AHS is committed to making your healthcare experience as comfortable as possible.
Commitment to Comfort promotes comfort by helping lessen pain and distress that may be experienced during immunization, medical procedures and laboratory blood collection.
The five Commitment to Comfort (CTC) principles support people of all ages to have a more comfortable healthcare experience.
If you have fears or worries about needles, you are not alone. More than 25 per cent of adults and 60 per cent of children have a fear of needles. Learn about the steps you can take before, during and after your appointment to make your experience more comfortable (printable version | narrated PowerPoint).
Make a Comfort Plan: Make a comfort plan for yourself, your child, or someone you are caring for before your appointment based on the CTC principles that you feel will work best.
Use Numbing Cream (Optional): Numbing cream goes on the skin to help lessen the pain of a needle. It may not be right for everyone. Numbing cream is not available at AHS immunization sites, however you can purchase these products at most pharmacies. Numbing cream needs to be applied at least 30 minutes before the appointment.
Position Comfortably: Sit in an upright comfortable position with your arm relaxed. If you've fainted before with an immunization or medical procedure, or you feel faint, let your healthcare provider know.
Parents/guardians, caregivers and healthcare providers can support children and infants by using various comfort positions:
Use Distraction: Distracting yourself or shifting your attention away from the immunization or procedure can help you feel more at ease. If you want, tell your healthcare provider or support person what distraction technique(s) work best for you. Encourage children to use distraction techniques before and during the appointment.
Use Positive Language: Remember what CTC comfort strategies worked well and use them the next time. Consider sharing your positive experience with others. If you're a parent/guardian, language is a helpful tool to improve the confidence and experience for those who you are caring for.
For more information on what to expect and how to prepare for your immunization, visit:
CTC principles are offered within Alberta Precision Laboratories in Calgary and surrounding areas, including all Patient Service Centres and collection sites in:
You may find the following resources helpful in preparing yourself or your child for a laboratory collection:
Commitment to Comfort was established and developed at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. See Resources for more information.