What does a Phlebotomist do

Phlebotomy Nurse

What is the difference between nurses and phlebotomists?

Phlebotomy nurseIt can be confusing when you see many different medical professionals walking around a hospital or a medical clinic.  Do you know the difference between a phlebotomist and a phlebotomy nurse?  Medical professionals can all look the same, dressed in similar medical gowns, and carrying similar medical equipment. Sometimes, it can be even more confusing when the medical duties of nurses and phlebotomists might seem to overlap one another.  Depending on the nature of the health care provider, sometimes you might find a nurse attending a wide range of patients, for many different types of ailments.  But a phlebotomist is a trained health care professional, so what is the difference between a phlebotomist and a nurse?

Phlebotomists vs Nurses – what is different?

The similarities are apparent when you look at the two types of professions.  Both Phlebotomy nurses and phlebotomists are health care workers who take of patients in a clinic or hospital environment.  But we really need to take a closer look at the specific roles and responsibilities to discover the difference between a phlebotomist and a nurse. The basic process of taking a blood sample is called venipuncture.  This term literally means to make an incision in a vein, such as inserting a needle for the removal of blood.

Difference between a phlebotomist and a nurse

A phlebotomist is trained specially to draw blood from a patient, for a range of purposes to check on their health, to run tests, or even to donate blood.  However, a nurse is more broadly trained to care for patients who are ill or recovering from illness.  Depending on the training and qualifications of any given nurse, they may be required to draw blood in order to care for a patient.  So a nurse is more broadly trained across many aspects of health care, from diagnosis, to health care, to recovery of the patient.  A phlebotomist is more of a specialist health care practitioner, who is trained in a more limited field of expertise.

A phlebotomist assists in the area of diagnostics

A Phlebotomist is often required to draw blood samples from a patient in order to assist with the diagnosis of illness.  However, there is more to the role of phlebotomist than just taking blood.  All blood samples must be carefully and accurately labelled, correctly identified, and drawn in the correct amounts depending on what blood tests are required for the patient.

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A trained phlebotomy nurse can perform a venipuncture, just like a phlebotomist

When required, a trained nurse can also draw blood from patients or assist in administering a drip which also involves a venipuncture procedure.  In an identical procedure that is conducted by a trained phlebotomist, either a nurse or  a phlebotomist may be called upon to prepare a patient for these procedures.

Difference between a nurse and a phlebotomist

The biggest difference between a nurse and a phlebotomist is that nurse training takes much longer, and involves a much broader range of health care duties and medical information.  A phlebotomist is trained in a much narrower and more specialized field of patient health care.

Advantages and Disadvantages between a nurse and a phlebotomist

There are some advantages and disadvantages in the choice between whether to become a phlebotomist or a nurse.  Obviously the training to be a nurse takes much longer.  The most basic nurse training takes around 2 years, but this can increase up to 3 years to complete the formal training course.  On the other hand, phlebotomy training can be completed in less than one year, and you can be working as a trained medical professional and earning an income.  But nurses do earn considerably more money than a phlebotomist, so you have to trade off training time against the higher salary down the track.

Steps between being a phlebotomist and training to be a nurse

Many health care professionals find that entry into the field of health care may not necessarily happen all at once.  Many people find that phlebotomy training is an ideal entry point into medical health care.  Once they become trained as a phlebotomist, they find opportunities to continue their training and expand into more specialty fields.  With the right aptitude and opportunity, many phlebotomists choose to continue their education and training to become a fully qualified nurse.

Training is the difference between a phlebotomist and a nurse

But of course, these are decisions that belong to the individual, and no two people may have the same experience.  If you are not sure whether you want to become a fully trained nurse, then we find that phlebotomy training is an excellent choice for people that like to care for patients.  The difference between a phlebotomist and a nurse is that you can be trained more quickly and be worked in paid employment sooner.   If you find that you like working with patients in the health care system, you can add more training in the future to become a fully trained nurse, and add onto those important phlebotomy skills.

