What is a Phlebotomy Technician?
For many people, choosing a career that will be personally fulfilling is incredibly important. Of course, you’ll want to choose a career that will provide you with a stable job as well. One path you might want to consider taking is the medical industry. Not all medical professionals need to go to school for years upon years to graduate, nor do they all have to work 16-hour days, six to seven days a week.
You can still pursue a career in the medical industry and have a personal life as well. Consider an exciting career as a phlebotomy technician.
What is a Phlebotomy Technician?
The main responsibility of a phlebotomy technician is to draw blood samples from patients and to prepare those samples for testing. It’s an incredibly important job considering how many patients need to have blood work done in order to properly diagnose certain issues. As a phlebotomy technician, you will be responsible for using needles in order to draw blood, which requires great care and expertise. Besides being able to perform the procedure and properly prepare the sample for testing, you will need to have some personal skills as well. A lot of patients fear needles and may be sensitive to the pain it can cause. Some patients are also afraid of blood. As such, you need to be able to create a friendly and trusting environment to help put them at ease. You will also need to know how to handle a patient who begins to panic as a result of the needle or who faints.
As a phlebotomy tech, you will be able to obtain work at a number of different places, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, community health centers, clinical laboratories, and community health centers, just to name a few examples. According to the Bureau of Labor, there is expected to be a growth of 25 percent in the field for phlebotomy technicians over the next ten years.
What Does a Phlebotomy Technician Do?
On the surface, drawing blood and being friendly may seem like a relatively simple job. However, the following are the tasks that you would be required to do regularly as a phlebotomy technician:
- Explain what you’re going to do to your patients in a clear manner.
- Answer any questions or address any concerns patients may have.
- Properly draw blood without causing injuries.
- Apply pressure or bandages once you have drawn blood.
- Take a patient’s blood pressure as well as take pulse and respiration readings.
- Prepare stains and reagents.
- Update your patients’ records.
- Correctly label the samples that you take.
- Send blood samples as well as urine and fecal samples to the lab.
- Clean and sterilize all of your equipment (every tool must be sanitized before it is used).
Becoming a Phlebotomy Technician
There are phlebotomy technician programs that you can enroll in that will take anywhere from 12 to 18 weeks to complete depending on whether or not you are a full-time student. During this program, you will be required to take courses in anatomy and physiology, laboratory safety, blood sampling procedures, blood and cell composition, venipuncture techniques, and much more. There are different methods for drawing blood and for safety that you will have to learn for different types of patients (such as babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults, and senior citizens as well as those with specific health conditions). Once you graduate, you will need to take and pass the National Certification Exam.
For information about enrolling in our Phlebotomy program, be sure to contact us at Trinity School of Health and Allied Sciences in Gardena, California.