With jobs in phlebotomy on the rise, it is no wonder that a current Survivor contestant is one. Phlebotomy is a rewarding career with flexible work options and long term job security. With as little as three months of training (or as much as one year, depending on your background) you can sit for the national phlebotomy exam and gain certification to work in a clinic or laboratory anywhere in the world.
Blood analysis can produce information about a person that they did not even know about themselves. From DNA analysis to vitamin content and disease, blood specimens are an essential tool in all areas of modern medicine. Trained blood drawers, or phlebotomists, are equally important to world health.
Phlebotomists are responsible for blood draws through venipunctures, for the correct collection and storage of the specimen, for labeling and delivery to the pathology lab. Phlebotomists also are trained in a range of health safety practices including safe disposal of used needles. Without well trained phlebotomists, the whole line of medical care breaks down. Everyone needs blood analysis at some point in their life, and therefore every medical facility needs phlebotomists.
Drawing blood from a living person is something that will never be replaced by a robot. Human error must therefore be minimized. The act of puncturing someone’s skin and entering their vein is an intimate and invasive procedure. It takes technical skill and emotional support in equal amounts. While the Median cubital vein, found in the forearm is the most common vein used to draw blood, in some patients it may not be the best. The phlebotomist will learn how to draw blood from other main arteries like the Cephalic vein and lastly the Basilic vein.
In anatomy and physiology classes, phlebotomists learn how the body uses superficial veins for cooling off the body and how to tell the difference between a superficial vein and a deep vein. You will also learn what to do if a vein collapses during a blood draw and how to anticipate such reactions. Hazard prevention techniques are as important to learn as how to use up to date equipment supplies. A comprehensive educational training program will cover all of these areas of study.
Phlebotomy training can be obtained through an agency or a college or university. Technicians can get a four year BA in phlebotomy or they can become a Certified Phlebotomist by passing the national certification exam after a short term certificate program. The higher your education, the more money you will earn. Higher education may also prepare you for career advancement in healthcare management and also offer more flexibility in changing specialties at a later date.
Because phlebotomists are in demand, educational agencies are popping up all around the country. In choosing the right program for you, of course consider cost. But also be sure that the program is accredited by one of the three main national certifying agencies: The National Phlebotomy Association, the National Healthcare Association, or the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians.
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