What a phlebotomist does if extremely important. If the phlebotomist does something wrong with what they do, it could have a negative impact on any lab results. A phlebotomist draws blood, which is known as venipuncture. When a doctor requests a test to be done on a patient, the phlebotomist is charged with obtaining that blood sample and delivering it untainted to the clinical lab technicians. The patient is taken to or goes on their own to either a location in the lab or a workstation used by the phlebotomist, to get the blood sample drawn from their arm. If the patient is admitted into a hospital, rather than just visiting a private lab or clinic, then the phlebotomist will probably be taking blood samples from that patient several times a day.[pe_estro_slider id="2"]
The phlebotomist is responsible for obtaining blood in the right amounts and place them in the right test tubes for the lab to do their work on them. Taking great care of each sample is paramount for the phlebotomist. Some of these samples will need to be chilled using ice, or inverted, or even agitated. It is also extremely important for the phlebotomist to make certain that they are drawing blood from the right patient, and to identify the test tubes of that patient without any errors. Doing this will make sure that the labs won’t make any mistakes or get the wrong information back to the doctor who requested the bloodwork.
Another thing a phlebotomist does is to collect blood from donors for use in the blood bank. Usually this is done in emergency situations or when the available units of blood is down too low. There are times, too, when a phlebotomist needs to take blood from a patient who suffers from hemochromatosis,where they are putting out too much red blood cells in their body.
Phlebotomists interact with everyone, young and old alike, whether they come in healthy or are near death. Phlebotomists who work in hospitals can plan on being asked to gather blood from patients in their workstation, in the patient’s room, in the ER, in the X-Ray division, as well as at clinics that they will need to visit. At times they might be called upon to go to a person’s home or to a skilled nursing facility to get blood samples.
The duties of a phlebotomist will take in basic clerical responsibilities also, from answering phones to making appointments for the lab, where their work station is usually at. Because of their job descriptions and duties, phlebotomists place themselves in risky environments and situations. Some of the patients they encounter could have blood-based diseases, as well as infections. During a phlebotomist’s training and CE they are taught safety measures to take for these threats, including using gloves, masks, caps and gowns. They are also taught the right way to get rid of any tainted material.
Being a phlebotomist isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can be around blood, children who are injured or sick, other people who are ill, or the chaos of the emergency room. Not everyone can successfully take blood from an uncooperative patient. Becoming a phlebotomist generally means having a high school diploma or GED, as well as having been trained at a creditable school or at a healthcare facility. They have to learn anatomy, CPR and first aid, and physiology. Many states and some other countries expect phlebotomists to also become certified after they graduate from training. They must become internists, which can happen while they are attending class, or shortly after completing the course, and it is during their internship that they learn firsthand what it means to actually be a phlebotomist.
Even though being a phlebotomist doesn’t take much out of a person physically, it does mean standing on your feet for a long time, and bending a lot as you perform your duties. It might mean walking great distances up and down each floor of the hospital complex throughout the day every day. The upside are the benefits for being a hospital or lab employee. Also, phlebotomists generally tend to stick to a five day work week, of eight hours a day, with time to enjoy the weekend. Having the skill to get people to relax and place their trust in you is a primary trait to have if you want to be a phlebotomist with a career.
Getting blood drawn is never a pleasant experience for anyone, plain and simple. However, being able to help an older patient relax, or a young child to keep from losing their control, will lead to a promising and successful career in phlebotomy. Having the ability to tell people what your duties are, and to reassure them that they won’t be hurting much will make being a phlebotomist much more smooth, and will make the patient’s experience that much less stressful. Attitude is 100% of the phlebotomist’s job.