Commitment to Comfort

Information for Albertans

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 blood collection.

The five Commitment to Comfort (CTC) principles support people of all ages to have a more comfortable healthcare experience.


Commitment to Comfort (CTC) & Immunization

If you have fears or worries about needles, you are not alone. Over 25 per cent of adults and 60 per cent of children have a fear of needles. Learn more about the steps you can take before, during and after immunization make your experience more comfortable (printable version).

Before Your Appointment

Make a Comfort Plan: By reviewing the CTC principles below, you can make a comfort plan for yourself or someone you are caring for before the immunization 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.

During Your Appointment

Position Comfortably: Sit in an upright comfortable position with your arm relaxed. If you have fainted before with an immunization or you feel faint, let a healthcare provider know. Children and infants can be supported through comfort positions by caregivers and healthcare providers:

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.

Before / During / After Your 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 are a caregiver or parent, language is a very helpful tool to improve the confidence and experience for those who you are caring for.

For the COVID-19 vaccine, visit COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ and Appointment Booking pages for more information on what to expect and how to prepare for your appointment.

Teens Additional Information

Children & Infants Additional Information

Blood Collection (Children & Adults)

CTC principles are offered within Alberta Precision Laboratories in Calgary and surrounding areas, at: Alberta Children's Hospital and South Health Campus outpatient collection laboratories,

Calgary Patient Service Centres and collections site 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.