Clinical Skills
ECG recording
Blood pressure
Blood taking
IV Cannulation
IM/Subcut Injection
NG tubes
Death Certificates
Ward Round notating
Consenting Patients
Air Blood Gases
Clinical Audit
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Blood Taking

This is quite often tested in OSCEs using plastic arms. You get marks for all the little things like washing your hands and putting on gloves, not actual technique. Nevertheless technique is very important as a house officer as on some patients venepuncture can be very difficult! Therefore we have provided some tips alongside the methods.


Gloves, needle, syringe/vacutainer, tourniquet, alcohol swab, blood sample tubes, cotton wool, tape, sharps bin

Method with Vacutainers:

  1. Prepare the equipment.
  2. Explain the procedure.
  3. Place a towel under patent's arm
  4. Palpate the vein. The antecubital fossa is usually the best site to start, if not then try more distal. Once found wipe with a alcohol steret. It may be useful to leave the steret on the patient with a corner pointing towards the vein if the vein is hard to see.
  5. Put on gloves.
  6. Apply a tourniquet
  7. The skin is rendered tense with the other hand (prevents vein moving when needle enters)
  8. Say, "sharp scratch"
  9. Enter the vein with the needle at 15 degrees. You may feel a loss of resistance when in. Apply the blood tube to the vacutainer system.
  10. Remove the tourniqut then the needle.
  11. Apply pressure to the needle site and tape on some cotton wool.



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