What Is a Phlebotomist?
A phlebotomist is a medical technician who is trained to draw blood for laboratory testing. The blood is then used to learn more about the patient and their medical condition or it may be used for research. As well, they also draw blood for blood donations and are trained to do blood transfusions. Phlebotomists are trained to collect blood through either venipuncture, finger pricks, or heel pricks.
Where do Phlebotomists work?
They typically work in places such as clinical laboratories, hospitals, community health centers, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and blood donation centers. About 39% work in hospitals and 31% work in medical laboratories. Traveling as a phlebotomist can be a rewarding and exciting experience, as it allows you to work with a variety of patients in different locations and settings. However, it can also be challenging at times, as you may need to adapt to different work environments and schedules. One of the benefits of traveling as a phlebotomist is the opportunity to work in different parts of the country or even internationally. This can be a great way to see new places and gain new experiences, and it can also be a good way to build your resume and expand your professional network.
How does one become a Phlebotomist?
The process of training to become a phlebotomist takes up to a year or less to complete. Skills needed for the job include having well-tuned motor skills when using a needle, knowing how to handle difficult or emotional patients, and knowing how to be detail-oriented as well as remembering all the safety precautions. To become a phlebotomist, one typically needs to complete a phlebotomy training program and obtain certification. These programs are usually offered at community colleges, vocational schools, or other educational institutions, and they typically last for a few months to a year. Phlebotomy programs typically include coursework in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and blood collection techniques, as well as clinical training in which students practice drawing blood on real patients.
What else is a Phlebotomist responsible for?
Besides drawing blood, phlebotomists are trained to calm a patient who may be anxious about needles. Before drawing blood, a phlebotomist must ensure everything is properly sanitized and after the blood draw, they must track and store the blood properly for delivery to a blood lab or blood bank. They also must ensure that the patient verifies their identity and make sure the label of the blood vial matches their name and information. Phlebotomists must follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of infection, and must be able to sterilize equipment properly. Lastly, they must know how to assist those who have adverse reactions after a blood draw.
Phlebotomists are an important part of the healthcare team, as they play a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of many medical conditions. They must be skilled at working with people and able to put patients at ease, as many patients may be anxious or fearful about having their blood drawn. Phlebotomists must also be detail-oriented and able to follow strict protocols to ensure the accuracy and reliability of blood test results. It is also important for phlebotomists to be able to work well in a team and to be adaptable to changing situations.
Overall, being a phlebotomist is a rewarding career choice for those who are interested in healthcare and want to make a difference in the lives of others. If you are considering a career as a phlebotomist, be sure to research the requirements and training programs in your area, and consider obtaining certification to improve your job prospects and career advancement opportunities.