The sight of blood can make some people squirm while others become squeamish. There are even some people who will faint the moment they see blood, especially when it is their own. Part of your phlebotomy training in NYC at ABC Training Center not only includes learning how to effectively draw blood from patients but, also, how to make their experiences less stressful.
It does take practice and time to be able to adjust your treatment of patients to the mood and comfort level of each individual person. Some people can be comfortable with having their blood drawn and will even watch you perform the entire process, whether it is collecting blood for the local blood bank or samples for medical testing.
These people are great to have as patients because you can talk to them about anything and not worry about them being scared or becoming anxious. Unfortunately, these types of patients are few and far between, and most of the patients you encounter will have some apprehension to needles and/or the sight of blood.
It is these patients you need to be able to develop a rapport with long before prepping them and looking into which vein you are going to tap. With all of your patients, there are several things you should be doing, whether they are pros at blood draws or scaredy-cats.
Talk to Patients Like They Were Your Best Friend
Start off with a warm and inviting smile and ask your patient how their day is going. You want to speak to them just like they are your best friend. This will help put them at ease, help relax them a little, and get them to open up. Plus, it will make them feel like they can trust you, so they will start to gain confidence in your abilities to draw blood from them without causing them great discomfort.
Ask Discovery Questions and Provide Reassurances
Part of the reason a person could be uncomfortable might have to do with a prior bad experience. Ask them if they have had their blood drawn before and how that experience was and listen to what they tell you. Their response will provide you with valuable details you can use to form your reply—and remember to make sure you offer a reassuring statement with some compassion behind it because this helps alleviate anxiety.
Create a Distraction
If your patient tells you they faint when they see the sight of blood or they dislike needles, you will want to keep their mind and eyes as far away from their arm where you will be collecting the blood. Get them to look you in the eyes when they are talking to you. You could probe them about their work, school, or upcoming weekend plans. While they are talking and looking at you, you will want to draw their blood.
If the patient has a hard time looking only at you and tends to glance down at their arms, a great alternative is to get them to show you pictures on their smartphone. You could ask to see their children or grandchildren, or pictures of a younger patient at a concert or another event they just went to with their friends. Again, this should create enough of a distraction while you complete the blood draw.
Take Your Time
Part of the reason people dislike getting their blood drawn is that the technician rushed through things and had to poke them numerous times to get a good vein. Slow down and take your time. Explain what you are doing and why. Sometimes just knowing a little more about the procedure is enough to put the patient at ease.
Granted, while we strive to help teach you many of these skills and tips in our phlebotomy classes in NYC, you will quickly discover you will be constantly enhancing and building upon them once you complete your coursework and start working in a healthcare facility.
To learn more about our phlebotomy certification program in NYC, please feel free to contact us, here at ABC Training, by calling 718.618.5589 today! We offer weekday and weekend classes to help you complete your training and start a new career!