Did you know that the history of phlebotomy dates back to as early as ancient Egypt? The original practice of bloodletting may date back even further.
As our knowledge of medicine increased, the role of phlebotomy changed. Now phlebotomy is integral to medicine in a different way.
Curious about phlebotomy, and what a career as a phlebotomist looks like? Here’s what you should know.
What Is Phlebotomy
Modern-day phlebotomy has evolved from its original responsibility of bloodletting to other responsibilities.
A modern-day phlebotomist’s responsibilities may include:
- Drawing blood
- Adhering to strict hygiene and safety protocols
- Updating and maintaining patient records
- Sterilizing and preparing equipment
- Sending blood samples to a lab for testing
The exact responsibilities required of a phlebotomist vary depending on the location.
The term phlebotomist is also interchangeable with phlebotomy technician. They may also be referred to as venipunctures.
Why Phlebotomy Is Integral to Medicine
A phlebotomist may work in a number of different medical practices. They could work in a diagnostic lab, a doctor’s office, or a blood donation center. Since drawing blood is a necessity in many healthcare settings, phlebotomists play a key role at many healthcare facilities.
Odds are, there are many locations near you that employ phlebotomists. If you’re looking to change careers and want to become a phlebotomist, look into a program with job placement to help you get your medical career started.
A phlebotomist often acts as the front face of a laboratory. A phlebotomist may also answer any questions a patient has. In a way, this is a form of patient advocacy, since it will benefit the patient and help them navigate the healthcare system.
Comforting a patient is extremely important, especially since trypanophobia (fear of needles) is extremely prevalent. An individual with this phobia may experience anxiety around medical procedures and may even avoid seeking treatment for serious conditions.
Their primary job duty, drawing and collecting blood, is important for a number of reasons. Blood tests are frequently used when diagnosing patients, but are only accurate if the blood sample has not been contaminated.
A blood test can be used to determine:
- If a patient’s medicine is working
- A diagnosis for a clotting or bleeding disorder
- If a patient’s immune system is working correctly
- Detect health problems before they worsen
- Monitor chronic health conditions
A phlebotomist may also collect blood for donation purposes. This blood can then be used for transfusions, replacing blood lost due to an injury or surgery.
Regardless of where a phlebotomist works, they play a key role in the healthcare field and patient safety. They have direct contact with patients, and their work keeps patients’ healthy.
How to Become a Phlebotomist
If a career in phlebotomy sounds appealing, consider a medical career as a phlebotomy technician.
In as little as 6 weeks, you can get certified as a phlebotomy tech. This is an in-demand career with a median annual salary of $47,000, with the potential to further advance into other medical careers.
Ready to get started? Learn more about our phlebotomy technician program here.