I was wondering if there was a way to find out whether medical assistants across the country are actually performing venipuncture once they graduated from school. It would be interesting to find out how many are drawing blood in-house.
The reason why I ask is because, as far as I know, most medical assistants do not draw venous blood samples. Yes, they do the quick test urines, finger sticks, injections, and throat swabs, but it seems, rarely do medical assistants I know perform the in-office venipuncture blood collections anymore.
It could be that they all work out of offices where there is an inhouse reference lab somewhere on the 1st floor, or a contracted hematology lab nearby, so if there is a need for blood they simply hand the patients the requisition slip and send them downstairs or across the hall to get the sample drawn.
Sometimes there is a phlebotomist who makes his/her daily rounds and takes care of all blood drawing needs. In hospitals, it's the RN or, again, the phlebotomist who obtains the venous blood samples, which leaves medical assistants relieved from this responsibility. To those medical assistant students who were not particularly happy about having to do venipunctures, not having to do them at work may seem like a good thing.
However, not practicing this valuable skill after having been taught so diligently by the clinical lab instructor means that unfortunately, sooner or later the ability to smoothly and properly obtain a venous blood sample will get lost. Yes, here goes the old adage: if you don't use it you will loose it.
So, working medical assistants, take on the challenge and put your heart in what you love. Grasp every chance you can to practice ALL your skills. Practice makes perfect, especially in phlebotomy and venipuncture.
Oh, and don't forget to add a comment, especially about whether or not you have blood drawing responsibilities at your workplace!
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