Phlebotomy involves the process of removing blood from a vein in the body. Also referred to as venipuncture, it is a job that involves precision and a great deal of responsibility. Phlebotomists must have a keen understanding of the human anatomy and the proper way to locate a vein and effectively draw blood in as painless a manner as possible. Blood is drawn in order to gather samples to evaluate a patient’s blood as an indicator of a particular illness or in order to treat certain conditions that require the removal of blood from the body on a regular basis. Blood tests are an effective tool to determine if a medication is properly affecting a patient. They can also be used to pinpoint nutritional deficiencies.
What is Involved in Phlebotomy Training?
Phlebotomy training can vary in length and typically takes one semester to a year. During that time, students will focus on academic work in the classroom first and a practicum in the field in order to gain clinical experience. Training not only focuses on the proper procedures for drawing blood, it also teaches students what to do in the event of an emergency, how to put patients at ease, and how to maintain equipment involved in the collection of blood samples. Courses revolve around the human anatomy, physiology, blood cells, blood sampling techniques, laboratory procedures, and CPR. From that point, students will engage in their clinical experience when they will actually draw blood on numerous occasions to master the technique involved. The more training that students receive, the more skilled that they will be when it is time to enter the field. Students should take advantage of every opportunity to apply their knowledge.
How is Phlebotomy Certification Achieved?
Once students have completed training in an accredited phlebotomy program, they can complete certification. In order to achieve phlebotomy certification it is necessary to pass the national certification exam. Depending on where an individual lives, it may also be necessary to complete up to 200 hours of clinical participation to ensure that the student is truly prepared to enter the field. Many employers may require on the job training as well in order to observe a potential phlebotomist at work.
Where is it Common to Find Phlebotomy Jobs?
Individuals who choose the field of phlebotomy can enjoy the flexibility of moving from location to location as there is a demand for this position throughout the nation. In addition, there is the potential for phlebotomy jobs in many different settings. Private practices, medical clinics, hospitals, community health centers, nursing homes, blood clinics, and laboratories are places that have a need for a phlebotomist on staff.
Outlook for Phlebotomists
Phlebotomists are likely to find positions in any area, although more jobs are typically available in the city. Phlebotomy is a job that involves great skill and patience. Individuals must be prepared to work well under pressure, maintaining a steady pace as a host of samples are drawn throughout the day. It is of utmost importance that the proper procedures are followed in order to ensure patient safety and that all samples are handled properly. A competent phlebotomist will do more than simply draw blood effectively. A patient’s well-being should be the top priority as phlebotomists assist individuals who may be extremely uncomfortable or scared around needs. Calming any fears and making the experience as positive as possible is the mark of an excellent phlebotomist. Those with the greatest skill and considerable training are likely to earn a better salary.