Drawing blood samples and running tests isn’t a career choice for which many possess the stomach. But if you look forward to making a career in the health care profession and prefer being on the front line, then you might want to look into the job of a laboratory phlebotomist. a laboratory phlebotomist conducts a variety of tasks daily for the well being of the patients. From collecting doctors’ prescribed lab test orders to collecting and labeling blood samples a laboratory phlebotomist does it all.
Qualities required for the job of a laboratory phlebotomist
Being a People’s Person
Apart from all the medical training, one of the main qualities required is empathy and compassion. Working as a laboratory phlebotomist, you will most likely be responsible for making patients comfortable before drawing their blood samples. To do so, one must have the capability to feel and show empathy, kindness, and concern. Apart from the patients, you will also be working closely with other members of the health care profession. Hence, working well with others might be is one of the most sought-after qualities within this profession.
Working as a laboratory phlebotomist means that you will be collecting dozens of blood samples daily. Not only will this, but you also be responsible for storing and analyzing them as well. Moreover you will also be in charge of waste disposal used syringes or needles. As a result, a laboratory phlebotomist should always try to stay one step ahead of things. He must maintain an organized sample collection, documentation, and storage system along with clean and up-to-date equipment.
Time management skills
The art of managing time is crucial to anyone working within the medical profession. The job of a laboratory phlebotomist is no different. Conducting time sensitive tests will be a crucial part of your job, Many a times you and will be working both individually as well as with your co-workers. Hence, being prompt, precise, and fast; while monitoring each step of the process and delivering results promptly is of utmost importance.
Having an eye for detail
The nature of this job is such that it requires one to pay attention to every little detail. This may include monitoring a patient while drawing blood, correctly labeling and storing blood, or documenting their findings.
Duties and Responsibilities of a laboratory phlebotomist:
- The ability to greet a nervous or a scared patient with a calm and friendly demeanor. A laboratory phlebotomist should be able to put them at ease before any tests
- Have in-depth knowledge of venipuncture techniques along with the ability to identify appropriate veins in patients.
- He must also have sound knowledge about using the right needle size without any hesitation.
- A laboratory phlebotomist must be aware of different methods of drawing blood. He must also have the knowledge regarding storing them adequately without any hesitation.
- Answer phone calls and patient queries. This also includes informing them about vital information such as fasting before tests etc.
- Adequate Collection and labeling of vials based on the guidelines provided. This includes freezing vials at the prescribed temperature.
- Understand and follow the facility guidelines to ensure the accuracy of results. Hence indirectly helping a doctor in formulating patient treatment plans.
- Work closely with other laboratory phlebotomist and phlebotomist technicians to conduct blood tests on time.
- Having the necessary expertise to effectively separate red blood cells from both plasma as well as platelets
- Send approved blood test results to physicians or other health care professionals. Thus helping them to review and formulate a proper diagnosis.
- Maintain lab equipment and tools. This also involves disinfecting them from time to time and keeping the workspace as clean as possible.
- Keep an up-to-date blood sample database and a record of patient files.
- Adjust, calibrate, and ensure that all the laboratory equipment and instruments are functioning properly.
To become a laboratory phlebotomist, one needs:
- A high school diploma.
- An associate or bachelor’s degree accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
- A Master’s degree is also advisable since it plays a huge role in determining one’s salary.
Additionally, training also plays a vital role within this field. The National Phlebotomy Association requires a laboratory phlebotomist to complete at least 200 hours of training followed by giving an exam. One must score at least 70% on their exam to get licensed.
What about salary and career outlook?
With the growing number of diseases, viruses, illnesses, and ailments, the healthcare sector has also advanced! What was once unthinkable can now be done within a matter of minutes. All you need is a simple blood test. All this has led to a boom in the profession of a laboratory phlebotomist. Currently, one can expect to earn almost $33,698 a year while working as a laboratory phlebotomist. However, this may vary depending on the state, experience, and other relevant factors.