September 24, 2017

Phlebotomy Patients Tips to Help You Through

One of the most challenging areas of the phlebotomy field is pediatric phlebotomy. In pediatric phlebotomy you are typically working with patients that are 18 years of age or younger. The reason for the difficulty in this field is the fear that many younger children have of having their blood drawn. Once the patient has reached school age most of the time the only hurdle you face are the excessive questions about how the procedure is to be performed.

Most of the time once the questions are answered the patients fears will cease (for the most part) and you will be able to continue on with the process uninterrupted. More than like (professional phlebotomist that have been in the field for a long period of time will tell you that the most heard question is will the procedure hurt. Aside from that some of the questions from the patient and the parent that you should be prepared to answer include:

  • Are you going to be doing the procedure?
  • What is going to happen?
  • How long will it take?
  • Where are you going to be drawing the blood from?
  • Why do I need to have this procedure done?

If you are training for a career in the phlebotomy field then you will have to be prepared to answer these questions and numerous others. If you have patient that is a little older does not mean that they deserve any less compassion for their fear of needles and having their blood drawn then you would give a younger patient.

You phlebotomist class will typically cover the information on how you should properly handle these types of patients, and patients of all ages for that matter. In pediatrics you will deal with:

  • Newborns
  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Pre-school aged children
  • Elementary and middle school aged children

The challenges that you deal with are both physical and psychological. The psychological challenges that tend to be seen in smaller children are:

  • Their fear of strangers
  • Anxiety in the instances in which they are separated from their parent or legal guardian
  • Limited speech
  • Fear of being in pain

Your patient will be sure to express their fear physically and vocally. On the physical side, the common concerns include:

  • Allergies to medication
  • Low blood volume
  • Choking on the bandage

There are complications that tend to be more serious when performing venipuncture procedures that include:

  • Damage to the tissue
  • The insertion area becoming infected
  • Hemorrhage
  • Blood loss
  • Injury and bruising from child restraints

If you are performing a blood draw then you should keep in mind that when you have to work with small children. Keep eye contact and listen to them when you speak to them. Maintain sensitivity to their needs and the needs of their parents throughout the entire procedure. Be honest to your younger patients, telling them that a procedure won’t hurt when it may does not build the trust that you want with patient as a professional phlebotomist.