Healthcare Tips

Tips to Make Your Blood Draw Easier

March 18, 2024
Healthcare Anxiety - Tips to Make Your Blood Draw Easier

Getting your blood drawn likely isn’t at the top of your bucket list. And yet, a blood draw can offer health insights that inform how your medical team supports you on your way to better health.  In other words, blood draws are a necessary evil for most of us!

How Everyone Can Have Easier Blood Draws

Here are three tips that will make blood draws easier for everyone, from first-timers to old pros:

Choose Your Clothes with Intention

In warmer weather, opt for a tank or t-shirt so that your arm is easy to access. Blood draws often occur in the inside of your arm opposite your elbow. If the weather is chilly, consider wearing a cardigan or zip-up hoodie over your short-sleeved option so that you can easily slip your arm out for your draw.


Drink fluids before your blood draw. This increases your blood volume, which can make your veins easier to find. This means less poking and prodding from the phlebotomist – always a good thing! Make sure to clarify with your doctor whether your blood draw needs to occur in a fasted state, in which case you would want to limit your fluid intake to only water.  If you forget to hydrate, you can always help yourself to our beverage station in the Gateway waiting area before you are called back.

Timing Matters

Put some thought into what time of day you will go to the lab. If your blood draw needs to happen while you’re in a fasted state, opt for first thing in the morning to save yourself (and those around you) from the wrath of being hangry! If fasting is not important to your blood draw results, you’ll find that labs are typically less busy at other times of the day than they are first thing in the morning.  Feel free to give us a call at Gateway to find out when we tend to be least busy. 

How to Have Easier Blood Draws When You’re Really Nervous

If you are especially averse to blood draws and find yourself dreading this item on your to-do list, here are a few other things you can do:

Practice Your Breathing

Implementing a specific technique like box breathing or 4-7-8 breathing can calm your nervous system and provide a focus point for your mind.

Let Music Guide You

Make a short playlist of your favorite, calming songs. You’ll only need a song or two (because blood draws are quick!) but they can make a world of difference if you’re dreading the poke. Feel free to bring your ear buds if you like!

Talk It Out

Finally, before the phlebotomist gets started, be sure to let them know about your feelings. It’s their job to make this experience a great one and they can walk you through the process. Here at Gateway, we pride ourselves on helping our patients have a great experience in our facility!

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