Improving your blood taking skills
Daniel Sado, who is an experienced phlebotomist, gives some tips
- By: Daniel Sado
As future doctors you can all expect to take venous blood (venesection) from many patients during your career. As junior doctors you will probably take blood nearly every day. But venesection is not given any priority at medical school. The adage of “see one, do one, teach one” could not be applied to a better procedure. Unfortunately, you need only to look at the arms of patients on hospital wards to see the results of poor venesection technique. Many of them will have extensive bruising. Although some of this bruising is inevitable, there are ways to try to limit it.
I was taught to take blood in an outpatient clinic in my local district general hospital (this is an excellent place to learn because the patients are “well” and so have good peripheral blood supply). After this, I worked as a phlebotomist at Northwick Park Hospital for three months in