What A Phlebotomist Is

A phlebotomist is often considered to as a phlebotomy technician, is an individual who is qualified for drawing blood or venipuncture. The drawing of blood may be either for tests in the laboratory or for blood donations. After the blood samples have been collected, a phlebotomist labels the various collection tubes and moves them to the location where they have to be analyzed. Phlebotomists are engaged by physicians and other professionals in linked health fields which include medical assistants, nurses and clinical laboratory scientists. There are many of them who travel to different locations for the purpose of collecting blood samples.

One of the rapidly expanding industries is health care. Therefore, they are highly in need of certified phlebotomists to help reduce the work load of the doctors and nurses by pointing mainly on collection of blood, mostly in the hospitals and blood banks. Apart from the professional excellence of a phlebotomist, they need to have a good bedside manner. This is because the phlebotomists are frequently the patient's only interaction with the medical laboratory and need to be able to quiet the nervous and anxious patients, and make pleasant small talks while they are to perform the unlikable tasks. While under pressure, the phlebotomists need to work healthy and with precision. Accuracy means, the phlebotomist must take the protection to avoid the spread of infectious disease. Their job is very important for the medical laboratory group. Venipuncture involves drawing venous blood, from the median cubital vein or the anterior forearm. Usually 5-25ml of blood is adequate depending upon what blood tests have been requested.

Phlebotomists primarily collect blood by the process of venipuncture. Heel stick or scalp veins having butterfly needle is also opted for the process of blood collection. Arterial blood is occasionally collected by this procedure. Intramuscular, intravenous or subcutaneous injections of fluids or drugs are not administered by the phlebotomist as it is the doctors or the nurses who are to perform such tasks. Other tasks such as urine collection and also testing are administered by phlebotomists.

During blood donations, along with the various tests performed, a hematocrit is also taken to determine whether a person can donate blood. The two measures of proportion of the blood volume which is occupied by red blood cells are hematocrit (Ht or HCT) and packed cell volume (PCV). The different levels of the hematocrit show the different problems, the donor might be facing. An elevated hematocrit shows that the person is suffering from dengue fever and that there is an increased chance of dengue shock syndrome. Polycythemia Vera is also associated with elevated hematocrit. Lowered hematocrit can imply significant hemorrhage. All these tests come under the field of a phlebotomist.

Students are formally trained as phlebotomists in phlebotomy schools. Here the students are trained in every field concerning a phlebotomist, starting from drawing blood from the patients to performing chemical tests on the samples. In addition to a person receiving a phlebotomy certificate, it is also necessary that the individual should be licensed or registered.


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