Blood tests can be carried out for lots of different reasons.
This can include to diagnose a medical condition, check the health of certain organs in your body or screen for some genetic conditions. Find out more about what to expect when you go for a blood test below:
1. A phlebotomist is the health professional who will take your blood
Usually you will be able to eat and drink as normal in the run up to the test.
With some blood tests, you can’t have anything to eat or drink for 10 hours before. This is called a ‘fasting’ blood test.
2. The amount of blood taken will depend on the type of test that your doctor has asked for
3. The phlebotomist will usually use the vein on the inside of your elbow- called the brachial vein, or one of the veins in your wrist to take the blood sample
4. A tight band (tourniquet) will be placed around your upper arm to help the vein fill with blood.
This makes it easier for the phlebotomist to collect the blood sample.
5. Before the blood sample is taken, the skin over the vein will be cleaned with an antiseptic wipe
6. You will be offered a freezing spray to help numb the area
7. A needle attached to a syringe will be inserted into the vein to collect the blood sample
8. When the right amount of blood has been collected, the needle is removed
The small hole left by the needle will be pressed with gauze and a small plaster put over the top to stop further bleeding.
9. The blood is collected in sample bottles and then sent to the local Pathology Department for testing
how to get help
If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.