several sticks for the tech to get the necessary sample.
  • RELAX – Easier said than done when your nerves are jumping, but with a few deep breaths, you can relax your muscles and make the testing easier for both you and the technician. Try visualization or imagery to take your mind away from the present.
  • DISTRACTION –  Bring a book, magazine, or friend to keep you occupied while waiting to visit the doctor. Once you’re awaiting the needle prick, look away or close your eyes. Many technicians are masters at holding conversations while drawing blood in order to help you stay distracted. That’s why they’re the pros, after all!
  • ASK FOR ALTERNATIVES – It’s not uncommon for people to ask for a topical anesthetic before undergoing lab tests involving blood draws and other needle sticks. Similarly, some physicians may prescribe a mild sedative before undergoing tests, especially for those with heightened fears and for some tests, you can even ask for an open air MRI instead of an enclosed MRI.

Teche Action Clinic provides in-house lab testing at our locations, making it easy for patients to receive comprehensive diagnoses and care for themselves and their family members. Our skilled professionals can conduct a wide range of blood tests, urinalysis and stool sample testing to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases and medical disorders.