If you want to have a successful career in phlebotomy, you must be acutely updating your phlebotomy skills. A responsible phlebotomist constantly updates himself with the latest in their medical field. Not only that, they will be able to constantly draw blood in order to master their trade. But other than the basics taught at school, what are some of the basic skills that a good phlebotomist must have?
A good phlebotomist must be able to perform the right technique to prevent unnecessary errors, especially false laboratory results or findings. Proper technique will also prevent injuries on the part of the clients. Injuries such as hematomas, anticoagulant reflux and nerve injury have to be prevented at all cost. Finally, having the proper phlebotomy techniques will prevent samples from being compromised.
Other equally important skills to master in phlebotomy include properly identifying clients by asking the clients for identification or reading the names on their wristbands. Good phlebotomists must also know how to be courteous to their clients and be able to explain the procedure well to ease the client’s emotions regarding the procedure. Good phlebotomists must know how to properly identify samples and label collection tubes. They must also use the correct blood collection tubes and devices as ordered by the physician. Handling of collection tubes are very important and depend on the kind of blood you are drawing.
In the drawing of blood, a skilled phlebotomist must be able to properly access the blood vessel without compromising the client’s safety. You must be able to follow the correct order of drawing blood and be able to maintain the blood sample’s integrity while performing the procedure of extraction. Then, you must be able to fill the collection tubes sufficiently and process it correctly. After which, the phlebotomist must be able to properly document all the data regarding the sample and store or transport the collection tubes while maintaining the quality of the specimen.
Along with the basic skills in venipuncture, fingerstick and capillary puncture, a phlebotomist must be keenly aware of the client’s general health, gender, culture, allergies and medications taken. Prior to getting a blood sample, the client must be prepared and be instructed properly. The diurnal and circadian variations, the client’s position, physiologic variables, general health and medications taken, and the tourniquet placement must be taken note of during the blood extraction procedure. Furthermore, if the primary site for venipuncture does not become viable, you must know another site where to puncture best. And finally, good phlebotomists know the safety regulations and infection control procedures and techniques to avoid injuring others and themselves.
In dealing with clients, every phlebotomist knows that each person is unique, and that every procedure for each client is different. Once the phlebotomist understands each of these challenges, they will be able to avoid mistakes from occurring. An example of a possible problem is during the blood collection from the arterial vessel for ABG (arterial blood gas) tests with a VAD (vascular access device) in place. Or perhaps when the presence of and indwelling IV (intravenous) line blocks the possible access site for collecting blood. With all the possibilities of different challenges ahead, studying phlebotomy greatly eases the pressures of searching for solutions. A skill is learned and when the phlebotomy skills are mastered, lesser mistakes occur.