Healthcare is a broad field of many disciplines, including medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health, and public health. Each of these disciplines has its own set of practices and procedures, and practitioners employ various methods to give them an accurate picture of a patient’s health. One example of this is phlebotomy.
Phlebotomy is the process of drawing blood from a patient for laboratory testing. It is an integral part of many medical procedures and is used to diagnose and treat various conditions, so it is always part of the treatment process. A trained phlebotomist collects blood samples from a patient, but the process goes deeper than one might realize because the phlebotomist must also be knowledgeable about the anatomy of the veins, the necessary equipment, and the correct procedure for drawing blood safely and effectively. For this reason, we will discuss why it matters in this article.
How Phlebotomy Works
Phlebotomy is a relatively simple process, but it must be performed correctly to be effective and safe. The first step is to identify the vein used for the procedure. This is done by visually inspecting the area and palpating the veins to locate the best site. Once the vein is identified, the phlebotomist will use a tourniquet to restrict blood flow and make the vein easier to access.
Next, the phlebotomist will use a needle to puncture the vein and draw the blood into a collection tube. The needle must be of the correct size and type to ensure that it does not cause any damage to the vein or the surrounding tissue. After the blood has been collected, the phlebotomist will remove the needle and apply pressure to the puncture site to stop the bleeding.
Finally, the blood sample is labeled and sent to the laboratory for analysis. The analysis results are then used to diagnose and treat various medical conditions.
Who Is Eligible to Become a Phlebotomist?
Phlebotomy is a highly skilled and specialized profession that requires a specific set of qualifications and certifications. Anyone can become a phlebotomist, but they must meet specific criteria. The first requirement is that individuals must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, phlebotomists must thoroughly understand medical terminology, basic anatomy, and safety protocols.
In addition to these basic qualifications, individuals must complete a phlebotomy training program. These programs can be found in various settings, such as technical schools, vocational schools, or community colleges. After completing the program, individuals must pass a certification exam offered through several organizations.
Once certified, phlebotomists must then meet the requirements of their state or jurisdiction. This may include registering with the appropriate governing body and obtaining liability insurance in case of any mistakes or accidents. Many employers may have additional requirements for their phlebotomists, such as a background check, drug testing, or a CPR certification.
Where to Look For Phlebotomy Training Classes
Most phlebotomy training classes are in various settings, such as technical schools, vocational schools, or community colleges. Depending on the institution, these programs are typically offered as a certificate or associate’s degree programs. The length of the program can vary, ranging from a few weeks to a few months.
When researching programs, you must ensure that the program is accredited and meets the requirements of the state or jurisdiction. The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) is the organization that accredits phlebotomy programs, and they have a searchable database of accredited programs.
In addition to traditional schools, there are also online courses available. These courses can be an excellent option for those unable to attend traditional classes due to time or location constraints. However, you must ensure the online program is accredited and meets the requirements of the state or jurisdiction.
If you decide to become a phlebotomist, you are in luck because the career is experiencing faster-than-average growth. The pay is also good, and the job outlook is positive. Even if you start as an entry-level phlebotomist, there are plenty of opportunities to advance. All that matters is having the proper training and credentials to serve your patients well.
If you are looking for medical assistant classes, Northwest Suburban College can help you! We offer comprehensive courses that can get you ready for a career in the medical field. Call us today at 847-290-6425 if you need help with your application!