Phlebotomy Training Tips

How to Safely Perform a Venipuncture Procedure

Perform a Venipuncture Procedure 

Venipuncture is the process of taking blood samples through an incision on the vein.

It is usually performed around the area of the hand or elbow of the patient.

Only medical technologists and practitioners, such as phlebotomists, doctors, nurses, and paramedics can perform a venipuncture procedure. In animal treatment, only veterinarians can perform a venipuncture.

Venipuncture is performed for the following reasons: to perform diagnostic test on the blood samples; to monitor the blood components of the patient;…

…to control therapeutic procedures like chemotherapy, medication, and nutrition; to decrease the iron and erythrocytes of the blood; to identify early signs of diseases; and to collect blood samples for transfusions.


Performing the Procedure

Cleaning and sterilizing the area where the procedure is to be performed is the first thing that a phlebotomist does. Among the substances that could be used to do this are antiseptic, alcohol, or chlorhexidine gluconate.

If the phlebotomist or patient accidentally touches the skin, the area should be cleaned again.

Pressure is then applied on the vein by wrapping the area above the vein with a rubber band. The vein will swell up with blood, making it easy for the phlebotomist to insert the needle.

The phlebotomist then uses a vacutainer to draw blood from the vein. The vacutainer is composed of two essential parts: needle and evacuated tube holder.

The needle is used for penetrating the skin, while the evacuated tube holder is used for storing the blood that will be collected from the vein. The elastic band should be removed before the vacutainer. Otherwise, the blood will continue to flow out.


Precautions after Removing the Needle

After removing the needle from the vein, the phlebotomist or patient needs to apply pressure with a cotton ball or gauze pad to the area where the needle was inserted. This should stop the puncture wound to stop the bleeding. At the same time, the arm should be positioned in a straight extended position.

The phlebotomist will have to hold the cotton ball on the area if the patient cannot do it on his/her own. An adhesive bandage should be applied on the area once the bleeding stops to prevent infections.


The Bleeding Won’t Stop

There are five common causes why the bleeding won’t readily stop after the venipuncture procedure. These include low blood platelet count, bleeding disorder, anticoagulation treatment, and arterial puncture.

In case of blood disease or anticoagulation treatment causing the bleeding, the phlebotomist can ask the patient to elevate his arm higher than the shoulder level.

At the same time, pressure must be exerted on the area for five to ten minutes until the bleeding stops. The patient should not perform any strenuous activities for 24 hours afterwards.

An arterial puncture is a different case. In this case, the phlebotomist asks for the assistance of a nurse or doctor to stop the bleeding. The phlebotomist must not leave a patient with an arterial puncture. He must wait for the doctor to take control of the situation.


Common Errors

There are three common errors that phlebotomists often commit in performing venipuncture: inserting the needle improperly in the vein, not properly positioning the patient’s arm after the procedure, and applying alcohol on the wound.

These errors could have varying results from blood continuously flowing out to bruising and even infections. These common errors could be avoided with proper phlebotomy training and experience.


Acquiring Expertise in Venipuncture and Phlebotomy

Learning how to perform a venipuncture procedure can be learned through a phlebotomy course. All other theories and practices involved in the phlebotomy will be discussed in the classroom set up.

Real life applications will also be experienced by students when they take their internships as part of their phlebotomy course. Through regular practice, expertise in venipuncture can be acquired and unnecessary accidents can be prevented.


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One Response to “How to Safely Perform a Venipuncture Procedure”

  1. Rosemarie says:

    I do have faith in all of the strategies you have presented on your posting. There’re pretty persuasive and definitely will absolutely work. I especially love your “There are five common causes why the bleeding won’t readily stop after the venipuncture procedure”. I’m still a trainee and really impressed by your depth of knowledge. Emily Dorsey, you are simply one of the best!

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