Originally Posted by gailuvscats
I am a big baby, and one of the nurses told me to ask for the butterfly needle, which may be the pediatric. That works the best, it is the smallest needle. If they can't get the vein, then they are probably inexperienced. When I go, I tell them I am a major baby and need to have the most experienced and best at the task, and I must have a butterfly needle, and I recline while they do it. I'm 58, it is very embarassing, but that's the way it is. The last few times, with all these requests, have been fine. I've been pleasantly surprised by how fast and painless it was. If you tell the nurse, and they are experienced, they know how to distract you and talk you through it. Just tell them your problem, most people want to help.
I totally agree with this! I am a nurse, and let me tell you some nurses are good at drawing blood, and some are not very good. If you are nervous, your veins constrict some, and it makes it harder to draw the blood. So a good nurse will talk to you about whatever to distract you. She might also lay a warm washcloth on the area to make it easier. After she ties the tube around your arm, clench and release your fist, and let your hand dangle.
If you have the option, try calling ahead and telling the lab that you have small veins, and need someone very experienced. Ask when the really good person is working, and then go when they are there, and ask for that person.
The butterfly is a smaller needle, and that helps for some people. But honestly, I've started IV's on people who insisted that they have small veins and they don't. They just had a bad experience in the past. Generally starting an IV or drawing blood is pretty painless, and the person should get it done in two tries.
I used to be so good at that, but haven't drawn blood for about 7-8 years now, so I'm sure I've lost that skill. Sounds silly, but I really used to pride myself on being able to draw blood on anyone.