A Sneak Peak into the Word of Phlebotomy
Phlebotomists are responsible for collecting blood samples for testing or donation. They are often categorized as clinical support workers or assistant heath care specialists, although their job titles may vary, depending on location or facility. Phlebotomy, therefore, is pretty straightforward based on the tasks a phlebotomist do. The processes they need to perform, however, is anything but that.
Blood collection is not easy to do. From finding a puncture site to drawing specimen, the entire procedure must be done carefully to avoid problems. Add to these the other challenges phlebotomy technicians face and their work does not exactly have a fixed formula.
Not all patients are created equal. Some have very prominent veins, while others seem like they don’t have any, which is the most difficult to deal with. The same thing is true when a vein collapses due to dehydration and other external factors. So what’s a phlebotomist got to do? Dealing with this challenge is all part of the training, and gaining mastery on blood collection, regardless of the vein condition, is both art and science.
Most phlebotomists don’t have a problem managing adult patients who are anxious. But it’s an entirely different story when babies, children and elderly are involved, because phlebotomy must be done in other ways than straight up venipuncture. If any of these patients also fall on the category of a difficult draw, then phlebotomists clearly have their work cut out for them.
Possibility of Errors
There should be no room for mistakes in phlebotomy, but these aren’t entirely unavoidable. The first day on the first job leaves any phlebotomist vulnerable to errors, minor or otherwise. It can range from misidentification of patients and incorrect storage of specimen. Some of these may be condoned, but not when a mistake leads to contamination and infection that not only jeopardizes a technician’s health, but also that of a patient. Unintentionally spreading HIV, for instance, is an irreparable mistake.
Despite the many challenges, a phlebotomists’ job is essential and rewarding. How else can blood work be done without their assistance and expertise? Done right, without any errors or problems, a phlebotomy technician can start and end his day with a smile.
If you want to be a part of the health care sector, particularly the team supporting clinical staff, phlebotomy could be the right job for you. Work in clinical laboratories, community health centers, doctor’s office, blood donation centers, hospitals and other health care facilities. Get to mingle with patients from all works of life and spend the day doing what you do best as a phlebotomist.