Phlebotomist / Lab Technician

Phlebotomist / Lab Technician

Sr. Lab Guy

20 Years Experience

San Bernardino, CA

Male, 52

For 6 years I was a Laboratory Technician in the Air Force Reserves, working all aspects of the laboratory as well as accomplishing "blood draws" (phlebotomy) in every imaginable setting (inpatient and outpatient).  I have also worked in the private sector for hospitals, doctor offices, and clinical lab sites.  This was my primary field for 20 total years (which began with the Air Force training).  I've been in a new career for ten years, though I recall virtually all of my lab science.

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29 Questions


Last Answer on November 02, 2018

Best Rated

2. Blood fills the stopper end of the tube first.

Asked by Samir about 2 years ago

Samir, this sounds like a very slow blood draw when using a multi-sample system (such as the BD Eclipse blood collection system).  Most commonly this is caused by the tip of the needle not sitting well inside the vein.  I'm going to presume that the tourniquet is tight enough (if it isn't, a fellow phlebotomist or a nurse can re-tighten it for you).  You should gently and ever so slowly withdraw the needle a bit to allow better blood flow and if that doesn't work, ever so slowly push the needle in a tiny bit farther.  Both of these methods are best done while, with your free hand, carefully pulling down on the skin (using your thumb) below the site, to help stabilize the vein.  If that doesn't work, you can try redirecting the needle with caution.  The risk here is the same as any "slow draw" incident:  hemolysis and even blood clotting in the tube or needle before the draw is complete.

Hello can u tell me how fasting for Ramadan (no food or liquids for 16 hours) affect my blood work test if at all. And how soon after finishing the fast (i.e. 2 weeks after resuming a regular diet) will it go back to normal. Looking for results for:
•. CBC
· TP
Also is there anything I can do while fasting to maintain health levels let me know as we eat a pre-dawn meal and eat after 8pm-4am

Asked by Umm Habeebah almost 2 years ago

Hi Umm,  Sorry it took so long to answer your question, I had a family emergency near the beginning of the year.  Ok, the short answer:  a physician would be the one to ask this question because the over all answer would likely depend on your situation, activity levels, age, history, etc.  The longer answer I will give is a generalization that could apply to anybody.  Most of the tests you listed (except for "glycemia" - perhaps you meant glycohemoglobin?) would not be affected by a 16 hour fast from food and drink.  In general, though, if you were severely dehydrated it is possible that your CBC could show a falsely elevated hemoglobin, meaning that if you are anemic, it could show that you are normal (as one example).  Your urine could possibly show a higher myoglobin (if I remember correctly), meaning you are dehydrated.  Overall, a 16 hour fast shouldn't affect lab results negatively.  As for questions about your health during and after the fast, you would have to consult with a physician.


Asked by CURIOUS over 1 year ago

Hi Curious, The values you list for creatinine are not what we normally see. The normal range for creatinine is around 0.6 to 1.2, so the numbers you list don't make sense. If your creatinine levels were truly 40 to 60, you'd be in serious trouble with your kidneys. Now, you might be referring to the GFR or Glomerular Filtration Rate. This is a specialized test, and my experience with it is limited to none. I did do a Google search for you, and it looks like a physician would have to interpret your results, if in fact it was a GFR. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

Hello, I have a question about UA results

Asked by Justin about 1 year ago

Hi Justin. Go ahead and ask away. I'll do my best.

Could a toddler under the age of two have methamphetamine hair test results of over 1200 pg/mg from environmental exposure?

Asked by Melonie J about 1 year ago

Hi thanks for your question. My only experience with hair samples was collection. Testing is generally done at specialty labs. But an educated guess would be that any substance found in the hair sample (or any other sample) that clearly doesn't belong there is going to be reported to authorities and viewed with suspicion.

I’m writing a novel and need to learn about how paramedics respond to a teenager in cardiac arrest as a result of hypovolemic shock due to external injuries (i.e., the teen is bleeding out). I’m looking for general sequence of events and specifics.

Asked by Peter about 1 year ago

Hi Peter, thanks for your question. I can state categorically that I have no expertise regarding this question. I highly recommend you speak with a physician and/or paramedic. Best of luck on your novel.

I'm prescribed vyvanse for adhd, can a hair test show if I took more than the prescribed dose in one day? Some days I don't take it at all some days I take more than my prescribed dose.

Asked by Capnltrain over 1 year ago

Hi thanks for your question, Quantitative analysis, or "How much"" of a substance, is usually done on blood samples in a regular laboratory. Forensic labs may be able to quantify other samples but I don't know if that includes hair. You could Google a forensic lab or your local coroners office for more info if you like.