I’m a phlebotomist, so I poke people all day, every day. I’ll give you a few tips to make it less painful, and honestly, I’ve poked little kids who didn’t know I actually stuck them. It can be super fast, literally painless, if it’s done well.
1. Straighten your elbow all the way, like lock out your elbow. Don’t bend your arm. This pulls your skin a little tighter and can help keep your vein from “rolling”.
2. Ask them to please let the rubbing alcohol dry all the way. Think about it- if you get a paper cut then use hand sanitizer, it burns like the fire of a thousand suns, right? Well, it’s the same alcohol that they put on your arm to sanitize the area, so if they poke through wet alcohol, it’ll sting a lot more than it needs to.
3. DO NOT JUMP OR JERK!! This will cause whoever is sticking you to potentially miss your vein and have to stick you again, or worse, stick themselves and then you have a whole mess of things to deal with (drawing extra blood for precautionary measures, etc)
Also, just as a note, when you see how many tubes they are going to take especially during your first visit, it is going to look like a LOT. I can tell you that most of those tubes only hold about 3mL of blood, and there’s one tube that holds about 8mL… so it’s not a lot of blood. When you add it all up, it’s probably barely more than a few tablespoons worth. So, don’t stress about it, and remember, the person who will be sticking you is a paid professional. You are not the first person who is afraid that they have ever or will ever encouter. Calmly and politely express your fears, and ask if there’s anything YOU can do to help make their job easier (which in turn makes the process easier for you!!)
Congrats, by the way, and good luck 🙂