Phlebotomy Training Tips

What is Phlebotomy ?

Understanding What is Phlebotomy

Most people do not know what is phlebotomy and how it can be a worthwhile career.

This article will give an overview about phlebotomy and its different functions and processes.

It is actually one of the important areas in the medical field.  It involves the collection of blood samples whether for testing or for transfusion.

These procedures are necessary for both diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.  Phlebotomists, nurses, medical technicians, and doctors perform this medical procedure on laboratories, hospitals, and other clinical facilities.


The Importance of Phlebotomy

Blood is extracted from patients for different reasons.  Proper extraction ensures that the samples are collected, labelled, and stored without compromising their quality or without contaminating them.

Phlebotomy procedures are done by professionals with the required credentials, training and experience.  Aside from testing and transfusion, these procedures are also used in treating a condition referred to as polycythemia.

Phlebotomy is used to remove the excess iron stored in the different organs of the body.    By drawing blood, iron-rich blood cells are removed and prevented from causing tissue damage.


Performing Phlebotomy

Phlebotomy is done by using incision procedures like venipuncture or incision through the vein and dermal puncture or incision through the skin.  The phlebotomist first cleans the area where the needle is going to be inserted with antiseptic alcohol or any other cleaning agent.

This ensures that the area is free of any germs and other foreign objects that could get into the body through the incision.  A rubber band will then be wrapped around the arm of the patient to exert pressure on the vein.

Once enough pressure is exerted on the vein, blood can already be extracted using a vacutainer’s needle.  The rubber band is removed from the patient’s arm to release the pressure on the vein.  The vacutainer’s evacuated tube holder can accommodate up to 500mL of blood.


What are the effects of Phlebotomy on the Patient?

It is also the phlebotomist’s responsibility to orient the patient about what is phlebotomy and what he can expect after the procedure.  It is important to let the patient know that he could experience slight dizziness.

He is advised to rest for 24 hours and to drink plenty of water after the procedure. Usually, patients are advised to be accompanied by a friend or family member after the operation.


Risks of Phlebotomy

Phlebotomy is relatively safe since it is done by health professionals, like doctors, nurses, and phlebotomists. The only risks in phlebotomy are the occurrences of bruises, phlebitis, and arterial puncture.

To prevent bruises, the phlebotomist must apply pressure on the incision area with a cotton ball or gauze pad to stop the bleeding from the wound.  Swabbing the area with a cotton ball moistened with alcohol is not always advisable since it could cause skin irritations.

If phlebitis is the problem, the phlebotomist will instruct the patient to apply warm compress every day until the inflammation on the vein is gone.

An arterial puncture wound, however, requires medical attention from a medical professional.  The phlebotomist must apply pressure on the area until the wound stops bleeding or until the doctor has arrived.


Deciding on Becoming a Phlebotomist

With enough information about what is phlebotomy, it would be easy for people to decide if it is something they want to pursue as a long term career.  The importance of phlebotomy in the medical field cannot be denied.

Anyone who wants to take this career path should find out where he can get the proper training and what the requirements are to become a phlebotomist.


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One Response to “What is Phlebotomy ?”

  1. John says:

    Thanks Emily. I have been looking around for an answer regarding “What is Phlebotomy” and you have given probably one of the most simple and easy to understand articles. I would surely recommended you website to my friends who keen on this profession.

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