Incompetent Phlebotomist At Wellness Lab Sungai Petani

I woke up at 8.30am on a friggin’ Sunday because the four of us wanted to get our blood tested at Wellness Lab. We read somewhere that they had a promotion going at RM80 for two. Upon arriving at the lab, we were told that the promotion have already ended and would we like to have their buy one free one promotion?

It seemed like a good enough offer so we took it up. We were made to wait for a really long time but that was expected. I experienced that too at BP Lab a year ago.

Since we’ve been in the clinics for almost 8 months now, it’s time to check properly to be sure that we are still healthy dentists to be. (and also worried about other things like cholesterol, diabetes, etc etc).

The reason I am blogging about this today is because a technician/biochemist/phlebotomist attempted to withdraw blood from me FOUR TIMEs at four different sites. You know usually they take blood from the junction between your upper arm and your forearm? Usually technicians/nurses who attempt to take blood samples from me will be unsuccessful when they try from that spot.

So I told the lady to take from the back of my hand because almost all the time, the technician would have no problem getting blood from there.

You know what she told me? “Ahhh..saya tak biasa lah…..nanti sakit.”

………

DOT DOT DOT DOT SWEAT.

Here I am, putting up a brave front, ready to have my blood taken by a scary needle.. and then having an incompetent phlebotomist telling you that she is not all that skilled.

Bottom line, I came out of the room with four plasters and a terrible mood. I kicked up a fuss and declared that I would be taking my business elsewhere.

Came home to draft an email to the Wellness Lab management and the email bounced. LOL.

Well, for being incompetent both in skills AND in PR, I hope they don’t mind having this post on google results when people google “Wellness Lab.”

edited: Haha, within 24 minutes of posting this, the post is already on the first page of google results for “Wellness Lab”.

By complaining to the management, I might make the lady lose out on her rice bowl which is quite cruel. But would it be better for her to leave due to her incompetency than linger on and being allowed to only take blood from skinnier patients and continue to damage patients’ tissues.

Here’s the email:

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Good afternoon.

My name is Jolene Lai and I went to your Sungai Petani branch today, 14 June 2009 at about 9.30am for a routine blood test.

We were expecting that the RM80 for two people promotion was still on but turns out that it has ended and we had to make do with the other promotion which was the buy 1 package free 1 package promo. I decided to go for the RM220 package.

There was a chinese lady at the counter and a malay lady conducting the blood tests. I’m not sure if she was a biochemist/technician..but whatever it was, she was incompetent.

Due to past experiences, I’m quite certain that she would need to draw blood from the back of my hand.

But she wanted to try at the junction between my upper arm and my forearm, which is the usual site where most people get their blood taken from. So fine.. I let her do it.

She inserted the needle in but didn’t go deep enough, and while INSIDE, she was changing directions with the needle and adjusting the depth. She had already pulled the syringe a little bit but no blood came out and i don’t know if it was filled with vacuum or air.

but you know what she did? She pushed everything back in again. How can your staff not be educated about the dangers of air embolism? I know that it takes quite a big volume of air to cause it, but STILL! Not ethical!

And when I told her that she should just try to go for the back of my hand, your way-below-professional-standards staff said, “Saya takut. Tak biasa”.

As it is I was already “takut” to have my blood taken, hearing her say it I felt I was pretty much damned.

Then she decided to switch over to the right hand to see if she could get any results. Again she inserted the needle and changed directions while inside. I can’t imagine the internal lacerations that she might have caused.

As a patient, I shouldn’t have to tell her that there’s air in the syringe.. and that she didn’t insert deep enough..and WHERE she should insert the damn needle.

So as you might guessed, still no blood. She pulled the syringe back, and a little bit guzzled in but it was mostly air that filled the tube. or vacuum. Still no blood gushing in.

Then AGAIN she pushed the syringe back in.. I was really quite scared by then. It was really just empty space! Again, could have been air.

Then she finally agreed to take blood from the back of my right hand. She didn’t insert the needle deep enough because she was way too afraid of hurting me. I could even see the tip of the needle (the beveled surface) poking out of my skin. This is when she inserted and pulled it out a little too much and tried to ‘draw blood then’. A bit more blood gurgled into the tube.. but that was it. hardly enough to fill the cartriges needed for my blood tests.

She wanted me to come back another day but I told her that I’m very busy and have no time. Especially since my exams are drawing near so can she please start with the other hand?

So she did and yeap, you guessed it. Changing of directions while inside, pulling in and out till half of the bevel can be seen and blood oozing out slightly. I’ve had my blood taken a few times before and blood did not come out around the needle while the blood was being taken.

I was really in pain after the second injection and I was almost in tears. I had a total of four injections.

She sent me out and told me that they’ll arrange for someone to come over to my house to take my blood. But I told her that I was way too busy to be sitting at home waiting like that and that I go out of the house at 8am everyday and come back around 8pm. Pissed off, I decided enough was enough and didn’t want to continue with Wellness Lab. I’ll be going to Gribbles or Pathlab up the road.

I was also told that there would not be a doctor to explain my results to me. A year ago, I had my blood tested at BP Lab and there was a doctor who explained my results to me.

I went with three of my other classmates and two of them had their blood taken as well. One of my two friends is quite skinny and so there was no problem drawing blood from her but we all noticed that this technician did not wear gloves on both her hands while taking our blood sample.(or attempted to take our blood sample). Then for my other friend, who is also quite slim and her vein was so obvious you could see it meters away, also had problems with getting her blood taken. The technician did the same mistakes to my friend as she did with me and my friend asked her to stop and told her straight that she was not competent.

I hope you’ll investigate this because you cannot have a staff member who can only draw blood from ONE spot and on ONE type of patient only – the ones with the obvious vein.

With best regards,
Jolene Lai

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Pissed off. Wasted my time and wasted my stomach acids.