Blood draws vs. phlebotomists?


Do you have phlebotomists or do nurses draw the patient's blood? Current place only does nursing draws from central lines, but many other hospitals seem to do have just nurses draw blood. Looking into a new job and they do nurse draws only. Curious.

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

We have phlebotomists, and nurse draws from central lines only. I'm under the impression that nurse draws are more common in ICU and ER.



46 Posts

Just now, Sour Lemon said:

We have phlebotomists, and nurse draws from central lines only. I'm under the impression that nurse draws are more common in ICU and ER.

That's what I thought in terms of ER, but this was a postpartum floor that does nurse draws at a different place. I currently work step-down and do central draws only.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience. 6,801 Posts

It depends on the facility. Back in my day, the facility I worked at changed from 24/7 lab draws to lab only doing the 6 am draw. Nurses were then responsible for any additional draws. Another duty for nurses, but it saved the masters a lot of money on lab services. It is a skill I never perfected, and it took a lot of time away from my NURSING duties.

If you take that new job, get ready to do your own blood draws.

Good luck.


HiddencatBSN, BSN

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 11 years experience. 594 Posts

Depends on the facility a ton. I’ve only worked at one hospital that has phlebotomists in the ED and in general most of your patients there are getting an IV along with labs so nurses still did a fair amount of the labwork. Also if phlebotomy is backed up the nurse would often be able to get to it more quickly anyway. My current facility our techs are able to do straight sticks for labs but not all of them are comfortable doing so especially on younger patients. No phlebotomists in the ED here.

I'm a phlebotomist at a hospital in the Bay Area. ER tries to do all their own draws, but calls the lab to come for difficult ones. Other than that, I believe nurses only do central lines, pretty common in ICU.

Sue Damonas

Sue Damonas, BSN

Specializes in Cardiology, Oncology, Hospice,IV Therapy. Has 40 years experience. 229 Posts

When I worked in the hospital we did all the blood draws.


OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 7 years experience. 1,179 Posts

Lab usually draws. If the pt has a central line then the RN will draw the lab unless it's a single lumen PICC and the line has a medication running through it. However, if it's a stat lab like a troponin the RN will draw it. 


speedynurse, ADN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU. 542 Posts

In my ED experience, nurses and techs do all the blood draws and IV starts. Techs can’t draw from central lines or access ports though. Floor units were different - phlebotomists did most blood draws. In pre-op, we do our own blood draws and IVs.


Specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown. Has 6 years experience. 746 Posts

My first job we only had phlebotomy overnight for daily labs, which were drawn at 0200. Any other peripheral labs were done by techs or nurses, and central line pulls were nurses only. Everywhere I have worked since has had 24/7 phlebotomy for all peripheral sticks. Where I work now, the floors don't stock the supplies to draw labs peripherally, so I don't pursue it unless it's stat or I have the time to make phone calls and wait for the supplies to be sent to me.