How to become a Phlebotomist

If you are interested in learning more about phlebotomy training courses – find a phlebotomy training school near you by clicking in our right hand menu! Protection Status

What does a Phlebotomist do

What is a phlebotomist – a person who draws blood

A Phlebotomist is a medical health care worker who performs the task of Phlebotomy.  Phlebotomy is a complicated word that simply means the process of a person who draws blood from a patient.  This process is actually called “venipuncture”, and it can be performed by trained Doctors, nurses, and of course, Phlebotomists.

Phlebotomist – a person who draws blood

What does a Phlebotomist doA Phlebotomist is a trained person who draws blood for a wide variety of medical or clinical procedures.   In terms of medical blood testing, a Phlebotomist is required to draw blood samples from a patient to be sent off to pathology for blood testing.  But a Phlebotomist is also a person who draws blood for blood donations and blood transfusions, so there is a range of applications for the Phlebotomist.  Additionally, there is a need for a person who draws blood to work in medical facilities and research centers for the conduct of medical research.

What else does a Phlebotomist do?

Not only is a Phlebotomist a person who draws blood samples, but a Phlebotomist is also responsible for looking after the patient.  Sometimes a patient can be apprehensive about having a blood test, or getting a needle prick.  A Phlebotomist needs to be mindful of the potential fears and apprehensions of patients.  A Phlebotomist must be calm and professional to minimize the stress experienced by a patient.  There are some techniques that a person who draws blood can use to distract a patient, such as using a device such as a Pain Away Pen, so that they do not feel pain during the procedure.

A Phlebotomist is a medical profession

Because a Phlebotomist is a person who deals directly with patients, then this is a very important role to play in the medical system.  A Phlebotomist is required to act as a medical professional and to always maintain high standards when dealing with members of the public.  Additionally, a Phlebotomist must be able to interpret the Doctors prescription for the type and number of blood samples.  The Phlebotomist is the person who draws blood and then accurately labels the blood samples to ensure that all testing samples are delivered to the correct pathology laboratory.  A Phlebotomist must be able to understand the testing requirements of each of the blood samples and be the person who draws blood in the correct amount and the right vials to allow each of the required blood tests to be conducted.

A Phlebotomist is responsible for safetyWhat does a Phlebotomist do - a person who draws blood

As with any procedure involving blood, a person who draws blood must ensure that safety of the patient is always maintained.  This involves care of the blood sample to ensure no cross contamination, and safety of all people involved to ensure no infection occurs.  For example, all needles must be disposed of appropriately, and care taken to ensure that no excessive bleeding or bruising occurs.

A Phlebotomist may require to undergo training and certification

In order to become a registered person who draws blood from a patient, a Phlebotomist may be required to undergo formal training.  In some locations, it can be acceptable to demonstrate a certain amount of experience as a Phlebotomist.  Some States within the USA require that practicing Phlebotomists actually become certified with an accredited organization, such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the American Certification Agency (ACA) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

To qualify as a certified Phlebotomist and become a recognized person who draws blood, then there is a procedure to achieve certification.  Generally, you may be required to demonstrate that you meet a minimum standard of qualifications.  Such as having completed an accredited Phlebotomy training course, or having a number of years of professional practice as a person who draws blood.

For full details of how to become a certified Phlebotomist, simply inquire directly with the certifying agency to receive details of the qualification requirements, or find your nearest college from our directory.
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What does a Phlebotomist do

What does a phlebotomist do? An Ultimate Guide

What does a phlebotomist do – Everything You Need to KnowWhat does a Phlebotomist do

A Phlebotomist is a professional health care worker who is trained to draw blood. Otherwise known as a Phlebotomy technician, this is a person who draws blood from a patient. A Phlebotomist is trained to insert a needle into a vein, for the purposes of blood testing or some other requirement. A Phlebotomist is also required for the process of donating blood, where blood is drawn from donor’s vein and collected for blood transfusion to another patient. Incidentally, a Phlebotomist is also required to perform the blood transfusion into the recipient’s vein!  So when we ask, What does a Phlebotomist do, there is a wide range of different roles and responsibilities!

