Taking blood

  1. Hello, all I am currently in nursing school to become a pn. At the start of our classes one of my classmates asked our instructor if we would be taught how to draw blood. My instructor replied no because that is not in our job description as nurses. I thought that was weird I didn't/don't understand why we wouldn't need to know how to draw blood. Is it normal for nurses to not draw blood? Is it just that practical nurses don't draw blood, or is this a skill that I really do need to know?
  2. Visit medsurgcutie profile page

    About medsurgcutie

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 46; Likes: 2


  3. by   mom2michael
    It's been my general experience at the several hosptials I have either worked at or have done clinicals at that the lab is the one to draw the blood. It doesn't mean that it's never done by an RN or LPN, it's just common that if a lab needs to be drawn, you call the lab people to do it.

    Now I've also worked in the NICU and the nurses there drew their own blood but all training was provided by the hospital for that. The nurses there need the blood when they get the blood so waiting for lab isn't always an option for them.

    I work in the ER now and when the nurse starts an IV we commonly obtain 3 vials of blood, any additional lab workup and blood needed is obtained by the lab.

    Hope that clarifies it some for you
  4. by   AtlantaRN
    we have techs that draw our blood, at our facility lab just runs the tests.

    I don't remember learning to draw blood or any labs for that matter (sputum, fecal, urine), during clinicals, but that was 10+ years ago. alot I learned once I got on the floor.

    each facility is different

    I also remember not doing alot of IV starts in clinicals, learned that too during my first year

  5. by   CritterLover
    it is rare to find a hospital where the nurses draw all of their own blood, though it may be more common in smaller hospitals.

    nurses do usually draw all of the blood coming from central lines, though. and i have worked in some icus where the nurses did all of their own lab draws. rns also draw alot of their own labs in the er, too.

    but i wasn't taught that in school, and neither were any of my co-workers, that i am aware of. i think it is usually considered on-the-job training.
  6. by   ICRN2008
    It used to be that the medical technologists from the lab would go and draw the labs in the morning. (We are trained in phlebotomy during our program). Although we still do that from time to time, most hospitals hire and train phlebotomists to draw blood. In my hospital, they have patient care technicians who function as nursing assistants, ekg techs and phlebotomists all in one.

    There is a trend towards training non-licensed personnel to do these types of duties. This frees up the nurses and medical technologists to do the more complicated tasks.
  7. by   DonnaRN
    We never "officially" learned to draw blood in nursing school, but in a post-clinical our instructor reviewed some of the basics of it with us. He said we'd probably have to do it some day, and he was right!

    For the most part, however, I learned by following a phlebotomist at the hospital I was working at and performing 20 draws of my own. Our facility had changed its policy in that 7p-7a nurses were to begin drawing a.m. labs, so the training was required on that basis.

    Since that time, I've had several jobs where drawing blood was a necessary skill (Dr. offices, home health). It's actually one of my favorite skills now, though in my current job I don't have to do it.

  8. by   medsurgcutie
    Thank you all for your replies it has helped me a lot. I do have another question though, I plan on going into ltc once I graduate and I know there aren't too many instances where blood needs to be drawn, however if it comes up will it be my responsibility to do it? Do lab techs come to ltcf? I think I would just be more comfortable if I knew how to draw blood. I don't want to be standing around at work saying "well my school didn't teach me that." I just thought it was weird we've learned how to give injections, I hope they at least talk about it before they turn us loose on the world.