What Is Phlebotomy?

If you have ever had to have blood drawn, whether for testing purposes or for transfusion purposes, then chances are that you have come into contact with a phlebotomist. Put simply, phlebotomy refers to the skill of many health and medical workers to perform the process whereby a patient’s blood is drawn. This is also very commonly known as venipuncture.
Whilst a large part of being a phlebotomist lies in safely and effectively drawing the blood by inserting a needle into the patient’s vein, there is much more to the profession. Phlebotomy requires a lot of care in the storage aspect of blood as well; immaculate hygiene standards must be kept and labelling must be very accurate. Blood collection also requires the phlebotomist to ensure that the patient remains calm, still, and does not feel threatened by the procedure; Venipuncture can be quite a frightening prospect for some people and thus a lot of emotional support must be given to the patient in phlebotomy.

Characteristics And Skills Required

As mentioned before, many people can be quite scared at the prospect of having blood drawn from their arm. Therefore, good communication skills and patience are generally associated with phlebotomy. The process also requires phlebotomists to be very accurate reliable in their work, as well as being comfortable in the presence of blood, due to the large amount of time that phlebotomists spend around blood. They must show confidence in their skills and knowledge that they use to perform the required tasks.

Why Phlebotomy?

As with many professions that the medical and health fields encompass, phlebotomists generally choose their profession because they want to help people. They care about others and wish to show this through their work, whilst earning a salary at the same time. Many also choose to become qualified in phlebotomy as it can help them to take larger steps into other medical professions, and thus it is a good starting qualification for many to obtain. Ultimately, if you’re no stranger to blood, have a desire to help others or wish to find a way to enter the medical industry, phlebotomy training may just be the place to start.

Education And Certification Requirements

Generally speaking, there are two different categories of people who can perform venipuncture. Firstly, many people who practice phlebotomy have just received on the job training, such as with nurses who are required to draw blood in their day-to-day activities. However, this does not necessarily mean that they have professional phlebotomy certification through phlebotomy training. To gain certification, you must successfully complete a course on the topic run by one of several agencies, such as the NPA, ASCP and ASPT.

Salary

Unfortunately, the phlebotomy profession does not enjoy a very large renumeration package. This goes to show that many phlebotomists are indeed motivated by helping people in whatever way they can as opposed to being motivated by inflated pay packets. As with any profession, newly qualified phlebotomists will earn much less than those with years of experience under their belts have the potential to earn. However, even those with a lot of experience don’t receive large payment for their services. For more detailed information on this topic, check our page on the phlebotomist salary.

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