Curious About Phlebotomy? Here’s What You Need to Know.
What to Expect
You won’t have to do anything to prepare for most blood tests. Some require you to fast, or not eat, for 8-12 hours ahead of time. Your doctor should give you instructions before you come in.
To get blood drawn, you’ll sit in a chair or lie down. The person who takes the blood will ask you to make a fist with your hand. Then they’ll tie a band, called a tourniquet, around your upper arm. This makes your veins pop out a little more, which will make it easier to insert the needle in the right place.
If you’re having blood removed as part of a treatment, the amount of time it takes depends on how much blood is needed. Most of the time it takes 2-3 minutes to get enough blood for a test.
When the lab has the amount they need, the nurse or technician will take the needle out of your arm, remove the tourniquet, and bandage the area. They might ask you to gently press down on the gauze spot for a few minutes until the bleeding stops. You might even wear the bandage for a few hours.
Risks and Side Effects
There are few risks. While you may find the process uncomfortable, you should be OK soon afterward.
If you feel dizzy afterward, lie or sit down and put your head between your knees until you stop feeling lightheaded.
Over the next day, you may see redness or bruising where the needle went in. The spot might be a little sore, too. Most side effects go away soon afterward.
History of Phlebotomy
Humans have been bloodletting for thousands of years. It began with the Egyptians and spread to the Greeks and Romans before reaching Asia and Europe.
It was considered controversial because doctors sometimes drew very large amounts of blood. This was the case with George Washington, the first president of the United States. In 1799, after being outside in snowy weather, he became ill and developed a fever. To treat him, his doctors drained about 40% of his blood. He died the next night.
Over time, bloodletting was proved to be an ineffective and, in some cases, dangerous treatment. By the end of the 19th century, it wasn’t as common as it once was.
Today, phlebotomy in Western culture is used for medical testing and to treat only a few specific blood diseases.
Article is shared from WebMD.
Nearly all healthcare organizations now require certification.
Hospitals, laboratories and other employers have an increasing demand for phlebotomists, especially those who are certified. 93% encourage or require certification for phlebotomy technicians (CPT), and 80% report that their technicians are certified.
If you’re on the fence about certification, here’s something to consider: 63% of institutions increase pay when an employee earns a professional certification.
It’s easy to see why certification is so valuable. It helps prove you have the knowledge and skills demanded in this profession. In addition to drawing blood for tests, transfusions, donations, medical procedures, and research, some phlebotomy technicians also perform point of care testing, such as blood glucose levels.
Phlebotomy is a promising career with a median pay of $33,670. As stated previously, certification can improve your chances of being higher on that pay range. If you’re on the job search, or preparing for a career in phlebotomy, it’s important to know what employers are looking for. Some of the top screening criteria include certification, completion of an accredited phlebotomy training, years of experience, and a high school diploma or equivalent.