[Photo image of three spoons laying on a laptop keyboard with a box wit red text that says “Tips for Getting Your Blood Taken” with a small clipart of a syringe.]
I think many people struggle with getting their blood drawn whether it’s psychologically or physically. So I’m going to give you my tips on how I make getting my labs down easier, and you too can include your own in the comments!
- Try to hydrate the best you can the night before if you know you have to get labwork. When I was little and had to get remicade infusion I would try to drink two or three bottles of water the night before my infusion to make getting IVs easier. It helps plump up your veins, being dehydrated will make it much harder to get your veins.
2. Try to dress warmly to get your labwork, the heat helps the blood circulate and pumps it up as well. I often try to wear a sweater or jacket, even if it’s already hot outside. And if it’s cold it might be a good idea to invest in reusable heat packs to hold on your arms before getting blood work to help as well.
[Photo image: 6 blood orange colored reusable heat packs called HotSnapz and a photo of my in my Ravenclaw cardigan on the way to labwork today.]
3. Dress comfortably so you are not uncomfortable when getting your labs drawn.
4. Talk to your phlebotomist and be friendly, more often than not they are friendly back which makes a more enjoyable experience as well, it can also help keep you distracted from the needles.
5. If you prefer not to talk, take some headphones so you can listen to music, or hum.
6. If you get labwork a lot, let them know which veins are a no go and which ones are a better stick than the rest.
7. If you are not sure, let the phlebotomist look around, they typically know what veins are the best to use. Although they cannot predict which ones will blow or roll, they do try their hardest to find the nice spongey veins.
8. If they stick you and start to dig for the vein, tell them to just start over. Digging for the vein is far more uncomfortable and painful then just letting them do it again, at least in my opinion anyway.
9. If you get dizzy after labwork, try to take juice with you and let the phlebotomist know that way they can make sure you don’t pass out when you stand back up.
10. If you bleed a lot and easily, ask for an ace wrap rather than a bandaid, it works a lot better at applying pressure.
Also, if you are in a hospital and getting blood drawn through an IV, make sure they clamp the IV well and have a towel or something under your arm to keep blood from getting all over the place. This typically does not happen unless the blood is drawn from an IV.
[Photo image of a nurse drawing labs from an IV and blood getting all over the sheet of the hospital bed.]
And if you have any other tips, leave them in the comments! Good luck with your next set of labs!