Career choice is an important long-term commitment. Even though phlebotomy is often considered an entry point to healthcare, you need to understand what it is, and what your duties as phlebotomist will be. So, let’s get started.
What is Phlebotomy?
Phlebotomy is a process of puncturing the vein (also known as venipuncture) in order to get a blood sample for performing a medical test. Blood letting can also be performed for blood donation purposes.
What are Phlebotomists?
Phlebotomy technicians, or simply phlebotomists, are professionals who draw blood from patients. They take these blood samples to pass to laboratory and further check for health issues, like diseases, bacteria, cholesterol, etc. In the meantime, phlebotomists can work in all kinds of medical facilities, from hospitals to private laboratories.
Description of the Job
Working as a phlebotomist can be a fun and rewarding job. You will meet a lot of new people on a day-to-day basis. As a phlebotomist, you are responsible for drawing blood from patients and delivering this blood to local laboratories for testing. Expect to draw blood from babies, children, young adults and elderly patients on a daily basis.
Depending on where you work, you may see a specific age group more than any other. For instance, working on a hospital maternity floor might mean that you will be drawing blood from newborns regularly as well as their mothers.
Phlebotomist Job Duties
As a phlebotomist, you will be the one who draws blood from patients, collects a variety of other specimen samples as well as label the blood vials that you have filled. You will also be responsible for bringing all blood and specimen samples to the laboratory either in the hospital you are working in, or locally in the area. Below is a quick list of the job duties that you should expect when working as a phlebotomy technician and form the phlebotomist job description in full:
- collect blood samples from patients
- practice proper patient identification, especially when working on hospital floors
- label vials with patient names and dates
- decipher the best method for drawing blood depending on the specific patient
- transport all specimen samples to a nearby laboratory
- centrifuge blood samples, depending on if this is allowed in the state you are working in
- expect to work with a large number of patients varying in age and health status
- be friendly, courteous and sympathetic when it comes to working with patients
- keep your phlebotomy cart or station well-organized at all times
- practice infection control standards at all times when working with patients and equipment
Required Skills for the Average Phlebotomist
Phlebotomy skills and training differ from state to state. In general, you should expect to take a phlebotomy course that lasts only several months as well as a clinical period where you will be working as a student phlebotomist. Most phlebotomy classes will set up the clinical for you and tell you where to report in order to begin training as a phlebotomist.
You should receive a certification of completion after you have finished both the class and the clinical. Phlebotomy classes are normally given as adult non-college courses, which means that you do not have to get a degree or attend college classes to enter this field. Obviously, the educational requirements will differ from one state to another.
When you work as a phlebotomist, you are doing something great for yourself and for the patients you’re working with on a daily basis. It is important to be a real people-person as a phlebotomist because you will be working with a variety of different people regularly.
The field of phlebotomy is also a very fast-paced one, but this can differ depending on where you work. Draw stations tend to be very quick-paced while hospital floors are a little slower. By training as a phlebotomist and entering the field, you will find that this helps you to have a career that is very rewarding and challenging all at the same time.