Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,402
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: Another bad experience with blood work

@millieshops wrote:

I can't remember ever having my blood work done in the PCP's office.  I always take a script to Quest or Lab Corp.  I don't think having it done in his office is even an option, but if it were, like you, I'd still ask for a script.  I don't even trust their blood pressure readings and neither does the doctor himself.  Figure that one out!

Speaking of doctors, my internist tried drawing blood from my hand and injured a nerve!

Valued Contributor
Posts: 687
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Another bad experience with blood work

Back in the day, I was a nurse at a major university teaching hospital.  We had an excellent IV team, who would round on each patient at least twice a shift.  We also had a team of phlebotomists who did our blood draws.  At that time, only RN's were allowed to flush an IV or hang IV fluids.


Then came the "we're working smarter, not harder" mantra.  That meant we, as nurses, had to learn to place IVs and draw blood.  The specialty unit I worked on was always the first to do these things.  I became proficient at both tasks.


A year or so later, the nurses aids were also assigned the blood draw task.


I was in the ER twice between Sept and Oct of this year.  Nurses aids place IVs now.  I'm amazed at how much has changed since I worked on the floor.


As for the doctor's office, I haven't had my bloodwork drawn at an outside facility in forever.  There is always someone in the office who does it.


I don't even think my PCP's office has 1 RN working there.  Everyone seems to be a Medical Assistant.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,519
Registered: ‎03-17-2010

Re: Another bad experience with blood work

I've had a lot of blood drawn for 20 years, after being diagnosed with Pulmonary Sarcoidosis 20 years ago and being diagnosed with Diabetes 8 years ago.  I was part of Kaiser at that time and never had a bad or clumsy draw. 


They'd line up those little bottles after inserting the needle and off they'd go.  I never felt a thing.   Once in awhile I'd get a pinch from someone but basically they knew what they

were doing and did it well..... 


At our new doctor's office I've gone to give blood often and the person is "an assistant nurse" and they can't get the needle into the vein.  One had to get help and lo and behold the "help" got the needle in the vein with no problem ....  this last time, the same thing only she went down to my hand (painful place btw)... in order to hit the vein.   I know that sometimes it's hard to hit, but I'm really getting tired of this as well!



*~"Never eat more than you can lift......" Miss Piggy~*
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,258
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Another bad experience with blood work




Hi marmot,


Just had to chime in here, after noting your plight and the responses received.


I've a question  you need to ask the Practice Manager:  are these "Medical Assistants," who are often called "Nurses," actually certified phlebotomists?  If so, how many hours training and for what period of time have they been certified?  These are valid concerns.


You should always be given the opportunity to have blood draws (labs), films, etc., performed at an alternate facility.  If not, then your state laws are perhaps being manipulated by this physician/practice, in that they are not offering patients the alternative - something you should not have to ask for.  It's clear your doc is in this for $$$.




Oh, how I recall the days when we had an IV Nurse on each shift, followed by the demise of said policy.   If I could have returned to school and sought out a specialty within which I could have thrived, I would have.  Unfortunately, that was back in the day when opportunities were very, very few.  Happily, though, way down the road an opportunity presented itself and I landed in a physician education/surgical training position.  This was clearly a blessing and made up for much angst years ago.


Regular Contributor
Posts: 215
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

XRe: Another bad experience with blood work

Hi SF,  thanks for your input on my blood work dilemma.  I am going to call and ask for a script for my upcoming labs due in Jan.  They will give me one with no problem I'm sure. 

Incidently my sister also uses this PCP and had a similar problem last week. After 2 tries she left and went to Quest who had no trouble at all.

From what I read online these medical assistants get a several week course on drawing blood and that's it.  I have no problem with them taking vitals, etc.but sticking a needle in me, when unqualified is not ok.

i really love my PCP, so leaving is not an option, in fact his dad was my dr. for years, delivering all my children.  

Thanks everyone who responded to my original post. 



Super Contributor
Posts: 389
Registered: ‎06-19-2011

Re: Another bad experience with blood work

@nagrom wrote:

I routinely have blood work to manage certain medical conditions.   This often requires fasting.   One tip that makes it easier is make sure you are hydrated so that your veins are more available.   Drinking a couple glasses of water beforehand helps so that whoever is doing the blood draw won't have to poke around to find a viable vein.  Since I started hydrating beforehand, I have had no trouble.   No one else mentioned this but it was helpful to me.


Agreed.  I used to think fasting included water.  It doesn't.  Since I have started to drink water on waking and just prior to having a draw done early in the am, I have no issues.