Health Tip: Preparing for a Blood Test

Having blood drawn is a mainstay of a routine annual physical.

Never provided a blood sample? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute describes what to expect:

  • A technician usually will draw blood from a vein in your arm. Less often, the sample is obtained from a finger prick.
  • The technician may ask you to make a fist, or tie a band around the upper part of your arm to make a vein in your arm stick out more, making it easier to insert the needle.
  • The needle that goes into your vein is attached to a test tube. The person who draws your blood removes the tube when it's full, and the tube seals on its own. If you're getting a few blood tests, the technician may fill multiple tubes. The needle is then removed.
  • If you're nervous about the test, it may help to look away or to talk to someone as a distraction.

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