Find out if this interesting career field could be a good fit for you
Have you heard the word “phlebotomy” (pronounced fluh-BAH-toe-mee)? It’s a Greek word that translates as “making an incision in a blood vessel.” Phlebotomists (also called phlebotomy technicians) are healthcare professionals who have the important responsibility of drawing patients’ blood so it can undergo a variety of tests.
These trained professionals have a job with a lot of rewards. Read on to find out more about this important career, and whether it might interest you.
What phlebotomists do
The critical job of a phlebotomist makes it possible to diagnose many illnesses and disorders. To draw blood correctly and safely, these healthcare professionals are trained to follow specific steps and rules. They generally see many patients over the course of a day.
Where phlebotomists work
Phlebotomy technicians work at a variety of locations, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, laboratories, and blood donor centers. Typically they have a work station where all of the necessary medical supplies are laid out, to help make the blood draw process go smoothly and efficiently.
What are the hours like?
Work schedules for phlebotomy technicians depend on the type of facility where you work. Most phlebotomy jobs are full-time positions. If the job is in a 24-hour facility, such as a hospital, this can require working on nights, weekends, or holidays. If the job is in a diagnostic lab, you might only need to work daytime hours.
The process of taking blood
Many phlebotomists will follow a process something like this:
- Prepare your station with supplies for the day, including needles, gauze, syringes, bandages/tape, collection tubes, tourniquets, antiseptic, and a container to dispose of needles.
- Greet your patient and confirm his or her identity, and make sure it matches the labels on the collection tubes.
- Type the patient’s information into the facility’s database.
- Talk with the patient about what to expect.
- Wash your hands and apply gloves.
- Find a vein and sterilize the site.
- Follow the correct procedure for the blood draw, according to the protocol.
- Placing a piece of gauze over the site, apply gentle pressure (or ask the patient to do this). Apply tape or a bandage over the gauze.
- Discard needles and gloves appropriately.
- Put the blood collection tube in the proper place.
The rewards of being a phlebotomist
Many phlebotomists enjoy helping patients. Blood draws follow an orderly, step-by-step procedure that appeals to some types of people. If you like the idea of meeting new patients throughout the day, day in and day out, this work might suit you.
Are you interested in learning more? Read 5 Things to Know About Becoming a Phlebotomist. Then you can search for a training program in your area. The school should be accredited and have a strong reputation in your region. If you begin now, a new career as a phlebotomist could be possible within the next year!
The Harris School of Business provides a Phlebotomy Technician training program at our campus in Danbury, Connecticut. For more information, contact us online.