How to Remember the Order of Draw: A Proven Mnemonic

how to remember the order of drew feature imageLooking for the best order of the draw acronym?

This page will give you a few incredible options.

But there’s also a better way to master phlebotomy.

It will save you time and give you a memory tool you can use for everything else you have to learn, from patient names to new guidelines.

You’ll be able to memorize it all in a flash.


Get your draw tubes ready and let’s dive in.

How to Remember the Order of Draw Quickly (And Forever)

The problem with most mnemonics for the blood draw order is that they’re boring.

That’s right.

There’s nothing interesting, unusual or memorable about them.

I mean, this is what you’ll typically see websites and books suggesting:

  • Boys for blood culture (variable)
  • Love for light blue
  • Ravishing for red
  • Girls for gold
  • Like for light green
  • Deans for dark green 
  • Love for lavender
  • Greek for gray
  • Yogurt for yellow

a bad order of the draw mnemonic creates

What could be more boring than that? Literally, the only interesting part is the idea of gray yogurt. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of chaos.

We can do better and here is how.

The Most Exciting Mnemonic For Order Of The Draw

Instead of vague and generic associations, your mind remembers better when everything is concrete, specific and located in context.

That’s why I suggest you imagine nine spots you’re familiar with, ideally in your home, workplace or wherever you’re studying. The approach you’re about to learn is called the Memory Palace technique.

Divide this location into nine distinct spots. For example, one of my favorite ways to do this is to a cityscape:

memory palace example for how to remember the order of draw

I like this kind of layout for a task like this because skyscrapers look a lot like syringes.

And we now have a spot for all nine pieces of information involved in this learning task.

Instead of telling a story based on uninteresting words that make no sense, we’re going to create a rich and immersive experience.

For example, instead of “boys” (whoever they are) for “blood culture,” we’re going to use a reference that is specific and unique.

Culture Club comes to my mind, so I place one of their album covers on station one of this Memory Palace (the first building):

mnemonic for order of draw blood culture example

Next, instead of “love” for “light blue,” which has zero connection to the color blue, I will use a Smurf.


Because Smurfs are blue by definition. This fact makes a natural link that instantly makes the needed fact about the blood drawing process easy to remember.


To make the image strange and interesting, I will have him blowing a blue syringe from a trumpet.

This is the kind of mental imagery that makes information easy and fun to recall.

Now, if I continue giving you my examples, I will rob you of the ability to learn this skill quickly on your own.

The trick is to think alphabetically and imagistically. Learning the pegword method will help you do this quickly.

Linking: The Ultimate Order of Draw Cheat Sheet

Another strategy you can use is the linking and story method.

In the previous example, I used a subtle version of this by having the light blue Smurf shoot a syringe from a trumpet.

But we could have it shoot something red so that we remember this is the next color in the sequence.

order of draw mnemonic using story and linking method

Using this approach, the story goes that the Culture Club has hired a light blue Smurf who shoots red radishes from his trumpet. These completely cover the third building in your row.

Since gold is the next color, you just need to come up with an interesting association. For example, you could have King Midas getting greedy for some of those radishes to also hit his building made of gold.

memory palace example

Then you just keep the story going, linking each association to the nine spots you’ve identified.

It’s a lot more interesting than trying to memorize a vague set of words tied to the letters “blrgldlgy,” isn’t it?

Master Phlebotomy Quickly

As you’ve seen, it can be fun and easy to remember the order of the draw.

And strategies like this are useful for medical terminology, anatomy and the names of your patients.

The trick is to get set up with these simple techniques so that you can use them for the rest of your life.

If you’d like more help, please register now for my FREE Memory Improvement Kit:

Magnetic Memory Method Free Memory Improvement Course

It will walk you step-by-step through a few more variations on this technique that will take your learning speed to the next level.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering this simple, fun and much more engaging way to learn critically important information.

And thanks for being the kind of top-notch medical professional who cares enough to pursue mastery.

My compliments to you for that!

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Anthony Metivier is the founder of the Magnetic Memory Method, a systematic, 21st century approach to memorizing foreign language vocabulary, names, music, poetry and more in ways that are easy, elegant, effective and fun.

Dr. Metivier holds a Ph.D. in Humanities from York University and has been featured in Forbes, Viva Magazine, Fluent in 3 Months, Daily Stoic, Learning How to Learn and he has delivered one of the most popular TEDx Talks on memory improvement.

His most popular books include, The Victorious Mind and… Read More

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