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Phlebotomy for Nurses in 2021 – How to draw blood from IV

In this video I will talk about phlebotomy for nurses, especially for nurses working in the emergency department. I will talk about when to draw blood in certain patient situations and talk about the process a little bit.

Lab techs in my hospital are typically not the fastest when it comes to drawing blood for lab results, which is understandable as they have many patients to serve. So in this video I want to talk about when and how do nurses take blood and what things they need to look out for. This will be from my experiences as an emergency room nurse, now obviously I am not a lab tech so I am not an expert at this, and I am not a physician to know what lab values you want to know in every situation. But throughout my time working in the emergency department, I have learned when it is important to draw blood and what reasons you want to do it.


So how do you draw blood? Well that depends on your hospital policy, so ALWAYS make sure you check the policies at your hospital. It varies from hospital and the colors of the tubes that I mention here may be completely different, so I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to check your hospital’s policy! So here is the lab draw order for my hospital: Blood culture, rapid metabolic panel, blue top, gold top, green top, lavender (s) top, and grey top. To draw blood, you can either use a venipuncture catheter or if you suspect that you are going to be starting an IV device, you can draw blood directly from the IV itself, all you need is the vacutainer.


So now let’s talk about the situations where you want to draw blood:

– Blood thinners like warfarin, we should get a PTT and INR

– Anemia, we should get a CBC to check HgB value and draw a group and screen

– If we suspect infection:

○ Blood cultures x 2


○ Chemistry

○ Lactate


Usually if they are coming to the acute section of the emergency department they will have blood work done. And if you are starting an IV on them for whatever reason, you can draw blood from that site as well. This is very helpful for not only the lab techs but also other patients because the lab techs will have the time to obtain blood from other patients.


Anyways, hopefully this video was helpful, if it was please consider giving it a thumbs up and I will catch you in my next video. Thanks for watching!





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