The Medical Needle in Detail
It doesn’t matter where you live; the medical needle is one of the medical industry’s most used and fundamental tools. While your phlebotomy school may teach you how to use one, it’s more unlikely you understand where they came from and their history. The medical needle has a history stretching back thousands of years and was used by some of the greatest and most infamous men out there. You may be wondering how a needle that was used by ancient hunters has now become a safe instrument for today and that can be used on humans.
It’s said that primitive hunters would use syringes like poison darts to draw blood from their prey. They were thought of more like weapons and to poison the prey than needles used for getting under the skin and drawing blood. Little did they know that the overall act of drawing blood, so to speak, would be turned into a practice that phlebotomy schools teach.
Roman Experiments with Needles
Before phlebotomy schools ever existed, the Romans were administering injections to patients who were willing to give it a try. The doctors were hoping for a positive effect, unlike the hunters who were trying to hurt and kill their prey. Although historians don’t know much about the mechanics and ins and outs of Roman injections, they do know that the tool they were using was called a syringe.
PhlebotomyU offers several courses. In our CPT I classes, students will receive hands on experience and practice this procedure in clinical and classroom settings. Contact PhlebotomyU today to learn which course is best for you.
A Modern Take on Medical Needles
There are also more modern experiments with medical needles you should know about. Another person who is known to experiment with primitive syringes is Sir Christopher Wren, the mastermind who designed St. Paul’s cathedral. His experiments entailed injecting dogs with opium as a way to test the effects. He even tried using it on a human but the person passed out at the sight of the needle. People were afraid of needles back then and still to this day many fear needles and having to have blood drawn.
In 1853 came the first use of a modern syringe for medical injections by the Scottish doctor, Alexander Wood. Hypodermic syringes were first used to inject morphine as a painkiller. Unfortunately, some also say that his wife was the first addict to ever die from a drug overdose. When it comes to the history of medical needles, they were initially only used for injections. Needles and syringes were routinely sterilized in sets, usually by simple boiling but in clinics and hospitals autoclaves were used to obtain higher temperatures. Many years passed and then doctors started using them for the purposes of drawing blood. With this transformation then phlebotomy schools began opening up as well. Although needles are known to have come about from poisoned arrows, you can be certain that today’s needles are safe, disposable, and for the most part painless. You may be wondering what medical needles are made of so that they can work correctly. Hypodermic needles are typically made from a stainless-steel tube through a process known as tube drawing. This is where the tube is drawn through progressively smaller dies to make the needle.
The Medical Needle & Phlebotomy
Phlebotomy was first used and dates back to the ancient Egyptians, around 1000 BC. Back then it was best known as bloodletting. Some believed that it could not only help take away and out diseases and plagues or acne but also evil spirits. Today, the Butterfly Needle, which is also known as the winged infusion set, is a standard tool used by almost all phlebotomists. It’s a safe and effective way to puncture a vein and draw venous blood for diagnostic testing.
There’s not much you need to do to prepare for the majority of blood tests today. Some may require you to fast ahead of time but it depends upon what the test is for. While you may feel a pinch or sting when the needle first enters your arm, it shouldn’t hurt. When phlebotomists draw your blood using a needle today, the needle is attached to a small tube that your blood will flow through to get to a test tube or bag. While the process usually takes only a few minutes, you might need to fill multiple test tubes depending upon which tests you’re having. Once the blood is drawn using the needle they’ll take it out of your arm and remove the tourniquet. They’ll then apply some pressure and bandage the area to try and prevent any bruising. While the process may be uncomfortable for you, especially if you dislike needles, there are very few risks that come with it.
Enroll at PhlebotomyU Today
After achieving your CPT1 certificate at PhlebotomyU, you will be ready to find your dream phlebotomy job. As a nationally accredited phlebotomy training program, PhlebotomyU prepares its students with the skills they need to succeed afterwards including career services , a phlebotomy internship, and more. Interested? Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.