What is a phlebotomist? This is a common question raised to any non-medical linked individual who encounters this word. As the word itself implies, a phlebotomist or could be referred to as a phlebotomy technician is a person licensed to perform phlebotomy.
A phlebotomist is a medical professional that is specially trained to draw blood samples from patients, perform basic laboratory examinations, set up samples for laboratory analysis and then enter these lab results into the institution’s computer system. He remains as the only point of contact of the patients inside the laboratory.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Phlebotomist
The main task of a phlebotomist is to withdraw blood from the patient to be used for diagnosis and management of their health conditions.
The phlebotomy technician must be able to perform every step of the procedure with minimal discomfort and pain in the part of the patient.
Vital signs must be monitored and the patient’s status should be stable upon completion of the procedure.
After which, he is expected to handle the blood sample with utmost care, analyze the sample and then input whatever results it will show into the institution’s system.
As a significant member of the health care team, the phlebotomist must be equipped with the appropriate social skills for him to properly deal with all other medical team members such as doctors, nurses, physicians other health specialists and also any type of patients.
Being a phlebotomist is indeed not a joke so you if you are interested to become one, you have to be holistically prepared to overcome all challenges.
Natural profile of a phlebotomist
A phlebotomist is considered as a very skilled person; therefore, he is already an expert. It is always expected from him to be able to carry out and perform all duties and responsibilities smoothly and flawlessly.
Thus, before a person can become a phlebotomist, he should have undergone rigid training. There are a lot of great expectations from a phlebotomy technician and comes first on the list is to ensure that the patient is kept safe and free from harm or any forms of untoward reaction during the whole process of doing phlebotomy.
Day-to-Day steps for a phlebotomist before starting the process of drawing blood
Prior to insertion of the needle and drawing out blood, the phlebotomist must be able to find a very excellent site.
This must be a distal and accessible vein. The duty of the phlebotomy technician prior to beginning the intervention is to cleanse the site with alcoholized cotton ball.
Another important thing that a phlebotomist must never take for granted is to verify the patient’s identity.
Phlebotomy shouldn’t be started unless he has made sure that he is talking to the right person. The best approach to checking patient’s identity is to check the wrist band/name tag. An alternative can also be to let the patient tell you his name.
It is also very crucial for a phlebotomist to be able to explain the procedure to the patient before starting it out. However, you have to know whether or not the patient has talked with his doctor beforehand regarding the procedure being ordered.
If not, you will have to make sure that the doctor should be able to explain how phlebotomy should take place and your discussion with the client should only be for reinforcement or supplemental purposes.
It is also the duty of a phlebotomy technician to observe proper aseptic technique in doing the procedure. Therefore, a phlebotomist must have great knowledge on proper hand washing and dealing or handing the different equipment for the procedure. Sterile objects must be kept sterile and those that are contaminated must be properly disposed.
Now that you know what is a phlebotomist and the roles and tasks that he holds responsible of, are you ready to become one?