Getting Blood Drawn
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Getting Blood Drawn
My partner is totally needle photic, needs to have several vials
of blood drawn for routine blood tests. Seeking recommendation for
gentle, empathetic and quick phlebotomist in Oakland or Berkeley
Hoping to help
My advice is to go to tell whatever phlebotomist about the phobia
first. My experience is that phlebotomists are generally very
quick and efficient and with my kids, good at distraction. Most of
the problems we've had have been with nurses or doctors who do so
many other things during the day and sometimes struggle to find
veins or whatever. Real phlebotomists do only this one things over
and over all day, every day, so they are fast and rarely make
Both the lady phlebotomists in the Orinda Quest are excellent. 15
alta orinda rd.
I am a long term donor and also have gotten blood tests for the
past 30+ years. I never ran across a better phlebotomist than
Orinda. I think her name was Laura in Orinda. I always have felt
the needle, but never with her work. Hands down the best. Heavier
set white woman, best needle sticker I have ever encountered. Not
even felt a pinch, somehow she knows how to escape the pinch one
usually feels when the needle enters. I was amazed time and time
Might anyone have a recommendation of an excellent pediatric
phlebotomist in the El Cerrito/Berkeley/Oakland area? All of the
postings on the website are at least four years old. Thanks in
Our son had to have blood drawn twice, when he was two and eight weeks old.
We went to a couple of different labs and spoke with several phlebotomists.
Only one of them was able to find a vein in his hand and get blood. Her
name is May (sp?) and we saw her at Quest Diagnostics in San Pablo. I'm not
sure if she works there full time or if she floats to other locations. You
might want to call first before you go. Good luck!
My pediatrician recommended the Labcorp lab at 2915 Telegraph in Berkeley.
They specialize in pediatric patients, and the waiting area is full of
been there a few times.
It's been four years, but when I had to get my kids' blood drawn for their
1 year lead tests, someone recommended going to Children's Hospital in
Oakland. I was quite pleased -- they were very smooth and professional
compared to those rinky-dink blood labs staffed by what seem to be
teenagers. I remember a bit of hassle and wait with the
registration/insurance paperwork, but otherwise it was a very good
experience -- the kids barely noticed their blood was drawn.
When my son was few months old, he had to have a significant blood draw for
some tests. We were referred to Children's Hospital in Oakland, who did
such a great job, he didn't even cry!
Anyone had good Brown & Toland Lab experiences with having
blood drawn from infant? My son is 9m and needs some routine
tests run. We just had 2 terrible experiences - one where the
tech couldn't find a vein & tried searching while the needle
was inserted (I hate when they do that). My son was
screaming. The next lab let me stand at the check in window
for over 10min while completely ignoring me - this after I had
already spent 15min in another line to just register. Really
Please help! Thanks!
One of the best Bay Area pediatric phlebotomists is Tina at
UCSF, 400 Parnassus, 2nd floor. UCSF is a Brown & Toland
provider, and Tina has incredible intuitive abilities when it
comes to drawing blood from hard to find veins on the first
try. Although she does not have a warm fuzzy personality (in
fact she is all business and not very friendly at all), it is
worth the trip to San Francisco to have your child poked only
once. I tried using Children's Hospital to save a trip to the
City, but ended up walking out after my son was poked twice
with no success. Just make sure you call the General
Pediatrics number at (415) 353-2000 before traveling to the
City to make sure Tina is still there. Good luck with your
I have Healthnet HMO with Hills Physicians Medical Group for my
son. He recently saw a neurologist at Children's Hospital
Oakland who ordered a variety of blood and urine lab tests
inclucing very specialized DNA testing. I was told that I could
not use the lab upstairs at Children's Hospital because with
Hill's he MUST use Quest or Unilab or the neurologist must
submit a special authorization request with a reason to use the
lab at Children's.
Are they equipped to handle this type of testing and for a small
Also, If you have used any of these labs before which one would
you recommend in Oakland or Berkeley?
My son had to have his blood drawn when he was about 1 year
old. I thought it was going to be a big deal, so I waited for a
time when I could have another adult with me (in case I had to
comfort my son, someone else could handle the paperwork, etc.) I
went to the Quest/Unilab on Telegraph just north of Ashby (on
the east side of the street; find the camera store on the
corner, and then head a couple of buildings towards campus). It
was a gray building, with a small driveway to the left leading
to a parking lot in back.
