Life as a vampire…eh, I mean Phlebotomist

Written by Natalie S.

I am now a few weeks into my clinical, five to be exact, and I am learning and trying new things daily.  I have now done over 300 sticks and I can sense when a patient is not comfortable with having their blood drawn.  I have become pretty good at distracting them from what is going on.  If you talk to the person about something other than what you are doing, they relax a bit and don’t feel quite as terrified.

So I am no longer shaking as I draw blood.  I no longer get terrible anxiety with every poke.  I just do it!   I have real passion for the veins that aren’t visible on the surface.  I still like the big fat juicy ones, but I find that they like to roll around and hide from you.  The veins that you can feel but aren’t visible seem to be the reliable geysers I like to draw from.  I understand if most of you are feeling a little bit queasy about drawing blood, but I think it is awesome.  With every single stick I feel more and more confident.

I must have been naïve because I never imagined all of the other work that a Phlebotomist would be required to do in addition to drawing blood.  We do throat swabs, drug screenings, and urine and stool collections.  I have now assisted with several blood draws on babies and children and let me tell you those little ones are stronger than some full grown men.  This I would have to say is my least favorite thing, I do not enjoy holding children’s arms down but do it willingly as I know that the tests would not have been ordered by the doctors if they were not needed.  Of course, we have special cartoon character band-aids for the kids to show off to the friends and relatives-they should be proud of how brave they were to get their blood drawn.

I have had some patients refuse to let me draw their blood.  They were afraid I wasn’t experienced enough.  Well I am not that experienced….so I reassured them that I completely understand and ask if I can just observe which they don’t mind in the least.  I really do understand because I have veins that like to play hide and seek and I wouldn’t want a student using me as a pin cushion, either.

The lab and draw rooms are very busy places in a hospital.  I kind of figured that but I couldn’t have imagined that they were as crazy busy as they are.   I love the busy pace of the lab as the hours just fly by and you get a lot of practice.  The phlebotomists that I have been working with have been great.  They are there to answer any and all of my questions and help me when I need it.  I kind of feel like part of the phlebotomy team, even part of a bigger healthcare team as well.

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One thought on “Life as a vampire…eh, I mean Phlebotomist

  1. Vampire!!! lolz. Sounds like very synonymous to phlebotomy after reading your post. The most important part here is, you are enjoying your work and your workplace. I wish you a prosperous life as a phlebotomist. 🙂

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