By: Engracia S. Arceo, MPH, RMT
Doctors request for a laboratory test to help them confirm a medical diagnosis. If they have doubts about the possible illness of their patients, the laboratory tests will confirm or negate their initial diagnosis. Laboratory results are useful documents for your physicians. However, if you are the patient, the fear of undergoing the examination can cause undue stress. If as adults, you feel the discomforts brought about by the procedure, then children experience triple apprehensions. Children fear seeing people in white gowns approaching them with a syringe in hand. Just the thought of this can cause trauma to a child. To help your kid get through this anxiety, here are the things you can do.
Talk to the Child
The most important laboratory preparation is talking to the child. Explain the need for the laboratory test. Tell him about its importance and its effect on his health. Use words appropriate to their level of understanding. Before explaining everything to them, make sure that you do a research about the procedure. This is to prepare yourself for their potential questions. If it is possible, you can also request the laboratory personnel or the doctor to explain the procedure to the child. With information, they can understand better and be more cooperative during the laboratory test.
Do not Give False Assurance
A big no in preparing your child for laboratory test is by giving him false assurance. Never assure him that the procedure will not hurt if you know that it will. False information is not a good way to appease his fear. If you deceive him with little things, he/she will lose his trust in you. The next time he has to undergo another laboratory procedure, his fear will only be greater. To help him release the tension, explain the whole procedure and the feeling associated with it. Tell him what to expect during the laboratory test. Stay as honest as possible in explaining.
Give them a Laboratory Tour
Providing a time for the child to meet the medical technologist can help reduce his fear. Bring your child to the laboratory and introduce him to the medical technologist on duty. You can also ask the staff if it is possible to give your kid a tour in the area. Familiarization is an effective way to take away his anxiety. Introduce him to other patients who undergo the same procedure.
Address their Fears
A child has his own fears. When he voices out his worries, listen to him, never ignore his fears,.. Do not simply say that everything will be fine. Explain that the fear is a common feeling but he has to face it. Assure him that you will be with him throughout the laboratory test. He does not have to face his fears alone. You are just around in case he needs your support.
An anxious child during a laboratory test are common is a scenario. For parents, helping your child cope with it reduces their trepidation. When you follow the tips, you can be sure that your child will be more cooperative.