Hello, my name is Melissa, and I am a specialist phlebotomist and healthcare assistant (HCA) here at London Medical. I have many years of experience in drawing blood from patients of all ages, but I have specialised in babies and young children. I was so excited when the opportunity presented itself for me to join London Medical permanently. We have a wonderful range of patients across many specialty areas here, but I’m glad that I can apply my expertise with babies and young children on a daily basis to help them and their parents.
Drawing blood from a young child or baby is nearly always an emotional experience for the parents as well as the child. I always start by talking calmly to the parents, explaining that it is important we get the blood so that we can help the doctor fully assess their child.
I explain what we will be doing in the process and help them to understand that their child will look to them for support and courage while we are drawing blood. If the parents are strong and confident, it will make their child more confident. I also explain that their baby will likely cry, but we look after them very carefully. We have a great team with much experience who know just what to do, so it is done quickly and calm is restored.
When we have children who are very nervous about having a blood test, we speak to them calmly and reassure them that everything will be alright. Sometimes, if the parents are able to distract their child, we are able to carefully but quickly draw the blood. One patient didn’t even know we had already done it. When we told him that it was all finished, he had such a big smile on his face.
I love working at London Medical and, in particular, helping with the babies and young children. I can really help parents of young children through the process. Any parent is naturally anxious if their child is scared or worried, but by helping them — by being calm and showing them through our actions that we clearly know what we are doing — we can help to reassure parent and child, and successfully complete our part of the patient journey.