THe technician was fabulous; my son did great; I could have
handled the situation by myself. I remember at the time
thinking ''wow, I should write a letter to the manager about how
great the technician is,'' but alas, never did. Unfortunately, I
don't know her name!
I can only answer part of your question. I believe Unilab was
bought by Quest. I have been to the facility in Berkeley on
Regent Street, which is pretty good (but you'll pay for parking),
the one on Telegraph at 30th Street, which is AWFUL, and the one
in Alameda very near to the Office Max off of Otis. I highly
recommend the one in Alameda. More of a trip, but they have a
nice, big waiting room, which is great if your son's tests
involve any waiting (as in ''drink this and we'll draw your blood
in an hour'' sort of thing).
I don't know if they are as good at doing tests on children as
they are Oakland Children's. As an adult, I couldn't really
complain (beyond the complaint that I was being stuck with
needles); I never experienced any multiple sticks or ''punched
through the vein''.
I would still recommend being well versed in what you are being
tested for and what is required (as in, fasting vs. not, keeping
an eye on the clock if you're supposed to be retested an hour
later, etc. I will say that I was almost given the wrong glucose
test once (at Berkeley) and was once in danger of not being taken
back at the required time marker (at Oakland). But I figure that
can happen anywhere and that one has to manage one's own health care.
I need to take my 4 year-old daughters to have their blood drawn
for a panel of tests. We had a very unpleasant experience at a
lab near East Bay Pediatrics when they were infants. Does
anyone have a recommendations for a lab which handles kids well -
as in quickly and efficiently but also prepared for kids to be
difficult. I'd prefer North Berkeley and north, but all
suggestions are welcome. I couldn't find anything in the
I've always taken my son (29 months) to Children's Hospital. My
doctor recommended that this is where I should go to have the
blood work done. In most cases they are fast and safe, however
I did have one incident where they had to stick him twice
because they thought they'd gotten enough, and didn't. That was
the only visit that bothered me but I reckon, it's not an easy
thing to handle with infants and toddlers. Good Luck to you and
I highly recommend Children's Hospital Oakland. We've had a
lot of experience there and the staff are wonderful.
I took my terrified 5-year-olds for blood testing last summer,
to Quest Diagnostics, on Telegraph Ave., and asked for the
specific technician our pediatrician recommended, and it was
fine, despite my fears. She joked with them, showed them
the ''tube'' she would use and put them at ease. I don't recall
the tech's name right now, but if you call Quest and request the
woman who is good with kids, they'll know and tell you which
office she is in,at what times(they have 2 offices across the
street from each other). You could also call Bayside Medical, on
Telegraph and ask for her name, since they sent us to her. good
Children's Hospital in Oakland has lab techs who are experienced
with children and also like kids! I generally take my kids
there for any labs they need
The best place to have a child's blood drawn is the lab at
Children's Hospital. Some insurance will cover this. It's worth
We went to the unilab on solano ave (ross street Stannage.)
They were quick and efficient. The lab tech was nice and gave
my son a sticker before he took his blood to distract him. We
had no tears and my son is only 20 months. This lab is great
because there is virtually no wait except when they first open.
My 13mnth old daughter has had blood drawn twice at children's
hospital and both times the nurses were quick and made it as
painless as possible. the only drawback is that you have to
sign in downstairs first and the wait can be long depending on
the time of day. between 12-2 seems to be the best time.
There were a lot of positive posts for Children's Hospital but
we had a very negative experience there and will never return.
My daughter had her blood drawn at 16 months old and we had a
very inexperienced technician who drew the blood from my
daughter's hand. Why she would do this is beyond me because,
after the draw, my daughter immediately pulled the band-aid off
and began screaming at all the blood - not to mention that it
got all over her clothes. The rather bored technician made the
comment that 'yes, hands tend to bleed a lot'. By then my
daughter was hysterical and we left without so much as an
apology. In hindsight, I should have demanded that her blood be
drawn from her arm so that I could hide the band-aid under her
shirt sleeve and she wouldn't have the inclination to pull at
it. But, with technicians who supposedly work with kids, you'd
think they would have known that. Also, if you are not already
at Children's for a Dr.'s app't, it is difficult to park and the
wait can take some time before having blood drawn. I've found
the little lab offices off of Telegraph to be quicker, more
professional and much cleaner.
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