First Phlebotomy Clinical

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
This was my first day of phlebotomy clinicals. I worked 2nd shift at our local hospital because of school. I went in excited to finally be there. lmao But there is a HUGE difference drawing blood on healthy students and drawing blood on patients in hospital or ER.

Oddly enough, I wasn't really nervous. No real jitters so to speak. (thank God)

And just my luck, I get to start on the rare "hard draw" night. My trainer said she hasn't seen so many difficult blood draws in one night in YEARS.:faint: :rofl:

Still, I was lucky I think. I had an awesome trainer, one who is as experienced and skilled as our instructor at school. And she was a really great lady on top of it. :grin:

Second shift isn't as busy as days. Our hospital is the county hospital and we also have a Clinic. So days lab people work both lab and the Clinic. But by 2nd shift the Clinic is closed. I did find out one useful bit of info. Our lab NEVER closes to the public. You can come in 24 hrs a day to have your blood drawn.

Our first draw was a really tough one. Three people had tried 6 times to draw blood from this patient and all were unsuccessful. (including my college instructor) But my trainer got her on the 3rd try without hurting her. The second one of the evening was just as bad. And it sort of went downhill from there. lol

I did 8 draws and had 4 successes. Doesn't sound great, huh? I asked my trainer and she said that we were getting alot of dehydrated patients, and I had two veins I got into and they rolled away at the last second. Still, I managed not to hurt a single person. :smile:

I'm not discouraged. My trainer said that to start on 2nd shift is tough. All of your patients are sick, and it's difficult to get used to drawing on sick patients first. Most students start off on days so they can start in the clinic where most draws are on basically healthy people. Leave it to me to find the hardest way to do something. lmao

Next friday I do 2nd shift again, then I switch to days. I didn't really have a choice since I have classes all week.

Only a month of clinicals and I can start working. :grin:


4 out of 8 on your first day isn't bad at all. I have gorilla veins and I've had people miss!

Look at it this way, learning on the hard patients will make the easy patients seem like a piece of cake. You'll be ready for anything.

Way to go!


New Member
<span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> sounds exciting, lisa. when i was so sick a few years ago i was a very tough draw ~~~ very fragile veins ~~~ so i set up ground rules. they got three tries. after that they had to leave & send someone else in a few hours. i was so sick of being stuck (couldn't maintain IVs either.) that i just couldn't/wouldn't lay there & let them stick me repeatedly. i think you would have loved having me as a patient...NOT lol.

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Active Member
That's fine - you'll be surprized how quick you pick this up. I worked in level one trauma center and could stick a 2 kg (5 lb) dehydrated newborn with little problem. It just takes practice. by the way - are you still considering nursing school? Good luck.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

At the moment, yes I'm still considering nursing school. I certainly hope to get as skilled as you with the draws.


I do like it so far. And I'm glad that 4 out of 8 is good. When you have to get at least 100 successful draws in about 4 weeks you tend to worry about such things. We're supposed to keep track of both, whether we are successful or not, but they only count the successful sticks. Then there are the 50 fingersticks. But I'm not worried about those. I'm really good at fingersticks. lol


When I'm having a bad bout with the kidneys they have a heck of a time drawing on me. Mine will look wonderful til they get the needle in, then they'll blow everytime. (not fun)


I drew on a man who'd had a student earlier in the day. She had evidently hurt him. The student had missed on him and he had really good veins, too. He was hesitant to let me draw his blood, but then said yes. He was one of my successes and I didn't hurt him at all. I was relieved. lol He was a sweet man.


Active Member
100 successful draws in 4 weeks would stress me out too. It seems like a very big number. I went to a health fair at a mill one time and had a guy with veins so big it honestly scared me. They were the size of my thumb!!! I was used to little old people veins.