Monday, December 12, 2011



Phlebotomists are worthy of our continual never ending thanks, respect and admiration. Not only do they perform dozens of venipunctures per day with great exactness, they are also required to juggle many other jobs.

The Phlebotomist work under the direct supervision of a physician, a medical laboratory scientist, or a lead phlebotomy technician in the clinical areas of a small annexed medical office laboratory, or in a hospital, hospital laboratory, freestanding diagnostic lab, or in a blood bank and donation center.

In our lab they perform so many jobs in fact that their official title in our organization is "Patient Service Rep". I wonder how many phlebotomists among us think that this is an appropriate title?

Some phlebotomists travel to given locations to collect blood samples; for example, they may travel from house to house to collect specimens from homebound persons. After the specimen has been collected the phlebotomist labels the collection tubes and gets them ready for transport to the lab. The samples will be analyzed to help diagnose, or monitor illness and deficiencies.
Most blood tests are performed on anticoagulants whole blood, plasma, or serum. Blood specimens must be collected in the proper collection tubes and containers and in the right order of draw. The collection tubes must also be correctly labeled and promptly transported to the laboratory. Needless to say, blood specimens should be refrigerated until placed in the courier box for transport to the laboratory.

Phlebotomists in California are heavily monitored by the state and must be licensed with the California State Medical Board in order to work as part of the allied healthcare professional team.

Phlebotomists in California have several levels of licensing. Those wishing to work in phlebotomy in California must first complete an unpaid 40-hour internship where 50 successful blood draws on patients via venipuncture and 10 finger/heel sticks must be properly performed and logged. All this must be done before entering the phlebotomy career, because California regulation mandates that you cannot work as a phlebotomist without a license. This rule also applies to medical assistants and other allied health professionals with blood drawing responsibilities in the state of California.

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