Phlebotomy technician is mainly responsible for drawing blood for testing purposes. These technicians are often found working in private clinics, hospitals, blood banks, blood laboratories, and nursing homes.
What does a Phlebotomy technician do ?
Phlebotomy technicians collect and prepare blood samples to be used for laboratory testing. But these days, their responsibilities go beyond more than just drawing blood. They must know the different types of blood testing often requested by physicians, the right time to collect blood samples, the impact of medications taken by patients on the testing process, and the effects of the diet on the samples.
There are instances when phlebotomy technicians may be required to provide other duties, such as conducting bleeding time tests, collecting donor blood, rendering therapeutic phlebotomies, preparing specimens, and point-of-care testing.
Main Responsibilities of phlebotomy technician
Phlebotomy technicians are expected to perform the following duties:
- Draw blood from the patients.
- Prepare the blood samples for testing.
- Ease the patients into the blood drawing process and testing by explaining every step to them.
- Create a calm environment for the patients during the blood drawing process.
- Clean the area where the blood will be drawn, apply the right amount of pressure, and ensure the sanitation and safety of that area before taking the blood sample.
- Use the recommended personal protective gear to keep the patient and themselves safe at all times.
- Store the blood samples following strict standards, depending on how the samples will be used later. This also includes using the right containers for the blood sample storage, marking them accurately, and adding the right stains to the samples, as needed. Phlebotomy technicians should prepare the samples depending on the required tests.
- Monitor the patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory readings, as a part of their responsibilities within a medical team.
- Keep patient records updated, complete with the latest patient information and the results of the blood test. They have to be computer literate since they need to use a computer for record keeping and data entry purposes.
- Maintain the laboratory area, where the patients’ blood samples are collected.
- Monitor equipment inventory.
- Take the blood samples when and where it is needed for testing.
- Provide clerical duties, such as filling out requests for blood samples, reception work, answering phones, and sterilizing equipment used for drawing blood.
- Some positions may require phlebotomy technicians to collect specimens other than blood samples for laboratory testing. They may be required to collect fecal and urine samples and deliver them to the laboratory. There are also instances when they are responsible for testing urine and blood samples, instead of simply drawing and storing them.
Career Opportunities of phlebotomy technician
The field of phlebotomy is rapidly growing, providing those with a phlebotomy degree. Hospitals are the biggest employers of phlebotomy technicians. However, they can also find work in private physician’s offices, clinics, blood banks, research centers, and other areas that provide invasive procedures to their patients. Check also phlebotomy technician educational requirements and training.