What is Phlebotomy and Why is it an Outstanding Career?

Hospitals, clinics, and health care facilities often need to test their patients’ blood. Reasons for blood tests include routine testing as a part of a general physical examination, monitoring patients who have specific medical conditions, and testing in emergency situations such as an emergency surgery. Phlebotomy is the process of removing blood from a patient’s vein so it can be tested. This is sometimes referred to as venesection. In the medical field, the needles used for this purpose are referred to as “sharps.” After a needle is used for a phlebotomy procedure, it must be disposed of in a special waste container. There are three reasons for this. First, it prevents the blood on the needle from contaminating sterile areas. Second, proper disposal ensures medical personnel and patients not come in contact with the blood. Third, it ensures that no one is accidentally stuck by the needle.

From the moment the patient walks in, sterile conditions must be observed. This is necessary for both the health and safety of the patient as well as other patients and medical personnel. The phlebotomist’s hands must be disinfected prior to the procedure, and the site where the procedure is to take place must also be cleaned with an appropriate antiseptic solution. After the procedure, a small bandage is generally applied to inhibit bleeding. If the workplace does not follow this practice, the phlebotomist should request it.

During the entire procedure, the phlebotomist wears special gloves. This is so his or her skin does not come in contact with the blood, as well as to prevent skin punctures from the needle. After the blood is drawn, it is immediately placed in a sterile vial or container. It is then labeled with the appropriate information, and sent to the laboratory for testing. After the blood is sent to the lab, the phlebotomist removes the gloves and disposes of them in another special waste container. In most cases, hospitals and other facilities provide two separate containers. One is for sharps, and the other is for products that have come in contact with bodily fluids. Proper disposal of both types of products is necessary to reduce the risk of spreading infections and diseases. It is much easier than many people realize to contract everything from minor infections to life-threatening medical conditions simply from the improper disposal of used sharps, gloves, and other medical equipment routinely used in phlebotomy procedures.

Now that you know what phlebotomy is, you may also want to know why it is the career for you. You can start by considering job security. During the last few years, people all around the United States have found it harder to get a job, and have also worried about layoffs. Phlebotomy is one career that ranks very high in job security. First, there is a consistent demand for certified phlebotomists in all kinds of medical settings. Second, the need for qualified phlebotomists is expected to continue rising. When you complete your training and become certified, not only will you be likely to get a good job, but also to keep it after you are hired.

Another reason to choose phlebotomy is the salary. Although salaries vary from region to region, and from workplace to workplace, you will have a good salary even at your first job.

Being able to choose the health care setting you want to work in is another benefit. Clinics, hospitals, private physicians, skilled nursing facilities, and working with blood donors are some of the possibilities. Choosing the setting means choosing the kinds of patients and personnel you will work with on an everyday basis. Having these choices will make your new career more enjoyable and satisfying. Your workplace can be ideally matched to your personality and preferences.

It is exciting to learn how you can benefit from this career. However, when you work as a phlebotomist, it will also benefit others. In the workplace, your job will benefit the other personnel. More than just a support role, it is an essential role. Everyone from doctors to laboratory technicians will be counting on you. Equally important, what you do will benefit your patients. Blood tests during routine exams help physicians discover and diagnose conditions, even when there are no visible symptoms. Patients who have medical problems need blood tests on a regular basis in order to monitor their progress. Keeping patients in the best possible state of health, even with conditions as varied as diabetes, leukemia, and AIDS, all depends on regular drawing and testing their blood. These are only some examples of how and why phlebotomists play an essential part in the health care community.

If you are ready to make a change in your life for the better, it is time to embark on a brand new career in phlebotomy. The salary and job security are only two important benefits. When you work as a phlebotomist, you will have the chance to improve many people’s lives. You may even save someone’s life simply by doing your job.

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