Drawing Blood For The First Time

Written by Natalie S.

This quarter I am doing my clinical for the phlebotomy program and working on finishing up my HIT course requirements.  At first I was terrified of the thought of doing a clinical–the word clinical made me cringe.  All I could think of was not being ready and messing things up.  I sure didn’t want to drive 30 minutes away to go to a site where I didn’t know anyone and a place where no one cared about my success or failure in the least.  I was freaking out about how I was going to put in my 120 hours and still work, do my other course work and take care of my family.  The mere thought of figuring this puzzle out gave me a migraine.

So as my fear and nervousness was mounting, along came the first day of my clinical.  I arrived at the site and checked in with the supervisor of my clinical experience. My heart was in my throat the entire first hour I was there.  The ladies I worked with were nice–they had me complete some paperwork for them and then showed me how they did things.  Then about twenty minutes after I had finished my paperwork, they had me draw on a patient, A REAL LIVE PATIENT, not someone from my class who was ok with being stuck. A patient who was not excited about having their blood taken in the first place so I mustered all of the courage I had.  I put on my gloves, put the needle together, gathered my tubes, got my gauze ready and got my tourniquet.  I put the arm rest down on the chair; I tied off my patients arm and prayed.  I prayed that I would be able to feel a vein, that I would be able to find a vein and most of all that I would be able to perform this draw with no issues.  Then I clean off the area and palpated the area for the vein, BINGO a big fat juicy vein was right there.  It wasn’t trying to hide or anything; I put my needle together, anchored the skin and poked the needle in.  I pushed the tube on and a beautiful geyser of blood comes pouring into the tube.  I filled the 2 tubes that I needed, released my tourniquet and took out the needle.  I applied the gauge and wrapped up the patients arm with co-flex.  I had done it!  I preformed a draw on a real live patient, just me with the techs just looking on.  I was no longer nervous about my abilities because I knew if I got the first patient I had the ability.

As I am now in my third week at the clinical site I feel my confidence growing, I am still learning ways to improve but I know I have the basics to succeed in phlebotomy.  Oh, by the way, I love drawing blood, I think this is what I was born to do, maybe in a past life or something I was a Vampire?  I will get back to you on how I am doing soon.

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