Phlebotomy Draws


Hi Everyone,

I'm in a Phlebotomy class right now and we are drawing from each other every day. Is this healthy regarding mental capacity and RBC count after taking blood every day for three weeks? We are taking approximately 2.5 ml. in each draw and I know a normal donation amount is about 1 pint. which is around 473 ml. So I'm guessing it's fine but should we be eating different foods and iron supplements during this class?

I came home today after the class feeling extra tired and depleted and was wondering how I would survive doing this every day for the next three weeks.

Thanks for any advice!


24 Posts

Also, we're doing about 4 draws a day.



727 Posts

Drawing on a bunch of healthy, relatively young people x 3 weeks sounds like plenty of practice already! When will you get to start drawing old, sick, dehydrated patients so you get a feel for what this is really like?

After three weeks I don't know if I'd be too concerned about loss of blood (barring any pre-existing issues, of course) but I would be concerned about my veins. If we were drawing blood from a patient on a daily basis, they would probably have a line placed so we wouldn't keep accessing the veins over and over.


24 Posts

We have to do a total of 25 sticks before the class ends at the end of three weeks and then they help us find an internship or volunteer position to get the remaining 75 sticks needed to work in a hospital after the class is over.

We need 25 to take the national test but unless we want to work in a hospital we won't be getting experience from older dehydrated patients which I'm guessing it's very hard to draw blood from. I'm still pretty nervous drawing from relatively healthy people, so it must be pretty nerve racking :)

We always make sure to stick in a different part of the vein but do you think that the vein will sustain major problems after the class or just develop scarring?

Thanks for the info. Mammac5

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

Re: scarring it just depends on how a person heals. I have a co-worker who has relatively infrequent venipuncture, but he heals in such a way that he has awful scarring in his veins- sticking him is like sticking into a thick piece of stiff rubber; it just feels awful. I have had other patients that I stuck over and over and over again, and there is no tactile evidence of scarring.

As for elderly being just depends. There are so many variables to venipuncture. Many elderly have less muscle and adipose tissue in their arms to anchor a vein---> rolling veins. This is something you MUST be able figure out before you stick a needle in someone's flesh; that way, you can make sure that YOU anchor the vein. You also have to be gentle to avoid creating skin tears in some older patients, particularly if you are removing old gauze.

4 sticks per person per day for three weeks seems a bit excessive to me, but I am sure it is safe, or your school likely wouldn't do it. You're taking a very small amount of blood every day, and your body is constantly regenerating blood. I know your class is probable almost over, but if you're concerned, you can drink more fluids and make sure you're getting enough iron and ferritin.

I've worked in this field for 10+ years (I currently oversee the outpatient lab in the evening) and there are always interesting twists. Are you taking this course independently, or is it part of your nursing requirements? Nursing schools around here don't teach phlebotomy. I recently sat in on my hospital's phleb competency for nurses, and they would get no blood whatsoever and still ask us to pass them.......:eek::confused:


24 Posts

Thanks for the info. Kimberlina,

I'm done with the sticks, Finally! But I did end up getting some scarring where I was stuck about 30x in each arm. The vein ended up becoming very hard and swollen but it's relaxing finally and getting back to normal. I did end up getting sick during the class because I wasn't taking enough vitamins, so if you're doing the phlebotomy course make sure you take Iron supplements and Vitamin B!

There is one girl in our class who has done 20 sticks and has never gotten blood, I'm not sure how you could do so many sticks and never get blood but I don't think our teacher is going to pass her.

There was also another girl who overcame her fear of needles in the class which was great to go through. We had to use a butterfly needle on her and she was bawling through the first five draws. She said she meditated and prayed over the first weekend of the class, came in on Monday and demanded that everyone stick her. She overcame her fears pretty quickly, it was great.

I'm in a school that is doing CNA courses and then you move on to PCT courses (Phlebotomy and EKG). I'm not in "nursing school" yet but am trying to get some experience before applying to school. These are the first nursing courses I've ever taken and it's surprising to see how different you learn in each class depending on who's in the class with you. I actually changed my group for PCT because everyone was very competitive and exclusive in my CNA class. I'm hoping that when I get into nursing school that the group I'll be in will be like the current class, encouraging and helpful. It has helped a lot of my classmates overcome fears and believe in themselves, it's been great!