Phlebotomy training is a popular and relatively easy certification to pursue for anyone new to the healthcare technology field, or for the experienced technician looking for cross training. Jobs are on the rise and certification will increase your salary from day one.
Have you ever donated blood? Blood banks are often traveling bands of phlebotomists who are trained and skilled at collecting vials of blood for storage in blood banks. Blood banks are needed for people in hospitals who lose blood during long surgeries, require organ transplants, or need blood transfusions. Blood has to be carefully labeled and stored since not all people have the same blood type. Blood in blood banks is also screened for HIV and any other communicable diseases.
Phlebotomists working with blood banks often enjoy their jobs because so many different kinds of people volunteer to donate blood. They are also trained to use the state of the art equipment that travels with them and they enjoy the change in settings where they are stationed. Whether it is a school cafeteria or a corporate board room, phlebotomists working with blood banks are drawing blood from healthy, willing patients. This is not the case for all phlebotomists.
The act of sticking a needle in to someone’s arm is not always a welcome interaction. Part of a phlebotomist’s job is to help the patient tolerate the experience with as little discomfort as possible. Phlebotomists are trained to watch for signs of fainting since any sudden movements by a patient while a needle is inserted can be dangerous.
After identifying a good vein for the venipuncture, the phlebotomist will apply a tourniquet to help fill the vein in order to get a healthy flow of blood into the collection tube. However, they will also know when to release the tourniquet so as not to force too strong a rush of blood through the vein.
While a standard venipuncture is a skill that can be taught and learned without too much fuss, the trained phlebotomist must also learn how to handle all the possible situations that could go wrong. Puncturing someone’s skin and entering their vein with a needle is an invasive procedure. Safety precautions must be adhered to for the sake of both the patient and the technician.
Ensuring equipment is sterile before and during the procedure is as important as safe disposal of used needles and contaminated bandages and tubes. While the training of phlebotomists is not necessarily complicated, it is extremely detail oriented. Strict adherence to professional protocols is the only way to be sure that the blood specimen remains fresh and uncontaminated for testing purposes. Without proper blood collection, there cannot be correct diagnosis or treatment for the patient.
Some phlebotomists prefer to work in science labs rather than in clinical settings. This diversity in the trade is part of what makes the field of phlebotomy so attractive to so many. Part time work and good benefit packages are other highlights of the profession.