Why are blood tests important? Do you know that blood tests help doctors in diagnosing certain conditions. At times, it is not definitive but it can give them clues as to what is going on inside the body. Blood tests give one an idea of how healthy an individual is.
Why Is Blood Tests Important
- It helps identify certain health conditions and chronic illnesses.
- It gives us ideas of steps to take to enhance our health and well-being.
- To prevent life threatening illnesses.
- With blood tests, it can catch critical values that will be prevented before it becomes severe that may lead to disability or death.
- Physicians usually orders blood tests before starting some medications for proper dosing.
- They would also order blood tests to verify medications effectively.
- To find out if one has infection.
- It gives doctors diagnostic ideas or proper management as it assesses body’s systemic level of functioning. May it be vascular, liver, heart, kidney, blood cell status etc.
- It is a way also of screening for anemia and other hematological abnormalities.
- Nutritional enhancements can be started by finding out certain blood level ie. blood sugar level, cholesterol level, sodium level etc.
- Some drug testing are also done through blood tests.
- Blood testing can also be done for toxicology testing.
- Although it’s not usually necessary, some pregnancy tests are done though blood tests.
- Blood testing are also important prior to surgery for clearance and after surgery to check for blood loss and other possible implications.
- It’s also a must to check blood level before and after blood transfusion due to anemia or if one presented with symptoms of anemia.
- Exclusions of diagnosis and implementing of appropriate treatment plan are reasons for blood tests as well.
Consequences Of Blood Tests Refusal
In a hospital setting, I have come across numerous patients who would refused to have their blood drawn due to different reasons. Some are scared of needles, some are trying to hide their drug dependency, being stubborn or non compliant, due to religious belief, being in denial, mental health status etc. Below are some of those consequences:
- Inability to properly diagnose a patient. Although there are other ways of diagnosing patients. Blood tests gives physicians clear picture of one’s health.
- Inability to properly treat a condition which poses danger to one’s situation.
- Medication proper dosing may not be accurate.
- Failure to capture a serious condition which leads to patient getting sicker.
- Rehospitalizaton are more common with these kinds of patients.
- They fail to determine that a certain disease or condition exists.
- Unable to change a diet or lifestyle that prevents them from living a healthier or well-balanced life.
- They end up with severe disability.
- It becomes too late for their health illness to be treated.
- They may get other family member or their love one’s infected especially those that has blood borne infections.
- They become dependent of their family members.
- Depression ensues as they become very ill and debilitated.
How To Encourage Patients For Blood Tests
- Prepare them by giving instructions ahead of time in a calm and mild manner.
- Set realistic expectations to build trust.
- Giving them proper nursing education about a certain test, helps as some of them has false beliefs or has no awareness of certain tests and how a certain test once obtained may help them in the end.
- Draw patients blood carefully and safely because some of them has experienced multiple sticks that makes them phobic of blood draw.
- Sometimes informing them of the consequences of not having their blood drawn gives them ideas of how important it is.
- Build a trusting relationship with patients.
- Make them feel comfortable and safe. Most of them are scared and has poor tolerance for pain.
- Request for family’s assists especially for geriatrics or mentally challenged patients.
- At times, it is better for some patients to hear it from the doctors on why a certain blood draw is being ordered.
- Acknowledge their issues or concerns which are probably legitimate and may need some accommodations like some patients would request for a certain nurse to draw their blood or would rather have a Doppler guided blood draw done.
Nurses Roles And Responsibilities With Blood Tests
When I started with my nursing profession, blood draws were done by Medical Technologies or Phlebotomists. Although there are still hospitals or health care settings who has employed Phlebotomists to draw in-patient blood draw, it is now a common practice for nurses to draw blood. So it is very important to practice and be very skilled with this as blood tests are very important. Make sure to draw blood carefully and skillfully.
Our patients lives, health and well-being relies upon us. Patients becomes at ease and develops trusts when they know that we have the proper know how and ability to care for them. They entrust us with their health and their personal information that are related to their condition because they are comfortable and are aware that we are competent.
Drawing blood is not always easy as patients don’t always have good veins when they enter the hospitals. They sometimes come to the emergency department very sick, dehydrated, has severe blood loss or anatomically is not endowed with good noticeable vein. It becomes a challenge for nurses especially new graduates so it is very important to help them develop the skill in blood draw. It is important to properly mentor new students wherein they should be given enough time to practice and be knowledgeable of certain techniques especially with older populations of patients.
Making nurses more competent with blood draw eliminates a high percentage of patient refusing blood tests as it is one of the most reasons of refusal based on my experience. It is the lack of trust that the nurse will be able to get the stick once why patient dread blood draws. It is the notion that the nurse will be inflicting him/her pain through blood draw that they become so elusive with this test, which becomes difficult for doctors to properly diagnose a patient.
I hope I am able to clarify some misconceptions and was able to assist you in understanding more about blood tests.
For questions/inquiries and comments, please leave them down below. Thank you for reading.