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9 Tips On Drawing Blood with Vein Finder

Written by Olivia Smith on December 21, 2023
In our entire life span, we need to give blood for so many reasons. Some of the most common reason is medical examinations and blood donation. Nurses are trained on how to draw blood from patients. Recently there has been a new technology that makes the process of drawing blood much much easier. Today in this article, we will discuss how to draw blood and give tips on how to make drawing blood easier.

What does venipuncture mean?

Venipuncture is a medical procedure in which a needle is used to puncture a vein, usually for the purpose of obtaining a blood sample for diagnostic testing. This procedure is commonly performed by healthcare professionals, such as phlebotomists, nurses, or physicians, in a clinical setting or laboratory.

During venipuncture, a tourniquet may be applied to the patient's arm to temporarily slow down the blood flow and make the veins more visible and accessible. The healthcare professional then selects a suitable vein, usually in the inner elbow or back of the hand, cleans the site with an antiseptic, and inserts a sterile needle into the vein to draw the blood sample.

Why do we take a blood sample?

Venipuncture is a common procedure that is done for one of the following reasons:
  • To collect blood samples for diagnostic use. 
  • To keep track of the amounts of various blood components. 
  • Intravenous administration of therapeutic therapies such as drugs, nourishment, or chemotherapy. 
  • To address high levels of iron or red blood cells. 
  • To collect blood for future usages, such as transfusions. 
To become a phlebotomist, you need to know how to draw blood. Drawing blood from a vein is a skill that all nurses should learn during their careers. The ability to get blood samples is very important. Phlebotomy is needed for many medical tests and procedures. Without the right skills, medical care could be useless or even dangerous.

Most nurses and doctors use what they learn from their work. And using their hands to find veins and draw blood by touching and feeling them. It will affect both the patients and the people working in the hospital. But now that there are ways to see veins, using a vein finder makes it easier to draw blood.

Finding the right veins to prick is the most important step in drawing blood. Most of the time, the median cubital vein in the antecubital fossa is the first choice for adults. Usually called the AC or the antecubital. It is between the median cephalic vein and the median basilic vein in the bend of the elbow.

This is a big blood vessel that, if stuck correctly, can give good blood results. In some healthcare settings, blood-drawing peripheral intravenous catheters may be put into this vein so that the patient can have their blood drawn often.

How How to draw blood

1. Gather Necessary Supplies:

  • Gloves
  • Sterile needle and syringe or vacuum tube system
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Tourniquet
  • Adhesive bandages or cotton balls with tape
  • Biohazard disposal container

2. Prepare the Patient:

  • Explain the procedure to the patient, addressing any concerns they may have.
  • Verify the patient's identity using at least two identifiers, such as their name and date of birth.
  • Ask about any history of adverse reactions or difficulties during blood draws.

3. Wash Hands and Wear Gloves:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Put on disposable gloves to maintain a sterile environment.

4. Position the Patient:

  • Seat the patient comfortably, ensuring good blood flow to the arm.
  • Select an appropriate vein, often in the inner elbow or back of the hand.

5. Apply Tourniquet:

  • Place the tourniquet a few inches above the selected vein.
  • Tighten the tourniquet enough to make the veins visible but not excessively tight.

6. Clean the Site:

  • Use an alcohol swab to clean the selected site where the needle will be inserted.
  • Allow the area to air dry.

7. Prepare the Needle and Syringe or Vacuum Tube:

  • If using a syringe, attach the needle and ensure it is securely in place.
  • If using a vacuum tube system, select the appropriate tube and attach it to the needle.

8. Insert the Needle:

  • Hold the needle at a slight angle (15-30 degrees) and insert it into the vein.
  • Once the needle is in the vein, blood will flow into the syringe or tube.

9. Collect Blood:

  • If using a syringe, slowly pull back on the plunger to draw blood.
  • If using a vacuum tube system, blood will be drawn automatically into the tubes.

10. Remove the Needle:

  • Once the required amount of blood is collected, release the tourniquet.
  • Remove the needle gently and apply pressure to the puncture site with a cotton ball or sterile gauze.

11. Dispose of Sharps:

  • Dispose of needles and other sharps in a biohazard container.

12. Label and Transport Samples:

  • Label collected samples with patient information.
  • Properly store and transport samples according to laboratory guidelines.

How to make drawing blood easier

Collecting blood samples via a venous stick or a central line is a critical nursing skill. Phlebotomy is required for various medical diagnoses, procedures, and tests. Without correct specimens, medical treatment could be ineffective or even hazardous. Due to legal concerns, nursing schools do not teach this skill. Students should read about venipuncture and observe professional nurses do it in clinical settings. As a result, students can study the fundamentals before graduating.

Even though most hospitals have phlebotomy teams, nurses must master these skills in order to deliver the best patient care. In reality, most intensive care units require these competencies from their nurses. Because phlebotomy teams only make rounds at particular times in hospitals, if a lab test is requested promptly, it may be the responsibility of the nurses to draw the specimen.
A vein finder can always show a clear picture of the median cubital vein. Even if you don't have much experience, a vein finder can help. Venipuncture is a skill you can learn but it takes time and practice.

So, the vein finder makes it easy and quick for nurses and doctors to find the vein. The patients will feel less pain, and the medical staff will be surer of themselves.

