Whether you pursue a career as a phlebotomist or need to understand how to draw blood because you hope to become a medical assistant, when you first start out, phlebotomy can be a bit overwhelming. What if you do it wrong, or hurt your patient? Scary thoughts. That’s why it’s so important to develop some confidence with the procedure. Here’s how:
Know your stuff. Learn all about human anatomy and the circulatory system through an accredited phlebotomy technician program. Become familiar with the equipment you’ll use and the steps you’ll need to take each and every time to safely perform the procedure. You’ll need to recognize the different syringes you’ll use and the various gauge of needles, and when and how to use each of them. You’ll also need to strictly adhere to sterilization procedures and safety precautions. When you understand what to wear—like gloves and goggles—and how to properly discard phlebotomy needles, you’ll be less concerned about yourself and more concerned about your patients. When it comes to phlebotomy, knowledge is the power that will boost your confidence.
Understand people. Do you have good people skills? If you’re really good at calming people down when they’re stressed out or scared, you might be a good match to a phlebotomy technician career. If you can read people well, you’ll recognize the signs that they’re nervous about the procedure so you can take time to explain what you’re going to do, answer their questions and offer comfort. When it comes to phlebotomy, you’re the expert! Doesn’t that make you feel confident?
Get plenty of practice. Once you’ve learned how to do a blood draw, the only way to get better is to practice. Over and over and over again. Start on the phlebotomy practice arms in school. The tubes inside the arms will help you determine if you’ve performed the vein stick properly. Get feedback from your instructor and ask for extra time on the arms if you need it. The more you practice, the closer to perfect you’ll get.
Once you’ve mastered phlebotomy on those plastic arms, it’s time to get to work on real people. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to do so in your phlebotomy program, but an externship will give you even more practice. The more you work with real patients, the more comfortable you’ll become with the many situations you could encounter. You’ll perfect your technique, fine tune your people skills and build your confidence.
At Career Quest Learning Centers, our phlebotomy program will teach you the technical and personal skills you need to become a phlebotomist. Does this sound like a career for you? Job prospects for phlebotomists are much better than average, and expected to remain so through 2024. If you’re ready for a rewarding career in healthcare, give us a call in Lansing at 877-481-4930 or Jackson at 877-365-8144 to schedule a school tour now. Your future could be just a phone call away!