This skill involves taking blood from a patient’s vein.  This is then sent to the laboratory and tested for various conditions, depending upon which tests you request.

Each hospital has its own policy on blood sampling, some use syringes, butterflies, the Vacutainer system or the Monovette system.  In this station we will be demonstrating the use of the Vacutainer system.  However, whichever method is used, there is little difference in the technique.  Remember different hospitals also use different coloured blood tubes too, so if you are asked to take a specific blood sample ensure which colour of tube you need.

This is a core clinical skill that you should be proficient in and as such is frequently examined on.

Subject steps

  1. Introduce yourself to the patient and confirm their identity. Explain what you are going to do and obtain consent. As this is a potentially painful procedure, explain that they may feel some discomfort and answer any questions they may have.

  2. Put on your gloves. This not only helps protect the patient but also yourself from any contact with blood, should there be a spillage, and also reduces the risk of blood-borne virus transmission should you obtain a needle stick injury.

  3. At this point, invert the tubes 3 times to ensure full mixing with any additives in the tubes such as heparin.

  4. Ensure that any bleeding has stopped and if so, apply the plaster. Remove your gloves and dispose, along with the remaining equipment in the clinical waste bin. Thank the patient.