The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Special Topics in Phlebotomy. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Pediatric Patients

Collecting a blood specimen from a pediatric patient can be very challenging. There are several factors that contribute to this challenge. For example:

  • The veins of a young child are typically much smaller than those of an adults.
  • Often a child has never had the procedure before. Fear of the unknown can increase anxiety and cause the child to struggle. Unfortunately, some adults use health care professionals as "threats" for children. This can also increase anxiety.
  • A child may have had a previous bad venipuncture experience and is now combative.
  • Professional phlebotomists have empathy for all patients, but often, knowing that they may be hurting a small child, even slightly, can trigger emotions that interfere with a successful procedure.