Blood and veins are at the center of most medical procedures. They carry information about health and disease; they are the body’s most trusted barometer for data analysis.
In 2006, Showtime began the highly acclaimed cable series, Dexter. Dexter features a blood splatter expert who investigates suspicious deaths as for with the police department. Between shows like Dexter and the recent upsurge in vampire movies, blood has never experienced such a heyday. Phlebotomy, too, is experiencing a surge. The need for professional, certified phlebotomists is in high demand and with it so are training programs.
Whether you picture yourself working in crime investigation or a pediatric clinic, phlebotomy could be the ticket to your dream job. Even animal clinics and laboratories hire phlebotomy experts to assist in extracting blood from veins. A comprehensive phlebotomy training program will prepare you for all areas of work so that once you pass that certification exam, you are good to go.
All you need to enter a program is a high school diploma or its equivalent. On the other hand, if you already have some healthcare training, cross training is easily integrated into many programs. Ultimately, all you really need is to pass the certification exam and even that is not a legal requirement in most states. However, because there are more and more certified phlebotomists applying for jobs, you need the certificate just to be competitive.
The healthcare market is growing. The population is both increasing and individuals are living longer. This cycle clearly leads to healthcare professionals as being a secure entity within the field of medicine. Phlebotomy technicians draw blood, collect it in special, color-coded tubes and label the specimen according to standardized protocol. Teaching programs ensure that students learn what the tube colors represent and how they are used.
Phlebotomists work as part of the medical team that is charged with double-checking each others’ orders so as to minimize human error. Rather than blindly following a doctor’s orders, phlebotomists should understand and be able to confirm that the analysis being requested matches the order made.
Patients consult doctors for all different reasons. Genetic testing is necessary before organ transplants; diabetics have to check their glucose levels; newborn babies may have special needs; oncology patients are poked with more needles than even HIV patients. Every time a patient is presented for a blood draw, the certified phlebotomist has to assess their individual needs and make educated decisions about which vein to venipuncture to successfully collect the specimen. Often, there are different blood tests ordered at one time and that too will be the phlebotomist’s responsibility. They will have to know which tubes to use in which order; what the right sized needle to use is, and how to change the tubes without having to re-puncture.
The value that comes with job satisfaction begins and ends with quality patient care. A well trained, certified phlebotomist can feel confident that they have the training and skill to obtain that value every day.