By Nsunjo Erica
The “nasal swab test” is currently the common way of testing for COVID-19, during the process, a doctor will stick a long Q-tip-like swab into one or both nostrils to collect a sample.
The test, which requires a sample to be taken from the back of the throat, is done with a nasopharyngeal swab.
A health care worker will gently insert that long Q-tip into a person’s nose, twirls the swab for about fifteen seconds to get a sample and places it in a vial, the sample is then sent to a lab for analysis.
The doctor requires you to take a deep breath, bend your neck back so that the test can go straight back to the nasal passages and that will make it as easy as possible, not less painful though.
According to one doctor, it takes about ten seconds for a calm patient to complete the test however, some patients have to get multiple swabs in case they fail to bear with the discomfort.
The nasal swab is a wooden or plastic stick that is inserted into the patient’s nose to reach the nasopharynx area, the person will feel discomfort and will have the urge to sneeze or cough.
Once the swab is inserted, it needs to be swirled around for about 15 seconds. Depending on the test, the same thing might also be done through your other nostril.
Doctors said most swab tests aim for the virus’ preferred hiding spots in the nasopharynx, located about seven centimeters straight back into the nose, or in the turbinate area, about 2.5 centimeters inside the nose.
Doctors administering the test will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including a mask, face shield, and gown, to protect against possible exposure from your breath or a sudden sneeze or any airborne particles.
According to research, the test is a little bit uncomfortable and very painful because it is aimed at the tissues that are fairly sensitive and we’re not used to something touching them.
A patient who was tested said she felt like she was being stabbed in the brain, the health-care worker who administered the test says. “I wish there was a better way to do it.”
Another patient explained that it doesn’t pain as you feel from a shot, instead, think about how it felt if you’ve gotten chlorinated water up to your nose in a swimming pool.
Doctors say the nasal swab test is a deep burning, and it often elicits tears and sometimes coughing, so, if you didn’t feel anything, it means the test probably wasn’t done right.