What Is Phlebotomy?
A phlebotomy is the puncture of veins for the purpose of drawing blood or setting up intravenous infusions for patients in a medical setting. The term phlebotomy can also refer to the training specialty that studies blood drawing techniques for better efficiency, safety, and patient comfort.
Phlebotomist Technicians Are Trained Allied Health Professionals
If you ever need blood work, there is a good chance that the person performing the blood draw will be a phlebotomist. A phlebotomist, also called a phlebotomy technician, is an allied health professional trained to draw blood for clinical or medical testing, transfusions, blood donations, or research. Phlebotomist Technicians Perform An Essential Function Within Healthcare EnvironmentsIf you are interested in becoming a phlebotomist, read about Arizona College’s Medical Assisting with Phlebotomy training.
What Does a Phlebotomist Do?
Phlebotomist job responsibilities can vary depending on their work environment and employer. They provide hands-on, direct patient care when performing blood draws. Phlebotomy technicians also perform administrative duties such as labeling specimens, preparing them for further medical testing, and maintaining patient data. Duties commonly performed by phlebotomists include:
- Performing procedures such as blood draws, finger pricks, or blood culture tests.
- Greeting customers, receiving written orders from physicians, verifying the identity of the patient, and confirming that medical records are correct.
- Assembling tools and equipment necessary for procedures.
- Briefly explaining procedures to patients to create an environment of trust and comfort.
- Disinfecting areas for blood collection and treating collection areas after the procedure is performed.
- Labeling all tubes used for blood collection.
- Inputting patient information into computer systems.
- Assisting in recovery of patients with adverse reactions to the procedure.
Where Do Phlebotomists Work?
Phlebotomists can work in a wide variety of healthcare facilities, including:
- Doctor’s offices – Some doctors contract with laboratory companies to provide phlebotomy services within their office as a convenience for their patients.
- Hospitals/nursing facilities – Phlebotomists who work in hospitals or nursing facilities make rounds throughout their shift, collecting blood samples from admitted patients or residents as requested by treating physicians.
- Free-standing outpatient laboratories – Phlebotomists who work in free-standing outpatient laboratories collect specimens from patients who visit the facility with orders from their physician.
- Blood banks & blood donor centers – Phlebotomists who work at blood banks screen and collect blood specimens from patients who are donating blood.
What Skills Do You Need To Be A Good Phlebotomist?
To effectively perform their duties, phlebotomy technicians must have a variety of skills and qualifications, including:
- Strict protocols must be followed when drawing blood samples. Misidentification or contamination of a specimen can have serious consequences because medical professionals rely on blood test results to diagnose patients and monitor treatment progress.
- There are numerous collection devices and equipment. Additionally, each blood collection has a specific purpose. Organization is important to eliminate the possibility of collection error.
- Phlebotomists need fine motor skills to properly insert a needle into a vein that might be difficult to find and puncture.
- Blood draws are performed on patients of all ages and some may be afraid of needles. The phlebotomist can help reduce patients’ anxiety and keep them calm by explaining what will happen when collecting a sample.
Some phlebotomists chose to take their career one step further by obtaining phlebotomy certification following this training program.
Take The First Step Towards A Phlebotomy Career With Arizona College
Phlebotomists are important members of the healthcare team. If the medical field interests you and you are organized and detail-oriented, then a career in phlebotomy could be a great fit for you!
Arizona College’s Medical Assistant with Phlebotomy program prepares you for a career in this healthcare field. Complete a request for information form and our admissions team will be in touch soon.Get Started