Phlebotomists are professionals employed in various health fields to work for medical offices, clinics, and laboratories. They assist doctors and nurses by focusing exclusively on blood collection. Phlebotomy is practiced most frequently in hospitals and during blood drives.
Phlebotomy is a term that means extracting blood for the purposes of performing tests or for transfusion. A phlebotomist is a skilled technician who is professionally trained to obtain a blood sample by sterile means.
Health care is a rapidly growing field, and the need for certified phlebotomists is growing, as well. The phlebotomy professional collects blood primarily by puncturing a vein or a fingertip - or by heel stick, in the case of infants. Phlebotomists do not administer drugs or fluids intravenously, nor do they give injections. Phlebotomists sometimes perform tasks other than collection of blood, as required, such as setting up blood tests or collection and testing of urine samples. Phlebotomists must also be prepared to help recover a patient who may be experiencing an adverse reaction to medications or trauma.
In the past, phlebotomy was a skill learned on the job, though most phlebotomists go through about four months of training in a career center or trade school today. College training for phlebotomy may take a year, as this training includes an internship in a hospital or clinic setting. Certification in CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) is required for such internships. In addition to CPR training, a college-educated phlebotomist must have studied anatomy, blood collection techniques, safe handling of blood and other bodily fluids, legal aspects of blood collection, patient relationships, and the practices recommended by the Universal and Standard Precautions.
Certification in the field of phlebotomy is conferred following stringent examinations administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the American Medical Technologists, and the American Association of Medical Personnel. Most phlebotomists are certified, however, California is the only state in the U. S. that requires phlebotomy certification.
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Copyright 2006 - All Rights Reserved Michael Bustamante, in association with Media Positive Communications, Inc. for
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