Tips on Blood Testing
Most routine diagnostic tests require a blood sample. Common as it is, this brief procedure is the test people tend to have the greatest apprehension about.
There are two main problems really: 1) the physical one, enduring a needle stick and 2) the emotional one, seeing your blood being removed.
For most people, blood draws are not a problem, just a minor inconvenience. Others feel anxious and need some strategies to help them through. For a much smaller number of individuals, the physical condition of their veins makes the procedure harder, because their veins are sore from IV therapy, scarred from frequent venipunctures, or just hard to find and use.
This article is part of a collection of articles offering tips for taking medical tests. For more information that may be of value, see the articles on Coping with Test Pain, Discomfort, and Anxiety, Tips on Blood Testing, Tips to Help Children through Their Medical Tests, and Tips to Help the Elderly through Their Medical Tests.
In this article, tips on making your blood tests more comfortable and less stressful are offered by several experienced specialists:
- Saralyn Pruett, MT(ASCP), a phlebotomy supervisor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota;
- Myra Daly, PT(ASCP), a phlebotomy supervisor, and Joan Kosiek, MT(ASCP)SH, a point-of-care consultant, both of Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights, Illinois; and
- Richard Flaherty, Executive Vice President of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in Washington, DC.
Information has also been drawn from the book Caregiving: A Step-by-Step Resource for Caring for the Person with Cancer at Home. You will also find more tips in the related articles on tips to help children and tips for taking blood tests and other medical tests that may unnerve you.