Phlebotomists are trained medical technicians who specialize in drawing blood from patients, usually for medical testing. Since blood tests can provide a wealth of information regarding a patient’s health, phlebotomists play an important role in all types of medical care.
Since phlebotomy requires a relatively short training period in comparison to other medical fields, it’s a great career choice for individuals who want to start working and helping patients quickly. If you’re considering the pros and cons of being a phlebotomist, here are some ways in which phlebotomy is essential in the medical world.
Diagnosis and Prediction
The many elements that make up human blood are essential in diagnosing patients. From blood disorders to viruses, even some types of cancer can be detected through blood tests. These samples are major indicators of a patient’s health, so it’s essential that they are drawn in an efficient and sterile manner. For some patients, a regular blood test can even help detect future health episodes, like strokes and heart attacks.
Having blood drawn can be a harrowing experience for many people, either because they are nervous, they can’t stand the sight of blood or they’re scared of needles. As a result, a phlebotomist’s job is much more than finding a vein and poking it. Phlebotomists are often tasked with helping their patients through the process by making it as painless as possible while helping them stay calm.
Phlebotomy is especially important for patients who may have trouble remembering or communicating their symptoms. This could include elderly patients who suffer from memory loss or dementia, as well as patients with mental and physical disabilities that prevent accurate communication with their doctors. As a result, phlebotomists can find many job opportunities in geriatric medicine and facilities for the disabled, which lets them help those who need it most.
Prenatal and Neonatal Medicine
Blood tests are a big part of how doctors monitor the health of expecting mothers and their babies. During pregnancy, a mother’s blood is keeping her child alive and it needs to be carefully checked for problems like anemia and gestational diabetes. Once a newborn comes into the world, the first fragile hours of their life often involve a blood test or two to make sure they got through their delivery in good health. Bringing a new life into the world is just one of the rewarding processes that phlebotomists get to be a part of.
Sterilization and Patient Safety
Any time a needle is used to puncture the skin there is a risk for infection or contamination that can make a patient very sick. Phlebotomists prevent these tragedies by closely monitoring the sterilization of puncture sites and being careful with clean needles. Thanks to phlebotomists, medical facilities can be made safer for all patients.