02.02 Drawing Blood

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Blood drawing (Image)
Vein Sites (Cheat Sheet)
Order of Lab Value Draws (Cheat Sheet)
Lab Values for Clinical (Cheat Sheet)

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In this video we’re going to look at how to draw blood from a patient using venipuncture with a butterfly needle. We try to draw blood from a working line if a patient has one, but if not, we need to use venipuncture to do it!

You’re going to start by identifying a good vein, just like you would if you were starting an IV. The difference is, in this case, you can go in the AC if you want because we aren’t leaving the catheter in. So place your tourniquet and palpate until you feel a good vein. Remember to aim for what you can FEEL, not just what you can see!
Then release the tourniquet while you get your supplies ready. In this video, we’re going to use the vacutainer method. So you’ll need a butterfly needle and you’ll need to attach the vacutainer to the end of the butterfly tubing.
You will also need alcohol prep pads or antiseptic scrub if you’re drawing blood cultures, a tourniquet, gauze and tape. And of course, whatever blood tubes you’re drawing!
When you’re ready, replace your tourniquet about 6 inches above where you’ll be sticking. Palpate again to make sure the vein is still there.
Then clean your site. If it’s a regular blood draw, use alcohol pads in a circular fashion from the inside out. However, if you are drawing blood cultures, you must use antiseptic scrub and you MUST scrub for a full minute back and forth, up and down, around and around to get rid of as many bacteria as possible. Either way, don’t touch it once you clean it and make sure you let it dry!
Now take the cap off your butterfly needle. Then, you’re going to stabilize the vein below the insertion site and hold your needle bevel up at about a 15 degree angle so you don’t go right through the vein or go above it.
Insert the needle until you feel a bit of a pop - you’ll learn that feeling more with experience. You may or may not see a flash of blood.
Once you think you’re in, keep one hand on the needle and use your other hand to insert the first tube into the vacutainer and the vacuum action will pull the blood for you. Gently pull it out and turn the tube 4 or 5 times to mix. Repeat that with as many tubes as you need.
Once you have what you need, release your tourniquet.
Then put a piece of gauze over the site and quickly pull out the needle while applying pressure to the site. Make sure you activate the safety device on your needle as well.
Hold pressure until the bleeding stops, then tape a piece of gauze over the site.
Put your sharps in the sharps container and throw your trash away. Label the lab tubes appropriately and send them off to the lab!

That’s it! Easy as that! Just like starting an IV, drawing blood this way takes practice and you’ll get better and better at it.

We love you guys! You can do this! Now, go out and be your best selves today! And, as always, happy nursing!
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