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Untrained Staff: My Phlebotomy Experience at Cohen Children's

For years, I have taken my daughter Talia, who has autism, to Cohen Children's for lab work. There is a very nice lady there, Barbara who is very sweet and helpful. Soon after I arrived, she would ask me if I want a child life specialist to entertain Talia, would apply Talia's Emla cream on her forearm where she has a good vein, a topical prescription anesthetic and was very good with Talia. Unfortunately, this year on June 28th, she was not there. There were two other women.

I came in with Talia, now 17 years old, 5 foot 5 and 121 pounds, hooked up to her service dog Cecil and she was listening to Disney on an ipad. I asked one of the women for a child life specialist. She got busy with other matters and I did not see her for a while so I asked the other woman if she called the child life specialist. She told me that I never requested it. I told her I had Emla cream. Without checking where Talia's vein was she told me to apply the Emla cream myself in four areas. I told her Talia will lick it off and that I checked for a good vein so I just want to apply it to that one area, and she said that was fine. Next, I had to ask her for a glove to apply it, which she gave me. The child life specialist arrived. We went to the phlebotomy room and the other woman warned me that if I can't get Talia to sit, she will not draw her blood because it is unsafe. I assured her that I lift weights and I can hold her. Then she warned me again that she would not draw her blood if she won't sit because it is unsafe. I reassured her again that I will get Talia to sit down. I did get Talia to sit on my lap and while the child life specialist entertained her, we got all the labs drawn as I knew we could.

By the way if you are ever thinking of contacting patient relations at Cohen Children's don't waste your time. I left a message July 1st and I am still waiting to be called back. So much for corporate medicine!