Phlebotomists work in a variety of different places including hospitals, laboratories, physician’s offices, blood banks, and many more. Their work requires active interaction with doctors, nurses, clinical staff and patients, family and caregivers. The ages may range from infants to those in the geriatric population, so the phlebotomist must have both proper telephone etiquette as well a client services abilities, record management and bookkeeping skills.
Responsibilities of the Phlebotomist
In short the duties of a phlebotomist is to draw blood from patients for various reasons. However, their duties extend beyond just drawing the blood, and in reality must be good communicators, understand lab safety rules, and adhere to all CDC recommendations and OSHA requirements. Some of the duties a phlebotomist may have to perform on a daily basis include the following:
- Collect timed specimens with a complete understanding of the critical nature of the timing when it relates to therapeutic drug levels and other essential testing processes. They must also be sure to follow all guidelines that are established for laboratory specimens.
- They must also make sure to initial, date and record all blood specimen tubes they collected.
- The phlebotomist must also match all of the laboratory requisition forms and specimen tubes and properly all of the laboratory accession records.
- Must follow all safety rules within the laboratory.
- Is responsible for ordering and processing all supplies coming into the laboratory.
- Must make sure the phlebotomy area is also clean and well stocked with supplies.
- Is responsible for making sure they keep the blood drawing trays neat and clean.
- The phlebotomist may also need to perform other duties such as collecting data, filing, charging, helping the technologists, and any other duties that the laboratory may assign.
- Must notify the Laboratory Supervisor of any possible hazards.
Primary Function of a Phlebotomist
While there are many other areas in which the phlebotomist may perform duties, the primary function is the collection of blood and other specimens that are ordered by licensed health care providers such as doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians’ assistants. In addition they must label the tubes with the patient’s name and date of birth, time they collected the specimen, source of the collection, and any other pertinent information. The job of the phlebotomist is a rather important one, especially since it relates to such critical information as blood samples. Whether the final results are routine or critical makes no difference; patients like to feel the phlebotomist and all other laboratory staff members are carefully handling their blood samples.