The blood draw procedure feels intimidating, but in reality, it’s quite brief. You’ll sit comfortably as a phlebotomist — a medical professional who draws your blood — locates a substantial vein in your arm and cleans your skin with alcohol. Then, they’ll tie an elastic band around your upper arm to keep your veins full of blood.
The phlebotomist inserts the needle into your vein. They may talk to you as this occurs to keep you at ease and distracted from the needle or the sight of your blood.
The needle is attached to either a syringe or a tube to collect the blood sample. Once the process is over, they’ll place a bandage over the needlepoint.
Why might I need a blood draw?
Your doctor might request that you get a blood draw for many reasons. To test your blood, lab technicians may count the number of blood cells or test the chemistry of your blood. They might also check to see if it coagulates, or clots, normally.
Your doctor might request a blood draw to:
- Diagnose various diseases and conditions
- Monitor existing diseases and conditions
- Make sure your medicine or treatment is working
- Check the functioning of your organs (e.g. heart, liver, kidneys)
- Check the functioning of your glands (e.g. thyroid)
- Make sure your immune system is functioning
You can also choose to get your blood drawn if you’re donating blood or plasma. Before you do this, you’ll answer some questions to make sure you’re a good candidate.
How can I relax during a blood draw?
If needles or seeing your own blood makes you nervous, you’re far from alone. Blood draws aren’t necessarily painful, but blood and needles are two things that commonly make people feel squeamish.
During your blood draw, there are a few ways you can stifle your fears and remain calm:
- Focus on breathing deeply and evenly
- Listen to music or focus on ambient sounds in the room
- Look away from the blood draw point
- Request a mild anesthetic or numbing cream
The team at Valley View Wellness Medical Center draws blood frequently, so there is no need for concern of complications. If your provider hasn’t told you to fast before your blood draw, eating a meal before you arrive can help you avoid lightheadedness.
Blood draws can be a part of your regular check-ups or an important part of your treatment plan. To find out if you need a blood draw, call Valley View Wellness Medical Center or book an appointment online today.