Find a Vein
Seat the patient in a chair.
- The chair should have an armrest to support the patient’s arm but should not have wheels. Make sure that the patient’s arm is not bent at the elbow. If the patient is lying down, place a pillow under the patient’s arm for additional support.
- Decide which arm you will be drawing from or let your patient decide. Tie a tourniquet around the patient’s arm about 3″ to 4″ (7.5cm to 10 cm) above the venipuncture site.
- Ask the patient to make a fist. Avoid asking the patient to pump his or her fist.
- Trace the patient’s veins with your index finger. Tap the vein with your index finger to encourage dilation.
- Disinfect the area that you plan to puncture with an alcohol wipe. Use a circular motion, and avoid dragging the wipe over the same piece of skin twice.
- Allow the disinfected area to dry for 30 seconds so that the patient doesn’t feel a sting when the needle is inserted.