Easy to use: The vein finder is easy for anyone to learn to use it.
The vein finder is easy to use and light enough to you can hold it in your hand.

Hand-held or hands-free use: If you just need a quick look, you can hold the vein finder in your hand. If you need it for a procedure, it has a support/stand that lets you use both hands.

Non-contact: Because the desktop vein finder device doesn't touch the skin, it might not need to be cleaned between uses.

Best location to draw blood

Antecubital veins: These are found where the arm bends at the elbow. Most nurses and people who draw blood use cephalic or medial cubital veins.

Hand veins: Most patients don't like this area because it is so sensitive. But you can also look in your hand if you can't find an AC vein.

Veins in the arm and wrist: These veins can be hard to deal with because they tend to go deep, but some people with good heart health have great veins in their forearms and wrists.

How to do the Venipuncture process successfully

Tell the patient what will happen and why they need to give blood. As required by JCAHO, you must use two ways to identify the patient. Check the ordered tests and fill out the proper forms and labels.

Check with the patient to see if they have any allergies or sensitivities to antiseptics, adhesives, or latex. Medical staff should write patients' Allergies on an allergy ID band, but sensitivities may not be reported when a patient is admitted. Set the patient up and stretch the patient's arm as far as it can go. Clean your hands well and wear the right PPE. Place a tourniquet about 3 to 4 inches above the chosen spot. Watch the arm closely to make sure it isn't being pulled too hard or for more than 2 minutes. Concerning signs would be numbness, tingling, turning blue or white, or having much pain.


Ask the person to make a fist instead of pumping their hand. This is a common myth; pumping the hand doesn't make the veins flow better. Clean the venipuncture site for 30 seconds with an alcohol prep pad and let it dry for thirty seconds. Don't wave, fan, or blow on the area, as this makes it dirty and makes it more likely that someone will get sick. Grab the patient's lower arm (below where the needle was inserted) firmly to tighten the skin and keep the vein from rolling. Put the needle into the vessel at an angle of 15 to 30 degrees. If the catheter is put in right, blood should rush into it. If this doesn't happen, the needle doesn't get into the vein, or it goes through the vessel.

Attach the tubes or syringes you need to take out the right amount of blood. As soon as the last drop of blood is taken, take off the tourniquet. Take the needle out of the patient's arm and use gauze to press down on the blood vessel. Put dirty items and needles in the containers that the hospital approves. At the bedside, label the right tubes and put them in bags for transport.
Bring blood samples to the lab as soon as possible. If the blood doesn't get there on time, it can cause hemolysis, messing up the lab results.

9 tips to draw blood better

Always feel the vein instead of looking for it if you don't know what a vein "feels" like, use your index finger to feel your own body. They have bounce and spring.
  1. When you draw blood from many people every day, it's easy to feel like you're not really connected to the people you're drawing blood from. In this process, it's important to remember that the patient is your most valuable asset. With this in mind, you should ask your patient for any necessary or helpful information before drawing blood. Make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible. Ask the patient a number of questions to make sure they are who they say they are.
  2. Try to find veins that are big because a small vein will collapse when you try to stick a needle into it.
  3. Choose a good vein! Use the popular areas, and make sure it's big and straight.
  4. Use a tourniquet and have the person lower their arm if the veins are deep and not visible. This will put more pressure on the vein, making it stand out.
  5. Watch out for veins that roll. If the vein is a "roller," have the patient put their arm out to stabilize it. If you're using a vein in their hand, have them make a "light" fist. 
  6. You can also use a vein finder to make the whole process easier. A vein finder will help you locate the vein accurately, so you are less likely to make a mistake. You can use a Hellovein vein finder. Vein finders help the most with tough patients who are scared of needle pokes. Since Hellovein’s vein finder has five different color options, it will work on a wide range of patients.
  7. Find out how to use the tools and know what you'll need to draw blood. Example: alcohol prep, tubes, 22-18 gauge (you pick), gauzes, tape, vacutainer, tourniquet. 
  8. Don't use a tourniquet if the vein is already visible or "popping out" because the added pressure of the tourniquet could blow the vein (causing the vein to collapse). 
  9. Putting IVs and drawing blood require 10% skill and 90% thinking. To be successful, you need to feel confident about yourself.

Conclusion

When you are drawing blood, it's important to do everything you can to make sure the patient is comfortable.

At the end of the day, you want them to have the best time possible. But when dealing with someone who is especially annoying or hard to get along with, it's important to strike a balance between sympathy and professionalism. If you let your patient's stress or pain affect your own thoughts, you're much more likely to make mistakes, or you could possibly miss the vein. 

Make sure to do everything you can to keep a level head before and while getting your blood drawn. And don’t forget to use the best vein finder Hellovein to help you in the process.
Article by
Olivia Smith
Olivia, a seasoned professional, commenced her journey in content creation after completing her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the University of Lincoln in 2005. Leveraging a solid academic background, she seamlessly transitioned into the realm of writing, showcasing her versatile skills as a blog/article copywriter and website content developer. Through continuous refinement of her skills, Olivia emerged as a highly sought-after talent in the industry, garnering trust and collaboration from numerous prestigious brands.
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