How To: Obtain blood cultures from cubital and cephalic veins

Obtain blood cultures from cubital and cephalic veins

One of the key tasks of a nurse is being able to take blood samples, and the only way to get good at the procedure is by practice. Knowing the steps to drawing blood (to go to the lab) is key to both yours and your patient's safety. This interactive video module will help familiarize you with the phlebotomy medical procedure, but is not meant to be your sole method of instruction— always ask for supervision in performing a procedure if you've never done one before, or have little experience.

Equipment needed:

* Rubber gloves
* Vacutainer
* Blood culture bottles (2)
* Butterfly needle
* Tourniquet
* Betadine swabs
* 4x4's
* Paper tape

For one set of blood culture bottles, there are two bottles, one labeled aerobic and the other anaerobic. To open the bottles, flip the tops off, but do not do until you are ready to draw the blood. First you should assemble all of your equipment, then once you're ready, you will need to identify the potential veins for access. Good veins for access are the antecubital vein, the cephalic vein of the forearm, and the bifurcation of veins on the dorsal aspect of the hand.

Once you've identified the right vein, you'll need to apply the tourniquet, clean the area, and obtain the blood culture by inserting the needle and getting a blood return. The first bottle you will insert into the Vacutainer is the aerobic bottle, then the anaerobic. Then you need to do the final steps.

Video recording and narration is performed by Edward H. Wu, M.D. This video is from the University of Pittsburgh's CIDDE.

Obtain blood cultures from cubital and cephalic veins

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