How to Obtain a Blood Sample

 A phlebotomist or a nurse with training and certification in collecting a blood sample are allowed to perform venipuncture for the purpose of blood specimen collection. These are the steps to follow in obtaining a blood sample:

  1. Identify the client. Accurately identify the client by asking his or her name and birthdate; Explain the reason for the test and procedure to the client.
  2. Proper position. Blood samples should be drawn in a sitting position and the client should remain in that position for at least 5 minutes before the blood collection.
  3. Confirm the request. Check the laboratory form for the ordered test, client information, and additional requirements (fasting, dietary restrictions, medications).
  4. Provide comfort. Make sure the client remove any tight clothing that might constrict the upper arm. The arm is placed in a downward position supported on the armrest.
  5. Ensure proper hand hygiene. Perform hand washing before putting on non-latex gloves.
  6. Identify the vein. Examine the client’s arm to select the most easily accessible vein for venipuncture then place the tourniquet 3 to 4 inches above the chosen site. Do not place the tourniquet tightly or leave on more than 2 minutes.
  7. Prepare the site. When a vein is chosen, cleanse the area using alcohol in a circular motion beginning at the site and working toward.
  8. Draw the sample. Ask the client to make a fist. Grasp the client’s arm firmly using your thumb to draw the skin taut and anchor the vein from rolling. Gently insert the needle at a 15 to 30º angle through the skin and into the lumen of the vein.
  9. Fill the tube. Obtain the needed amount of blood sample, then release and remove the tourniquet.
  10. Remove the needle.  In a swift backward motion, remove the needle from the client’s arm. and apply a folded gauze over the venipuncture site for 1 to 2 minutes.
  11. Label the tube. Label the tube with the client’s name, date of birth, hospital number, date and time of the collection.
  12. Transport specimen. Deliver the specimen to the laboratory for immediate processing and analysis.