Friday, January 21, 2005

Medical Assistants who Draw Blood

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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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I BELIVE THAT EVEN THOT YOU DON'T DO VENIPUNCTURE ALL THE TIME IT IS INPORTANT FOR ALL MEDICAL ASSISTANTS TO KEEP UP WITH THERE SKILLS. YES IT IS TRUE, ALL FACILITIES HAVE A ON SITE LAB. BUT ON PRIVET PRACTICES THEY DO REQUIRED TO DO VENIPUNCTURE.

Anonymous said...

I graduated two years ago and worked in a gyn office for a year following i drew blood only once and that was due to the phlebotomist having gone home and I was the only one willing to stay and attend to the patient. I have always wondered why we (medical assistants) having been trained to do venipuncture were not given some sort of certification to prove that fact. I enjoy that aspect of my job among others and would like to be given the opportunity to do more.

Anonymous said...

I am in san antonio tx and graduated from a school that provides lifetime placement for us after we graduate, however, we are not sent out for externship unless the skills we were required to master will be utilized. We are all proficient in phlebotomy as well as EKG's and we do not accept jobs unless one of those areas will be used. I think it is case by case and office by office.

BlackGirl said...

I can't say that I remember any of the MA's at my externship drawing blood, but I love doing it! I may try to get a job as a phlebotomist to get my foot in the door.

Anonymous said...

I draw blood about 10-15 times daily with some being very difficult sticks. I know that even if I don't stick for about a 1/2 week I tnd to not be as smooth as continous sticks. Also, I have a RMA and have graduated a year and 1.2 ago. It's sort of funny cause I run the floor alone twice a week with just the doc.

Stephanie said...

From my school I receieved a phlebotomy/venipuncture certificate after completing my MA class. I wanted to be a phlebotomist but i figured it would benefit me more to have both skills so I took both the phleb and MA class but prior to the phleb class i drew a lot of blood on my externship. the dr. i worked for was a bitch who i should have reported to osha... but anyway if we drew the blood in house we'd be able to bill for it that was the only reason she let us do it.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys. I've been an MA for over three years. I graduated college with a B.S. but never went to MA school. I'm also not certified. I drew blood about 10 times a day in the office I worked at, but it was a private clinic. I just got a new job at a clinic affiliated with a hospital and no longer do venipuncture. So, I think it depends on whether the clinic/office is owned privately. Also, drawing was by far my favorite part of the job, so don't fear it. Once you get it down, you'll become a "vampire" and want to do as many as possible. Good Luck!