Perfection, precision and professionalism have become the watchwords in the fast-advancing healthcare industry. The rapid growth and advancement of technology in the health care sector and the huge demand for qualified professionals to extend quality health care services to the needy persons has made the health care sector a lucrative sector to find a career. The unique feature of this healthcare sector is that it is immune to business cycles. Recession, depression, retrenchment, job cuts, no vacancy – these words are alien to this sector.
One of the specialized functions in healthcare industry that can be pursued by service-minded persons having an urge and motivation to make a difference to a patient’s life is taking up phlebotomy.
What is phlebotomy?
Most of us would have visited hospitals at some point of time to have diagnosis for some ailments or disease. One such common disease most of us get affected is fever. When you visit a doctor with an ailment such as fever, it is quite possible that doctor prescribes a series of tests to assess the impact of the disease. The common tests prescribed by the doctor include blood test, urine test etc.
The duties involving the collection of blood from the patient’s body, conducting the analysis and reporting the results of the blood test is what we refer to as Phlebotomy.
The person responsible for extracting samples of blood from a patient, preserving it and sending it for subsequent analysis is called as a Phlebotomist.
It is quite common to find a registered nurse or a certified nursing assistant available in the hospital carrying out the functions of extracting blood from a patient and sending it for further analysis to the lab. But, it is not a simple job as can be perceived. The art of extracting blood requires specialized training and precautions. Even certified nursing assistants or other nurse assistants should have undergone specialized training and obtained proficiency certification in this process to do the blood test. Locating the correct veins or arteries to extract blood, using venipuncture techniques, requires special skill and expertise. The patients requiring blood tests might include a toddler or an infant, and an old man in his late 70s or 80s.
How to become a phlebotomist?
One of the easiest ways to enter into the field of healthcare industry at a relatively quicker period of time is to become a phlebotomist.
One can normally take a period of six months to 1 year to become a trained phlebotomist. The minimum qualification required to become a phlebotomist is that he or she should have completed high school education or at least equivalent to two GCSEs.
One needs to be prepared to undergo online training in phlebotomy, apart from theoretical knowledge about blood and the ways of collecting blood.
Most of the hospitals offer training to aspiring students to take up nursing activities including that of phlebotomy.
Enrolling as a trainee in a hospital, undergoing the training – both theory and practical training- and obtaining professional certificate for having completed the course on phlebotomy – will make you a phlebotomist.