How to Become a Phlebotomist
The sight of a syringe can freak out the faint-hearted, but congratulations because reading on how to become a phlebotomist means you are in the category of the brave and courageous.
Assuming you are not a bloodthirsty person who draws joy from seeing other people wince, it is probably safe to conclude that you want to be a phlebotomy technician because you are aware that it is one of the fastest growing jobs in the market today and the training you gain can be a stepping stone to other medical careers such as nursing and medicine.
You should probably start by acquainting yourself with the particularities of this field you want to pursue. Phlebotomists are in charge of collecting blood samples from the patients, and then sealing and labeling them for laboratory testing and analysis. Take note that it is not as simple as inserting a needle into your patients’ arms and waiting for the blood to fill the syringe, because for the intravenous method, you must be able to pinpoint the correct vein to draw liquid from.
For the fingerstick method, you will just have to pierce a small area of the fingertip in order to collect small amounts of blood. The former procedure is trickier and is also often the most common among two. But don’t worry about accidentally punching too many incorrect holes in your patients’ arms, because with proper training, you will be able to find the correct source in the blink of an eye.
That is the reason why people who are skittish with blood and syringe are not good candidates for a phlebotomist career because you don’t want them fainting over their patients. Based from experience, you will agree that phlebotomists must also be kind and patient, since they will be dealing with all types and ages of people, from crying babies to needle-shy people.
So if you have a short temper, better learn to manage it more effectively, especially that you are wielding a sharp object. You will know more later on how to become a phlebotomist, but one very important reminder you should keep in mind is that patients will appreciate it more if you act humane and considerate.
For the patients’ safety and your own welfare too, you must take precaution when handling the blood samples since you do not want to mix the patients’ results or be contaminated by whatever bodily fluids you are handling.
Although you do not need to be a techie person, a basic knowledge of using computers is needed since you will also handle patients’ data .
Mostly, you will work in a hospital room, a health clinic, physician’s office, or a laboratory. The normal arrangement would be for patients to come over to the phlebotomist but sometimes, there may be a need for you to come to them to draw blood. In some cases, such as blood donation drives, you may find yourself traveling to different locations if you are part of a mobile blood donation team.
You might be wondering where you can find schools and institutions which can equip you with the skills you need. You can actually learn how to become a phlebotomist through a hands-on on the job training, but a formal training is still preferable if you want to move forward in your career.
You can search for vocational school or college in your area which offers a phlebotomy training program. To make sure you get quality education, choose an institution accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. The minimum requirement for most schools is a high school diploma or equivalent.
To make your education formal, you must successfully pass a written phlebotomy certification exam after you are finished with the training program. If you are interested, one future career path for students who are phlebotomy-certified is getting an Associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology.
Now that you have an overview on how to become a phlebotomist , it is up to you whether you want to pursue a higher medical education or work immediately once you are certified, or maybe even do both at the same time.
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