Phlebotomists are responsible for drawing samples of blood and fluids so medical laboratories can help physicians accurately diagnose diseases and medical conditions. These important technicians help providers care for patients in clinics, hospitals, and offices.
While most patients encounter phlebotomists in laboratory situations, the day in the life of a phlebotomist is filled with a variety of activities. While you’ll get to know more about the profession during phlebotomy courses, understanding a typical day can help you decide if the profession is right for you.
Getting the Day Started
Phlebotomy technicians work all shifts. They might arrive in the morning, afternoon, or evening, then spend a full eight hours or a part-time shift at a hospital, clinic, long-term care facilities, or lab. They usually work with other technicians, unless they are in a smaller doctor’s office or non-profit health care center.
Upon arrival, phlebotomy technicians look at their schedule, then they take time to prepare their equipment. Some technicians help in the office, so they might have to call patients to remind them of their appointments. Phlebotomy technicians might spend early hours evaluating their equipment and ordering what they need.
Responsibilities During the Work Day
Phlebotomists are busy throughout the day. Along with taking care of their equipment, they spend the majority of their time with patients. They prepare their patients before they draw fluids from their bodies. Since many patients have fears of needles, phlebotomists often have to learn techniques to relax their patients. They also have to watch their patients during the procedures to ensure they stay alert.
They also have to talk to their patients about the procedures, along with reading orders from physicians and other providers. When they draw the samples, they have to label them properly and prepare them for the lab – either onsite or offsite. Phlebotomists also have to dispose of unnecessary samples, following health care standards.
Before working with patients, phlebotomists also have put on their protective gear. They have to know how to put on, take off, and dispose of gloves, while also following safety procedures for handling samples.
The End of the Work Day
Before they leave at the end of the shift, phlebotomists have to prepare for the next day. They have to clean and sterilize equipment like chairs, tables, and other commonly used items. After working with patients, phlebotomists have to return medical charts to the office and possibly file them, too. They also look at the next day’s schedule to check that they have the necessary vials and single-use equipment. Some phlebotomists call their patients to remind them of their upcoming appointments.
Enjoy a Rewarding Career as a Phlebotomist Technician
If you are looking for a rewarding career with a variety of tasks, consider phlebotomy. You’ll get to work with patients and help them learn about their diseases. You’ll also get to work with other health care providers who want to help patients get better, and you’ll earn a good salary.