So a Phlebotomist is an important and professional member of any health care system. A Phlebotomy technician is a prime contributor to the health outcomes of a wide variety of patients. So what does a Phlebotomist do?  For example, once a Phlebotomist has performed the blood sampling routine, the testing for all kinds of diseases can take place. Everything from cholesterol levels, sugar levels, kidney and liver function, as well as inflammation and immune function can be tested from the blood samples provided by a Phlebotomist. It could almost be described that a Phlebotomist fulfills the gap between the medical professions and the pathology lab!

Phlebotomist Job Description – a person who draws blood

The process of drawing blood from a patient is known as a venipuncture. This term literally means to make an incision into a vein with a needle. Of course, the incision is no more than a needle stick, and the needle is hollow so that blood can be drawn directly into a blood collection tube. A trained Phlebotomist may be required to draw blood from a wide range of patients, from healthy babies and infants, from blood donors, from sick people, and from elderly patients. The Phlebotomist is also required to do a range of checks to ensure the correctly identify the patient, interpret the blood test required from the patient, and draw the specified blood samples. The blood samples have to be preserved according to the blood sample requirements, depending on the nature of the blood testing, sampling, or donation.

What does a Phlebotomist do – responsibility for patient care

Not only does a trained Phlebotomist have to look after the blood samples, but they need to care for the patient also! A Phlebotomist is required to explain and prepare the patient for the venipuncture procedure. A Phlebotomy technician is also responsible for maintaining first aid care over the patient, to avoid infection, and to control any excess bleeding. After all, not all patients like having a blood sample, so the Phlebotomist may even have to relax the patient during the procedure. Finally, the Phlebotomist is responsible for ensuring that the blood samples are correctly labelled and delivered to the required blood testing laboratory.


What does a Phlebotomist do – Job Duties

The duties of a trained Phlebotomist can be variable and wide ranging. Obviously, the primary task is to perform the venipuncture procedure on the patient. The important factor in the responsibility of a Phlebotomy technician is to bridge the gap between the requirements of the doctor, and the testing to be conducted at the pathology lab. Here is a list of the responsibilities required to be undertaken by a professional Phlebotomist.

Phlebotomist Duties when a patient arrives for blood tests:

  • The Phlebotomist must correctly identify the patient
  • Correctly identify the blood tests prescribed by the Doctor
  • Prepare the complete range of blood sampling equipment
  • Maintain correct labeling and records keeping
  • Assess the patient in terms of how to minimize stress and anxiety
  • Prepare the site of the venipuncture procedure
  • Maintain patient hygiene and infection control practices
  • Control excess bleeding
  • Work quickly and efficiently to avoid any patient discomfort during the procedure
  • Relax and reassure the patient where necessary
  • Be professional, courteous and sympathetic with patients
  • Maintain accurate record keeping
  • Establish good communications with pathology
  • Deliver the blood samples to the appropriate blood testing laboratory
  • Self manage the pace of drawing blood from a large number of patients each day


Phlebotomy Skills for a Professional Phlebotomist

In many countries, the skills to become a Phlebotomist are learnt on the job. But increasingly, there is an expectation that a professional Phlebotomist should be fully trained before practicing in a patient environment. In general, you may be required to undertake a phlebotomy training course to learn the theory and practice of a professional Phlebotomist. Clinical training should still be undertaken once you reach the clinician level, under the supervision of a fully training Phlebotomist, or Doctor. So what does a Phlebotomist do?  Once Phlebotomy training has been completed, you should expect to receive certification enabling you to work as a Phlebotomist. A fully trained Phlebotomist can work in a wide range of medical facilities such as a hospital, clinic, pathology lab, or even a private medical laboratory.

Are you cut out to work as a Phlebotomist?

When you complete Phlebotomy training, you can expect to draw blood from a large number of patients on a daily basis. What does a Phlebotomist do? – you will get to meet and work with a large number of people throughout the day. It is expected that you will need to reassure people that you are a competent professional at your work. It is important to meet the standards expected of a health care professional and also to meet the expectations of patients. Nevertheless, the role of a Phlebotomist is right at the front line of medical care, and it can be both a challenging and rewarding career to choose.
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