A Guide to Preparing for Having Your Blood Drawn
Get your blood boiling! The global blood testing market is worth more than $80 billion. Millions of Americans get their blood drawn every year, with some people getting blood work on a regular basis.
Blood drawing is completely safe and effective. But many people are nervous about the procedure. If you’re getting your blood drawn soon and you’re nervous, the best thing you can do is study the process.
How can you get more information about different types of blood work? How can you reduce the side effects of your blood tests? What actually happens during the blood test?
Answer these questions and you can have simple and effective blood work in no time. Here is your quick guide.
Talk to Your Doctor
A blood draw provides the most accurate results when you follow your doctor’s instructions. Ask them if you need to fast for a blood test, and if so, how long. You should also ask them if you should continue taking your prescriptions or hold off until after your blood is drawn.
Feel free to ask your doctor why you are getting your blood drawn. Your doctor may need to test you for a condition, or they may want to see what you have inside your blood.
Your doctor may schedule your appointment for you. But you may need to schedule your own appointment. Take advantage of the situation and find a phlebotomist who is located near you.
If you have time, you can talk to your phlebotomist who will be drawing your blood. You can learn about the procedure and get tips about how you should prepare.
Drink Some Water
Your blood contains large amounts of water. Drinking water will increase the volume of blood, and it can calm you down and refresh you.
Drink a glass of water the night before your blood is drawn, then drink another one in the house before your blood work. Avoid drinking caffeinated or carbonated beverages, as they can dehydrate you and upset your stomach.
If you are allowed to eat before your test, you can eat. Try eating hydrating foods like berries and melons so you can replenish the water in your body.
You should wear a shirt with short sleeves. This means you will not have to undress or remove your arm from your sleeve in order to expose your vein.
If you’re worried about being cold, you can wear a jacket and long pants. Make sure you can take the jacket off easily during the draw. You can place it on your lap or on a seat during the test.
You can bring a long-sleeved shirt and change into it after the test, but you may want to be careful that you do not hurt your arm. The area where you had your blood drawn may be sensitive for a few hours, so select a shirt made with soft and light fabric.
Understand the Procedure
In general, the blood drawing process begins when you arrive at the hospital. Most hospitals have their own blood drawing clinics or phlebotomy offices. You may meet with a phlebotomist outside of a hospital at an outpatient clinic or another institution.
You will need your insurance card and identification, and you may need additional documents like a doctor’s note. Someone will take your information and process it for you.
You may need to wait for your phlebotomist to be available. If you find yourself getting nervous, take some deep breaths and try doing something productive. You can bring a computer with you so you can work or read something online.
Once the phlebotomist is ready, you will go with them and sit down in a chair. If you’re worried that you might faint, the doctor can lie you down or extend your legs out.
They will disinfect your skin and look for a vein. They will wrap a tourniquet around your arm to prevent you from losing too much blood, then they will grab a needle. At this point, you can look away, which may help you feel less tense.
You may feel a pinching sensation as the needle goes in, but most people do not feel pain. Once enough blood has been drawn, the phlebotomist will remove the needle and place a bandage.
Recover From Your Blood Work
You do not have to leave right away, especially if you’re feeling lightheaded or weak. You can sit down for a moment and drink some juice or water. Many phlebotomist offices also have cookies you can eat.
Most people recover from having their blood drawn within a few minutes. You may want to have someone drive you to work or home so you can rest for a little while. But if you feel comfortable driving or using public transportation, you can do so.
You can break your fast as soon as you’re home. Find something that will keep your blood sugar and volume up, like nuts or fruit bars. You can also eat a full meal if you’re really hungry.
Blood tests can take a few hours or longer. Your doctor will call you or send you a message with your results, so keep your phone nearby. Try to focus on other things while you are waiting for results.
Get Your Blood Drawn Without Getting Nervous
Everyone gets nervous when they get their blood drawn. The key to calming yourself is to talk to your doctor and get more information about the process. Drink water and find a short-sleeved shirt to wear.
A phlebotomist will remain with you the entire time. A needle will only be in your arm for a few seconds, and you can spend as long as you want recovering. Drink more water and eat something if you feel lightheaded.
If you’re still worried, reach out to elite phlebotomists. Precision Labs serves St. Louis residents. Read about our services today.