Plebotomy – The Art of Drawing Blood

The art of drawing blood is called phlebotomy, and is a very delicate and intricate skill in the medical world. Health care workers have to draw blood carefully so that the patient does not feel any discomfort or extra pain during the process. Here are the procedures to be followed to safely draw blood, using a vacutainer and needle.

The first thing you have to do is not to start drawing blood, but to find out the patient’s name and date of birth. This is to ensure their identities, as you will be marketing all specimen tubes using this information. Next, you have to wear protective gloves for protection from bodily fluids. You then have to arrange all the tubes you will require for drawing blood, along with the necessary tools like a tourniquet and alcohol swabs.

Locate the right vein

The most common point to draw blood from is the median cubital vein, found on the inner part of the forearm. The reason this is considered to be the optimum vein is because it is located closest to the skin surface. In addition to this, there are not many nerves found surrounding it.

The chosen spot now has to be made ready by placing a tourniquet on its upper part. Make sure the tourniquet is so tight that the vein starts bulging. Then, you have to pat the vein to take a look at its size. The part which bulges most is the best place to draw blood from; however make sure you decide on the best angle to draw blood.

Insert the needle with a fast motion

Make sure you insert the needle into the vein using a smooth, but fast motion. This way, the patient experiences minimum pain when you draw blood. This done, the vacutainer, or in layman’s terms, the blood specimen tube has to be pushed into the holder while the needle is kept steady.

You see the vacutainer getting filled with sufficient blood for the specific blood test. If you are not using a vacutainer, but an old fashioned syringe and needle, all you have to do is manually pull the syringe back till it gets filled with blood. It is basically better to use the old fashioned syringe and needle system for people with small or compromised veins. Old adults, young children and people with small veins are more comfortable with the butterfly needle and syringe.

Mix specimens thoroughly

Once the last blood specimen is collected, the needle has to be pulled out at the same angle as it was inserted. The vacutainer has to be always removed last before the needle is pulled out of the arm. Make sure you immediately dispose of the needle and apply some gauze to the patient’s wound, with some pressure.

Gently swish the specimens around to thoroughly mix them. Specimens have to be thoroughly mixed lest you end up with false test results. In addition, make sure you label each specimen correctly before sending them for testing.