Allied Health Careers: Phlebotomist
Phlebotomists are professionals who collect blood samples for analysis in a laboratory. The purpose of performing blood test is for diagnostic purposes, medication therapy administration and determining the client’s nourishment. To perform this procedure correctly, phlebotomists impedes the blood flow in the upper arm by the use of a tourniquet. One important consideration with this procedure is to avoid infection which is done by disinfecting the area with an alcohol swab.
The process of locating a vein and inserting needle in it to collect blood is called venipuncture. This procedure may look easy but it actually is harder than it seems. It takes a lot of training and practice to perfect this skill. In addition to venipuncture, phlebotomists are also responsible blood collection during blood sugar testing or blood type determination. However, with this type of blood collection pricking the finger of the client is done.
As mentioned earlier, one of the most important consideration phlebotomists should keep in mind is safety and infection prevention. This means making sure that all equipment used are properly sanitized before use. In addition to that they should observe proper labeling and storage. Safe transport of specimen is one core responsibilities of phlebotomists too.
Inability to perform the said responsibilities can cause terrible consequences to actual patient treatment. Since medical diagnoses are based on blood tests results, inaccurate case handling and management would result from negligence. Blood tests are also performed to monitor the progress of treatment. Faulty sample analysis due to incompetence leads to inaccurate evaluation.
Aside from preventing patient harm, the phlebotomist should observe safety protocols to avoid direct contact with the blood. Diseases such as HIV and hepatitis are transmitted easily by blood. Needle stick injuries are usually caused by slight distraction which can be potentially dangerous to ones health and lead to acquiring these infectious diseases.
Job opportunities in this allied health career have been increasingly expanding. Matter of fact, career opportunities for phlebotomists has exceeded the growth of average occupation. The job outlook is seemingly excellent. Expert predictions were out on how job opportunities will exceed the number of job seekers. The vacancies are expected to hover at about twenty percent range.
Career expansion is linked to medical and laboratory advancements. Although hospitals will still be needing phlebotomists, more vacancies will be noted in laboratories. Compensation of these professionals varies depending on the experience acquired and the level of education. Geographic location and place of employment also affects the rate of salary. The average median annual earnings for phlebotomist ranges from $30,000 to $32,000. This makes phlebotomy an excellent field to break into.
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