What is the correct procedure for drawing venous blood?

Carrying out the venous blood collection properly will prevent the patient from suffering or feeling any pain during the procedure.

Venous blood extraction is a very common procedure in all medical centers. It allows you to check the health status of the patient, as well as possible ailments or diseases that he may suffer. Therefore, it is undoubtedly very useful.

Through a blood test, it can be detected if a patient has anemia, vitamin E deficiency, even if he has a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or cancer. As we can see, blood provides a lot of information about our state of health.

The right way to draw venous blood

Perhaps for a doctor, or nurse, who has been practicing his profession for many years, the procedure for the extraction of venous blood may be somewhat obvious. However, for a medical student or someone who is doing an internship, this technique can generate doubts or some  insecurity.

However, today we are going to describe, step by step, how a venous blood extraction is performed so that we can carry it out in the best possible way. Not only to feel safe, but so that the patient benefits from a good blood draw.

1. First contact with the patient

Although it may be a bit formal, greeting the patient, asking how they feel, and if they have ever been dizzying during a venous blood draw helps create an atmosphere of trust. Consequently, the patient will be able to relax and be better disposed.

During this first contact, while you have a brief conversation with the patient, you can prepare the tubes that need to be filled and confirm that the name that appears on the form is correct.

2. Find the vein

Many patients have visible veins, but others do not. In the event that someone has very fine or barely visible veins, it will be necessary to use the appropriate needle. This is thinner to facilitate blood collection.

Once we have the patient’s arm on the table with the most convenient vein and we have decided on the needle that we are going to use, we put the rubber band that will tighten the arm above the elbow. It is convenient to ask the patient if he is comfortable.

When the tape is tight, we will tell the patient to make a fist. This will make the vein swell. We can feel it to check that it is perfect to proceed with the blood extraction and we continue with the next step.

3. Blood collection

Before sticking the needle in, we are going to disinfect the area where we are going to puncture and put on gloves. We will then take the needle, remove the cap that covers it and with the bevel of the needle facing up, we press it against the vein. The needle should be tilted, at an angle of approximately 10 degrees.

It is normal that we notice a slight resistance of the skin, but we should not be afraid. Quietly, safely, and firmly, the needle will penetrate the vein.

Once inside, we will insert the tube into the end of the needle and we will tell the patient to open their hand. We will also have to remove the rubber tape that is acting as a tourniquet.

4. Completion of the procedure

When a tube is full, we withdraw it without fear and proceed to insert another. Thus, even those who have ordered the patient to fill out. Once this is done, we will place a cotton ball right where the needle entered the vein and remove the needle.

We will ask the patient to press the cotton and we will place a tape on it. We will ask you how you are while we stick the corresponding stickers on each tube and let you know that you are ready to go.

As we can see, the procedure is simple. Sometimes the blood does not flow or the vein cannot be found. If this happens, instead of torturing the patient by repeatedly pricking him without success, we can try it with the veins on the back of the wrist or in the hands.

In these cases, the blood draw procedure is more painful. However, it is much more difficult to repeatedly prick both one arm and the other without success. At all times, we must keep the patient informed and indicate the fastest and most appropriate solution for their case.

Also, we have to take into account those patients who faint. In these cases, the blood collection should always be performed with the patient lying down for their safety.

If you’ve been a medical or nursing student, has it ever been a problem to draw someone’s blood the first time? What experience do you have as a patient?

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