I'm sorry this happened. I've not been a phlebotomist in a hospital (they didn't have those then) but I have taken scads of blood tubes in labs and clinics (well, and on and on re what happened re some tubes in varied labs). I always always always talked with the patient.
A memorable event was when I was sent to collect blood at the jewish home for the aged in LA and a wizened woman saw me and screamed you can't do this. Nobody can get my veins, and much disconcerting to me talk. I got it, she thanked me. Perhaps a ploy, but tough on a beginner.
I also (this was for that BH lab) had to go to a place in the hills with a princess in bed. Did that too.
I sure talked to both of them.