Phlebotomy (from the Greek words phlebo-, meaning "pertaining to a blood vessel", and -tomy, meaning "to make an incision") is the process of making an incision in a vein with a needle. The procedure itself is known as a venipuncture. This is an entry-level medical career that is often considered as a step towards more complex healthcare jobs.
A person who performs phlebotomy is called a "phlebotomist", although doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists and others do portions of phlebotomy procedures in many countries. Phlebotomists are people trained to draw blood from a patient for clinical or medical testing, transfusions, donations, or research. Phlebotomists collect blood primarily by performing venipunctures, (or, for collection of minute quantities of blood, fingersticks). Blood may be collected from infants by means of a heel stick. The duties of a phlebotomist may include properly identifying the patient, interpreting the tests requested on the requisition, drawing blood into the correct tubes with the proper additives, accurately explaining the procedure to the patients, preparing patients accordingly, practicing the required forms of asepsis, practicing standard and universal precautions, performing the skin/vein puncture, withdrawing blood into containers or tubes, restoring hemostasis of the puncture site, instructing patients on post-puncture care, ordering tests per the doctor's requisition, affixing tubes with electronically printed labels, and delivering specimens to a laboratory.
How to become a phlebotomist?
Step 1: Prior Education
In order to apply to an approved phlebotomy training program, you have to be at least 18 years old. A minimum high school diploma, especially with Biology, can give you a competitive advantage over other candidates when applying for a phlebotomy course.
Step 2: Phlebotomy Training
The phlebotomy programs are short-term, usually less than a month, and will allow you to learn basic skills you need to apply as a phlebotomist, such as drawing blood itself in a number of ways, using different techniques and equipment; basic legal & lab safety questions will be also covered.
Apart of theoretical training, you will undergo hands-on practice on models.
Step 3: Certification
Once you have completed a phlebotomy training program, you may get a certificate as well. This is usually the key to success in the field. Also, more advanced certifications allow you to broaden the range activities you perform on a daily basis as a phlebotomist, and therefore, increase your salary.
Step 4: Employment
Once you have completed all the above steps, here’s the most important one – getting your dream job. Sometimes, with a rising demand for phlebotomists, the students may be approached by recruiters during the training. But don’t forget to be active yourself! Even during your first acquaintance with the phlebotomy during training, start making friends, talk to staff, go to HR of hospitals and labs, and find out about employment opportunities. Don’t let this most important step be a last-minute affair, as being proactive, not reactive will help you a lot.
For Next Phlebotomy- Training Workshop, Contact Springfield College of Healthcare, Management & Technology.