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Follow these 9 tips for a quick and easy blood draw

Your doctor or healthcare provider just ordered blood work and, if you’re like most people, you’re ready to get it over with. Whether having your blood drawn is no biggie or it’s something you dread; some preparation can help make the process easier.

To make sure your lab test goes as smoothly as possible, follow these nine tips:

  1. If you’re unsure of any requirements (such as fasting) of your lab test, confirm with your doctor or healthcare provider beforehand.

  2. For cholesterol and glucose tests, you must fast for at least eight hours before having your blood drawn, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. So, no eating and don’t drink anything but water. After your blood is drawn, you are free to resume your regular diet.

  3. Drink plenty of water before your blood test to keep your blood pressure from dropping (and to plump up your veins). Avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks.

  4. Unless fasting is required for your test, eat a good breakfast to keep your blood sugar up. This will help prevent lightheadedness. If you think you might become nauseous when your blood is drawn, don’t eat immediately before your appointment.

  5. If you take blood-thinning medication, such as heparin or warfarin (Coumadin), tell the phlebotomist before your blood is drawn. They’ll want to make sure bleeding has stopped before you leave the lab.

  6. If you’re anxious about your test, ask the person drawing your blood to explain exactly what they’re doing. Or, better yet, think about something else. Take a deep breath and relax — in a few minutes it’ll all be over.

  7. Be honest with your nurse or phlebotomist. If you know that you have fainted in the past during blood draws, speak up. The person drawing your blood can position you differently to reduce your risk of falling.

  8. Reward yourself with a snack after having your blood drawn. This will help keep your blood sugar up. Bring your snack to your appointment so you can eat it right away. 

  9. The bandage put on after your blood is drawn can be removed in an hour. If bleeding resumes, apply slight pressure until it stops and put another bandage on the site. Don’t worry if some bruising occurs, it’s normal and should go away after a few days. 

Just walk right in, no appointment necessary

Having your blood drawn at Geisinger Medical Laboratories is a quick, simple procedure. And many of our labs are open before work hours or on weekends to make it easier for you to get the tests you need. Find a location near you today.

Want to view your lab test results?

You can view most Geisinger test and lab results on-the-go with the myChart mobile app or at home, with myGeisinger. Learn more about myGeisinger and sign up today.

Nurse prepares patient for blood work by cleaning area with alcohol.

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