Tips for Drawing Blood from Young PatientsNo one enjoys having his or her blood drawn. The needle, the light-headedness, and the anticipation are enough to keep many people away from hospitals and blood banks all year-round. But sometimes drawing blood is unavoidable. Most adults can mentally prepare themselves, but children represent a different sort of challenge. They can't always understand and appreciate the importance of drawing blood. Below are some tips for drawing blood from young patients to help you with the process.
The anticipation is usually worse than the prick itself. If you count to 3 (but inject on 2), this can ease some of the tension.
Keep the young patient occupied. Toys, games, and parental presence can greatly aid in this effort. It also helps to have young patients look away when you're drawing blood.
It's important that you remain honest and upfront. Telling young patients that the needle won't hurt is not ideal. Rather, relate the process to something more familiar (like a mosquito bite or a quick pinch).
Don't Restrain Young Patients
You should only restrain young patients if you absolutely must. It is better to involve them in the process, explain the need for the blood drawing, and obtain their consent.
In addition to the above tips, having a parent or guardian present can help ease some of the fear and discomfort. Involve them as much as possible. If the parent also needs to give blood, have him or her go first. Drawing blood from young patients is a delicate and sensitive process, but it should become easier the more times you do it.
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