08 May Make Your Phlebotomist (and Yourself) Happy by Drinking Plenty of Water
The Power of Water
Getting blood drawn is an important procedure, whether for blood work or blood donation. Phlebotomy classes equip students with the techniques to perform successful blood draws. While these classes focus on making the process comfortable for you, there are a few things you can do to make the experience easier for both you and the phlebotomist. Today we will focus on one very important step: Hydration.
Preparing for Your Blood Draw
Most blood work procedures require fasting for approximately twelve hours before the draw. It is crucial to adhere to this requirement, as food can affect blood test results significantly. Likewise, drinking plenty of water before your blood draw is equally important. Well-hydrated veins are plumper, making it easier for the phlebotomist to locate them. By staying hydrated, you contribute to a smoother and quicker blood draw.
The Significance of Hydration in Blood Donation
Proper hydration plays a vital role not only in your physical well-being but also in your mental wellness. Additionally, staying hydrated can have numerous health benefits. While donating blood, adequate hydration is essential as it helps maintain normal blood thickness and blood pressure, preventing complications during and after the procedure.
Determining Daily Water Intake
To ensure sufficient hydration, a general guideline is to consume half your body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, aim to drink 100 ounces of water daily. Factors such as physical activity, altitude, and exposure to outdoor conditions may require you to increase your intake.
Exceptions to Hydration Guidelines
It’s important to note that some procedures, such as certain blood tests and surgeries, may require you to refrain from drinking water before the draw. In such cases, follow the specific instructions provided by your phlebotomy specialist. If permitted to drink water, aim for the recommended daily amount of 64 ounces and have a glass of water (approximately 16 ounces) before your donation.
More Tips for a Smooth Blood Draw Experience
To enhance your blood draw experience, consider the following suggestions. Remember, by following these steps and maintaining good hydration, you can contribute to a successful blood draw experience while prioritizing your well-being.
- Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours before donation.
- Ensure you get sufficient sleep the night before.
- During the procedure, take deep breaths and communicate any concerns to the phlebotomist.
- If you feel dizzy afterward, lie down or sit with your head between your knees until the dizziness subsides.
- Drink plenty of fluids, more than usual, for the following four hours.
- Consume a light meal.
- Refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol.
- Keep the venipuncture site clean and dry; remove the bandage after a few hours.
- If there is any bleeding after removing the bandage, raise your arm and apply gentle pressure to the inner bicep.
- If you continue to feel unwell, consider consulting a physician for further guidance.