Making a Blood Draw Much Easier
While some people are unperturbed by it, others can almost faint when they see a needle. A skilled nurse or a phlebotomist should be able to draw blood from you without you experiencing any pain. However, you are likely to experience momentary discomfort.
How Blood Is Drawn
The procedure involved in drawing blood (venipuncture), is very simple.
First, clean the site where you want to draw blood with a cleanser, such as alcohol to remove germs from the area. Then, tie a tourniquet in the upper part of the site of the draw like the upper arm to ensure that enough blood is in the vein when blood is being drawn.
With the tourniquet in place, push an unused needle gently into the vein and collect the blood. While collecting the blood, undo the tourniquet to allow for the free flow of blood. After you have collected enough blood, remove the needle and apply pressure on the draw site for a few seconds or you may place a small bandage on the site.
What Preparation Should You Make Prior to Having Your Blood Drawn?
If you have not been instructed to abstain from food and water, you should drink enough water. Being well-hydrated makes it much easier for the individual who is drawing your blood to identify a vein which can be easily punctured, and also much easier for you as it will be very easy to identify and access your veins.
Usually, you should start taking in more fluids a day prior to your blood draw, and do not stop until your blood is drawn.
Tips to Help You Remain Calm While Your Blood Is Being Drawn
- Breathe: While your blood is being drawn, do not put your breath on hold for the fear of the needle. Continue to breathe at your normal depth and rate.
- Be Honest: If you had fainted before while your blood was being drawn, inform the individual who is to draw your blood so that you will be seated on a low chair where you cannot fall down.
- Don’t Look: If watching it while your blood is being drawn makes you feel uneasy, you should look elsewhere.
- Request That Someone Else Draws Your Blood: If the individual drawing your blood fails after two attempts, make a request that another phlebotomist or nurse should try.
- Request for a Smaller Needle: You can ask the phlebotomist to use a smaller needle, referred to as a butterfly needle, to draw your blood.
- Sit Still: If you are wiggling and fidgeting while an individual is trying to collect your blood, you make it extremely difficult for them. Therefore, you have to sit still.
- Request for Numbing Medication: This is rubbed on the draw area a few minutes before the draw to numb the area, thus making it less painful.