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.