Phlebotomists typically work in hospitals, laboratories, physician's offices, blood banks, pharmaceutical labs, home health care agencies, research institutions, hospices, public health clinics, prisons, and visit patient's homes.
Nature of their Work
The phlebotomist position demands active interaction with doctors, nurses, clinical staff and of course people from all walks of live; from infants to geriatric, and everything in between. Proper phone etiquette and client service abilities is a must, as well as record management, data entry routines, and bookkeeping skills.
ATTENTION: Please realize that this video (published from YouTube) is NOT HERE TO TEACH you phlebotomy techniques, but merely to show you different scenarios of the phlebotomist's daily routine. The video may contain techniques, or procedures that do not conform to proper and safe venipuncture protocol. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
It is not far fetched to say that a full-time phlebotomist performs on average 100 blood draws, or more per day. To be proficient they must know human anatomy, master technical and communication skills, know laboratory safety rules, and adhere to all CDC recommendations and OSHA requirements.
Collect timed specimens, being aware of the importance of timing in instances such as therapeutic drug levels, etc.; follow established guidelines for laboratory specimens
Initial, date, and record blood speciment tubes collected
Match all laboratory requisition forms and specimen tubes; properly complete laboratory accession record
Follow all laboratory safety rules
Order and process incoming supplies
Maintain phlebotomy area clean and stocked with supplies
Keep blood drawing trays neat, and clean
Perform other duties such as data collecting, filing, charging, aiding technologists, etc.
Report possible hazards to the Laboratory Supervisor
They obtain blood and other specimens as ordered by a licensed health care provider, label the specimen collection tubess with patient's name and DOB, time of collection, collection source, etc., file lab slips, and incidence reports, preserve and refrigerate specimens, distribute specimens to correct racks or location, answer phones, and direct calls to appropriate clinical personnel and lab technicians, retrieve specimens from drop-off bins and couriers, properly dispose of contaminated sharps, and participate in venipuncture training of phlebotomy students and other medical personnel.
By Lon, MT***
Before becoming a Medical Technologist (MT), I worked as a phlebotomist in a large San Francisco Medical Center from 1980 to 1986. Back then we were officially called "lab aids" which turned out to be a poor choice of terms as the AIDS problem surfaced. Nurses generally referred to me as "the lab" or "the lab boy". Patients had the same old names for us then as today (I won't list them as you know them all too well). It was a tough job and we were always chronically understaffed. Don't worry, this is not another phlebotomy horror story (unfortunately us older laboratorians have so many of them).
Except for various safety devices that were added recently, the techniques and equipment of phlebotomy has remained basically unchanged. And although the clinical laboratory has enjoyed major technological advancements in specimen analysis in the last 30 years the human skill and touch of a phlebotomist remains unmatched by any machine or automated device.
Today as it was in the early years, the phlebotomists' most important tools remain their eye-hand coordination and wits to obtain a blood specimen. Such skill and mental toughness enables the phlebotomist to negotiate an infinite combinations of situations including the patient's psychological and or physiological conditions. As most of us know, phlebotomists must also maintain their own positive mental state at all times.