3 Tips for Practicing Blood Draws at Home

If you’re a nursing or phlebotomy student, practicing blood draws can help improve your skills so that you – and your future patient – are comfortable when it’s time to draw blood in real life. This article outlines three helpful tips for practicing blood draws at home, starting with assembling a venipuncture and IV practice kit.

blood draw

Assemble a realistic venipuncture and IV practice kit

In the past, many nursing students learned phlebotomy by practicing at home with oranges or bananas, but times have changed. Today, more realistic simulation tools are available to build your confidence before performing a blood draw on a real person.

Here’s what to include in a venipuncture and IV practice kit for a realistic experience:
    • Wearable venipuncture and IV administration trainer complete with a large vein area and realistic blue shaded vein and blood flashback
    • Syringes in various sizes, such as 0.5 ml, 5 ml, and 10 ml
    • Needles in multiple gauges, such as 18, 20, 21, and 22
    • Blood transfer device
    • Vials and color-coded vacuum tubes with a vacuum container hub
    • Tourniquets to engorge veins or reduce or stop venous return
    • Alcohol prep swabs to prepare the skin for the blood draw
    • Skin marking pen for marking venous or arterial anatomy
    • Gauze squares and cotton swabs for cleaning or dry dressing
    • Gloves, masks, and other personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Puncture-resistant sharps container
    • Practice forms and labels
    • Transport bags
    • Any other supplies your nursing school instructors recommend

    Follow phlebotomy best practices

    Even though you may not be drawing blood on a real person yet, follow phlebotomy best practices as if you are. Wrapping the wearable venipuncture trainer from your IV practice kit on a mannequin or person is the first step to simulating the actual experience. Then, begin the blood draw by following these steps for mastering venipuncture:
      • Explain the reason for the blood draw to your practice patient
      • Identify them using the two identifiers mandated by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
      • Ask about allergies or sensitivities to latex, antiseptics, or adhesives
      • Complete your practice forms and labels
      • Position the practice patient and hyperextend the arm
      • Apply a tourniquet 3-4 inches above the intended puncture site
      • Ask the practice patient to make a fist, avoiding pumping the hand
      • Cleanse the intended puncture site with an alcohol swab for 30 seconds and let air dry for another 30 seconds
      • Stretch the skin by pulling down below the intended puncture site with the thumb of your free hand to anchor the vein
      • Palpate for a spongy firmness when feeling for the vein
      • Insert the needle at 15-30 degrees, never exceeding 30
      • Attach the tubes or syringes needed to remove the designated amount of blood, removing the tourniquet as you draw the last amount
      • Remove the needle from the venipuncture trainer in your IV practice kit and dispose of contaminated materials in a sharps container
      • Label the tubes for the laboratory

      Strive for perfection

      Mastering the art of phlebotomy is more than checking out videos, classes, and how-to articles. Perfection requires a lot of hands-on practice. Ensure the venipuncture trainer you choose for your IV practice kit is both realistic and durable enough to give you a life-like experience that you can repeat again and again.

      Our Venous Bleu Venipuncture & IV Administration Trainer is loaded with realistic and durable features, including a large vein area, blue shaded vein, blood flashback, and our proprietary VesSeal™ coating that can withstand more needle sticks. Contact us to learn more about our innovative and realistic venipuncture and IV practice kit solutions.

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