We all have to get our blood taken every now and then, but have you ever wondered about that person taking your blood? A phlebotomy technician collects blood and other specimens of bodily fluids to help doctors diagnose and treat patients. The job is super important. If you’re wondering about it, take a closer look at a phlebotomist’s daily activities.
Prep your Equipment
Before anything else can happen, you’ll need to make sure that all your tools and equipment are clean, safe, ready, and easily accessible. You want the procedure to go as quickly and smoothly as possible—for both you and your patient. Make sure you have whatever collection tubes, needles, tourniquets, labels and disposal containers you need BEFORE you meet with your patient. Use proper sanitization techniques, protective clothing and gloves, and open the needle packs in front of your patient so they will know that the equipment used is safe and sterile.
Assure the Patient
Once the equipment is all set, prepare your patient for the procedure. You may want to explain what you’ll do or just distract them a bit with casual conversation. This is when a good bedside manner and excellent communication skills come in handy. It is important to remember that some patients can be a bit nervous about getting their blood drawn, some may be afraid of needles, and some might even faint at the sight of blood. It is your job to read your patient and have a sense of how to make them feel more comfortable and at ease.
This is the main event: the collection. Patients will come to get blood drawn for various reasons and your main responsibility is to collect blood samples, using proper procedures. Most often, blood is taken from the inside of the elbow but depending on the doctor’s order and what fluid they need tested, this can vary. As a phlebotomist, you may also need to collect urine, tissue, or other bodily fluids.
Dispose and Ship Samples
Once you collect the samples, you need to handle them with care. Make certain everything is labeled properly with the patient’s name, doctor’s name, type of test, and whatever else your organization requires. Proper labeling is vital to make sure that the samples go to the right place for testing and that the right patient gets the right results. It is also extremely important to properly dispose of used needles and other tools. Keep tools and spaces clean and bacteria-free. It’s required by law! And no one wants a contaminated space or to have to worry about getting sick from the lab.
The next time you need to get a blood draw, watch the phlebotomist closely. Could you do the job? If you’re interested in training to become a phlebotomy technician, contact Career Quest Learning Centers today. We currently offer our phlebotomy program at our Lansing campus and you could train in as little as three weeks. Fill out the form to learn more now.