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Unappetizing blood draws

March 2, 2015
by Kathleen Mears
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One morning at breakfast, my tablemate was wearing cotton and tape on her arm – evidence of a blood draw. She told me the lab tech had to stick her several times to get her blood.

I knew it had to be a different lab tech than usual. When I have my blood drawn, the tech usually arrives around 3:30 a.m. and sometimes has to awaken me.

While meal trays were being passed, the lab tech came into the dining room and went over to a female resident and prepared to draw her blood. In all my years in nursing homes I have never seen a resident have their blood drawn in the dining room during the meal.

It took the tech a while to draw the first female resident's blood. After the blood draw was completed, she then went to another table and began to draw another resident's blood.

That lab tech may have been filling in and was behind schedule. She probably wanted to finish her blood draws without disrupting the residents' breakfast too much. However, I wonder if she realized that some residents get uncomfortable watching blood being drawn, especially when they are eating.

Perhaps the two female residents could have been moved to the lobby (right outside the dining room) to have their blood drawn. They might have enjoyed their meals more without being disrupted.



That situation (the residents having their blood drawn and the ones watching) denied the residents the right to a dignified dining experience. I hope you reported this to the facility's administration so they can prevent this from happening again.

Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...