7 Tips for Making Your Flu Shot Stress-Free

Guest Author: BJ Helton, Manager of Patient Safety and Quality

Even though binge watching Netflix and getting a few work-free days may seem tempting, the body aches, fatigue, weakness and fever that come along with the flu make it a not-so-enjoyable mini vacation. No one looks forward to their flu shot and with flu season now upon us, our flu experts at Covenant are sharing their tips and tricks for making the trip a little easier.

  1. Positive attitude
    Sometimes it really is mind over matter. Congratulate yourself for taking proactive steps towards keeping your body healthy this flu season. Also, try giving yourself something to look forward to afterwards; maybe keep a sweet treat in your car for when you are done!

  2. Express yourself
    Sometimes it helps to get it all out. Let the nurse know that you are a little anxious. The nurse can walk you through the process and help keep you relaxed while putting things into perspective.

  3. Wear loose clothing
    The flu shot is given in your upper arm area and tight clothing may have to be removed, as it could restrict your nurse’s ability to give you the injection. Be sure to wear loose clothing to ensure that the process goes as seamlessly as possible.

  4. Get comfortable
    Try some breathing exercises or meditation, whatever it takes to relax your mind and your muscles. The less tension in your body, the easier it will be to give the injection.

  5. Distraction
    Try focusing on something else in the room, squeezing a person’s hand or having a conversation can help take the focus off your shot. Bring a friend along and the two of you can bet on who will squirm the most during their flu shot!

  6. Exercise the muscle
    It is best to move your arm normally and not just hold it still after the injection. Our flu experts advise to periodically bring your arm up in a chicken wing “flap” motion to work the vaccine into your muscle.

  7. Cold or hot compress
    Using ice or a warm compress may help aid in comfort measures.

While these tips and tricks from our experts should help ease the fear of the flu shot, keep in mind the valuable time and money getting your flu shot can save down the road. Nearly 226,000 hospital admissions result from the flu virus every year. Spend your money on something other than a doctor’s visit! Also do not forget that it takes approximately two weeks after your vaccination for protection to set in, so the sooner the better.

Check with your primary care provider for your flu shot, or, stop by a Covenant MedExpress location.

Posted Date: 12/5/2016

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