Appreciating health care workers who excel at their job

With the requisition for blood tests from my doctor in hand and a night of fasting under my belt, I headed to the clinic to have my blood taken. When my husband and I arrived, there were already many people in the waiting room. I took a number and eventually was called up to the desk. The man sitting at the desk look frazzled. His name tag was not actually a name tag, but white tape with his name printed on with marker. Now, this was not the first time I had been to this particular labwork clinic. I knew he must be new.

I handed him the form and waited patiently while he sifted through the requested tests. The woman who was called up right after me was in and out by the time he had finished finding all the tests and asking about the apparently elusive vitamin D test. (Which, if you get it, you’ll have to pay for.) Finally, we headed to the room. He nervously set everything up, placing all the bar code stickers on to my vials. Meanwhile, I was lapped by another client in for their blood tests.

I already know that I have incredibly difficult veins to draw blood from. I have been told by numerous nurses and technicians that this is the case, so I decided to warn this technician. More than one tech has told me that taking blood from my hand is much easier. I am given to believe them, after one horrific experience in high school when a technician poked needles in the crook of each elbow a total of thirteen times before asking an experienced tech for help. I know, it sounds unbelievableEnglish: Santa Rita, Guam (June 16, 2005) - Bl..., but it happened.

As he attached the butterfly needle to the tube, his hands were shaking, he picked it up afterwards and it fell off. “Oops!” he smiled at me nervously. I smiled back, but man, was I not looking forward to this! I didn’t want to shatter this guy’s confidence, but if he had of messed up on the first go, I definitely would have requested another technician. Finally he put everything together and began to examine my arms. He couldn’t find any veins he thought he could get, so the day’s biggest blessing became that he was going to listen to me and go through my hand. It hurts more and this time it really did, but at least it is one poke instead of several. It took forever, but finally the vials were full enough. I said goodbye to him and left quickly. During the time I had my blood taken, four other clients had passed through the one other technician working there.

I’m not relaying this story as a means of bashing the poor guy, who was obviously new at this, but as means to get people to really appreciate health care workers who are amazing at what they do. It may seem very simple, but if you get a tech or nurse that is able to draw your blood on the first go, that is a great thing. Anyone who has had blood taken multiple times can attest to this fact, especially if they are like me and have tricky, tricky veins. So the next time that you have your blood taken and they do a good job, take a minute to thank them for making your experience a little less crappy.


What have your experiences been with having blood tests taken? Generally good or often bad?

PS – I’m not sure if ‘technician’ is the proper term for the people who take blood at the lab clinics. If it isn’t, please enlighten me!


About msjenniferwalker

I'm a Jenn of all trades, as long as they are creative and fulfilling. I'm an actress, writer, photographer and all around social person. I love to learn, travel, meet new people and have new experiences.

Posted on December 23, 2011, in Experiences and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I used to be on medications that required constant monitoring of blood levels, so I had blood tests on a regular basis – even weekly for a while. Talk about a pain! But, necessary. As a result, I think I’ve seen it all… the newbies and the old hat technicians who could do it with their eyes closed. Thankfully, I now only rarely have to get blood taken, but I do make a point of telling technicians who’ve done a really good job that I appreciate the painlessness. Some are surprised and some just brush it off, but I agree – tell people – especially in the more thankless jobs in health care – that you appreciate them, because ultimately they’re contributing to the maintenance and / or improvement of your most important asset – your health.

  2. It happened to me too . A total of 5 nurses had each their turn (3-4 times each) It was at emergency and I finally I got to stay in a room at hospital and an old nurse took the blood from my hand telling me she was doing it to babies all the time. It didn’t even hurt because she knew what she was doing. My arms were so sore from all the other needles….horrible!

  3. Since my surgery they can only take blood from my left arm. It is the first thing I tell them when I sit down in the chair. It usually startles the phlebotomist and it seems to me they have more difficulty because they most do it on that side. Last time I went tough I have to say the phlebotomist was excellent and I let her know she was very good.

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