12 Dec Make Your Phlebotomist (and Yourself) Happy by Drinking Plenty of Water
Getting blood drawn is in important procedure, whether it is for blood work or a blood donation. Phlebotomy classes teach students the techniques behind drawing blood so that each blood draw is successful. While classes in focus on what they can do to make your blood draw more comfortable, there are a few things you should do to make your life, as well as the phlebotomist’s, easier.
First, most blood work procedures will require that you abstain from eating for about twelve hours before you get your blood drawn. It is important that you do this. Classes can teach how to draw blood, but they can’t change the fact that food can alter a blood test’s results. Drinking water before you get your blood drawn is equally important, too.
If you walk into a blood bank without drinking lots of water before, everyone involved will have a harder time. The more water you drink, the plumper your veins are. This makes it easier for the phlebotomist to find your vein. Phlebotomy classes teach students how to draw blood from veins that aren’t as plump, but more water means less time donating.
Why is hydration so important when donating blood? Maintaining hydration is critical not only for your physical well-being day to day, but also for your mental wellness too. And as long as you’re staying hydrated, why not ditch the soda and other caffeinated beverages? They contain no nutritional value, and can dehydrate you.
According to an article from U.S. News’ Health and Wellness section, a good rule of thumb if you aren’t sure how much water you should drink each day, is as follows:
The basic equation for determining this is by dividing your body weight in half. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you would need 100 ounces of water per day, if you’re not doing anything strenuous. If you’re working out, hiking, at a high altitude, or outdoors a great deal, you’re going to need to add to those 100 ounces.
Another reason dehydration is bad for the blood donation experience, as that it will thicken your blood and lower your blood pressure. Phlebotomy classes from know that lower blood pressure is often better, but this isn’t always the case. If your blood pressure is lower, you have a higher chance of fainting during your procedure, which can make it harder for your body to recover from the procedure. When your blood thickens, it’s harder for the phlebotomy specialist to puncture the vein and draw blood.
It’s important to note, though, that some procedures require that you don’t drink water before getting blood drawn. This is generally the case for blood tests and surgeries. If your phlebotomy specialist says it is OK to drink water before getting blood drawn, try to drink the recommended daily amount of water, which is 64 ounces. Before you donate, drink a glass of water that’s about 16 ounces.
Although getting your blood drawn can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. First, ensure you drink enough water before your procedure, if you’re allowed to do so, in order to reduce the difficulty of blood drawing. Next, try to take deep breaths during your donation and feel free to speak with the phlebotomist before, during, and after your procedure about any concerns you may have.
A couple more tips to help you have a better experience donating blood:
- Avoid alcohol of any type for a full 24 hours before your donation
- Get plenty of sleep the night before
- If you feel dizzy at all after donating, lie down or sit down with your head between your knees at least until the dizziness passes
- Drink plenty of fluid (more than you normally would) for the following four hours
- Eat a light meal
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
- Keep your venipuncture site clean and dry (the bandage can be removed after a few hours)
- If there is any bleeding when you remove the bandage, raise your arm and apply some pressure to your inner bicep.
- If you continue feeling unwell, it may be a good idea to consult with a physician