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Bizarre conversation with phlebotomist

(90 Posts)
carabos Wed 30-Jan-13 11:27:46

I've just been for a blood test. The phlebotomist took several vials of blood in the normal way, put a cotton ball over the needle prick and immediately said "Are you on aspirin or Warfarin because this bleeding isn't stopping?"

I said no, she checked the bleeding again and said "you must be because this isn't stopping - are you sure?" - at this point only about 30 secs to a minute has gone by since she took the needle out hmm.

I said "well I'm sure it will stop in a minute".
She said "I don't have time for this, I'm going to check your records".

Then she looked again and lo and behold it had stopped. hmm.

AIBU to think she was over-reacting, especially as I had told her I wasn't on any medication, there wasn't a queue for her clinic and it was only a bit of blood from a pin-prick?

cozietoesie Wed 30-Jan-13 11:32:27

Sounds like she was having a very bad Wednesday morning!

manicbmc Wed 30-Jan-13 11:33:58

Sounds odd. I've had plenty of blood taken over the years and last time the nurse told me to hold the cotton ball firmly for at least a minute before she put a small plaster on it as she'd already had 2 'spurters' that morning. grin

Sparklingbrook Wed 30-Jan-13 11:35:30

I have been known to spurt. isn't it just part of taking blood sometimes? And she's blaming you? confused

libelulle Wed 30-Jan-13 11:38:16

weirdo! (her not you)

CailinDana Wed 30-Jan-13 12:07:20

What did she say when she saw it had stopped?

carabos Wed 30-Jan-13 12:09:03

cailinDana - That's the thing, she didn't comment further, just said leave that ball there for 20 min and that was it.

ThePieSmuggler Wed 30-Jan-13 12:09:05

Ideally she should have asked about your medical history before taking the blood - it's a bit late to check for clotting problems after you've stuck a needle in someone!

MummyPig24 Wed 30-Jan-13 13:00:50

"Spurting" after a blood test?! <faints>

Sparklingbrook Wed 30-Jan-13 13:03:01

I spurted through gap in the bed and it was dripping on to the floor once. The midwife taking the blood didn't seem in the least bit concerned.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 30-Jan-13 13:10:51

I hate that! When a Dr or nurse speaks to you as though something strange your body is doing is your fault!!! The Dr who delivered my Dd (horrible forceps ordeal) put her on my chest and then snapped at me "why is she so small?"!!!!!

crazynanna Wed 30-Jan-13 13:12:51

(Phlebotomist here)

I don't see what difference it would have made her checking your notes, or if you were on warfarin anyway. Is all it means is a little extra time/pressure on the site. It doesn't mean you will bleed to death from a blood test, or any other differing in the technique (apart from the extra/time pressure)

I think she was just being a bit of a jobs worth.

Sparklingbrook Wed 30-Jan-13 13:16:06

Ooh crazynanna I didn't know you were a Phlebotomist I don't think.

crazynanna Wed 30-Jan-13 13:18:36


Yes I am Sparkiling..for my sins.

carabos Wed 30-Jan-13 13:23:06

Thank you crazynanna. I think she was more worried than I was - as in, I wasn't worried at all grin. And it didn't even spurt, it was just a sort of very positive trickle. Perhaps she's squeamish grin grin grin.

Sparklingbrook Wed 30-Jan-13 13:26:35

crazynanna. How come sometimes when you have blood taken it is painless but then a huge bruise comes up the next day, and other times it's really painful but no bruises at all? Hope you don't mind me asking. smile

<arf> at squeamish Phlebotomist>

crazynanna Wed 30-Jan-13 13:34:06

Perhaps she's squeamish

More likely she's just a prat.

I think it's all down to technique Sparkling, although loads of things can affect the performance of a vein (dehydration, being unwell,being too hot or too cold,etc)

Some Phlebotomists get too adventurous with the size need le they use. Big green needles (big as in bore size,not length before you faint!), are great when you need to take a lot of blood and lots of bottles as the blood comes quicker, but if the vein is not viable for the size of the needle, then you will bruise at best or completely fail (collapsed vein) at worst, and have to do it again.

If the vein, for me, does not replica a bouncy trampoline, I am using a butterfly to ensure success and minimal bruising/discomfort.

Sparklingbrook Wed 30-Jan-13 13:48:15

How did you practice when you were training?

Fakebook Wed 30-Jan-13 13:49:19

grin Maybe she is new on the job?

You should have scared her and said "no actually, I'm haemophiliac." and pretend to faint.

Lottapianos Wed 30-Jan-13 13:51:50

Sounds like her attitude was absolutely appalling. I'm an NHS professional and have been disgusted with the lack of manners of some phlebotomists I have met. I used to have a thyroid problem so had loads of blood tests and I'm not squeamish in the least but one actually made me cry because of her attitude, treated me like I was a bit of poo on her shoe.

I cant' believe she said 'I don't have time for this'. She sounds like an asshole.

crazynanna Wed 30-Jan-13 13:52:50

This may alarm some people, but we actually practice on patients grin with their full consent, of course. In my day of training (30 yrs ago) we first pracn an orange, then on patients, then we had to bleed the boss who decided on competency. It isn't really a hard skill to learn. A steady hand and a good eye is all that is really needed.

libelulle Wed 30-Jan-13 13:52:59

Ah thanks crazynanna. I'd always wondered why phlebotomists didn't just always use butterflies, as invariably when they do I don't feel a thing, whereas other times with big needle it really is incredibly painful, and I'm fairly robust when it comes to injections 'n' stuff.

CailinDana Wed 30-Jan-13 13:58:37

I always feel so bad for doctors/phlebotomists/midwives who are training to take blood - so many people are squeamish about it they must feel huge pressure to get it right as fast as possible. They must feel bad too if they don't get it quickly. The student MW I saw recently was so nervous about taking blood bless her, and she did get it wrong (even I could see she was going in at the wrong angle!). I was going to say she could try again as I'm not squeamish and I know they need practice but her supervisor wasn't the nicest and just took over a bit huffily. I wouldn't mind but said supervisor had to try three times to get blood on my last appointment!

Crazynanna - you might know this - I used to have great veins, as in, they'd put the tourniquet on and a big fat juicy one would pop up straight away, so much so that a lot of vampires blood takers would say "Oooh that's a nice one!" But since I had DS two years ago they're bloody rubbish - can't see them any more. I'm annoyed! Any idea why that might be?

Fakebook Wed 30-Jan-13 14:06:33

I remember once I was miscarrying and was in the emergency women's centre to give blood so they could test my hcg. The doctor on-call came with a 40ml syringe (no lie) and a massive needle. I wouldn't let her take my blood at first and asked for a butterfly needle but she wasn't having any of it. Whilst i was hyperventilating and crying, she poked me 5 times on the left arm, from wrist to elbow and twice in the other before she found a vein. All the time she was saying "can you stop crying please you're making me nervous". hmm.

HazeltheMcWitch Wed 30-Jan-13 14:13:30

Cailin - I'm another with 'good veins'. I have to have blood taken fairly regularly, and a tiny part of me looks forward to it, as I ALWAYS get a compliment (from phlebotomist, re. blood vessels). And they are few and far between these days...

And I have been a guinea pig for trainees too, incl. one nervous one, who 'just needed an easy one to get her confidence back'!

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