A phlebotomist is often called a phlebotomy technician. The phlebotomist is a laboratory technician that draws blood for tests or for transfusions. The phlebotomist will mostly always work together with a clinical laboratory technologist.
In order to be a phlebotomist a person must complete a phlebotomy course in a reputable college, university or vocational school. Formal training and education are required for you to become a phlebotomist. The student will most likely have courses to study such as: Phlebotomy medical terminology; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); Patient interaction principles; Legal aspects of blood collection; Introduction to phlebotomy clinical practices; and Blood collection techniques. When this type of program is completed, the student can then apply for certification as a phlebotomy technician.
The person looking to become a phlebotomist must be eighteen years or older and have a high school diploma or a GED. The person applying to a phlebotomy school must be able to pass a criminal background check. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has guidelines that the student must meet regarding vaccination and program specific health requirements. In order to participate in the clinical portion of the program, the student must have health insurance which includes both injury and accident. Within one year, the student should be evaluated by a doctor or nurse practitioner to ensure student and patient safety. The evaluation should cover the following areas to show the student has the ability to perform the skills needed in the laboratory and the clinical responsibilities that are related to becoming a phlebotomy technician. The student should be able to lift at least fifty pounds and to reach over head; and have the ability to stand or walk for long periods of time. A recommendation for admission is a medical terminology course. Included in most courses is supervised clinical experience in a major hospital, which is required.
When the student completes the necessary courses, he/she is eligible to take the national board exam in order to qualify as a certified phlebotomist. There is a fee associated with this and is paid to the American Society of Clinical Pathologists Board of Registry. It is not a part of the program fee.
There are certain duties required to be done by the phlebotomist. They have to actively interact with the doctors, nurses, clinical staff and patients from the geriatric patient to an infant. They must be able to answer the telephone in a polite, friendly and professional manner. They must be able to receive scheduled patients to take care of specimen collection. A record management system must be maintained, and therefore data entry and bookkeeping skills are required. These are the phlebotomist’s daily chores.
A very proficient phlebotomist should know something about the human anatomy and master technical and communicative skills. The phlebotomist is required to follow all CDC recommendations and OAHS requirements. The average phlebotomist can perform as many as one hundred blood draws, or more, every day. To maintain their credentials, phlebotomists are required to attend continuing education classes and recertification programs.