What do phlebotomists do? Phlebotomists are trained to draw blood for donation or laboratory tests. They collect blood from finger sticks or with a needle from veins or arteries.  A phlebotomist finds a vein suitable for blood extraction from the patient. Once a vein is located and punctured with a needle, the needle remains in place while the phlebotomist collects blood in sample tubes which are vacuum sealed with a rubber stopper.

The tubes may or may not include various reagents or additives depending on the specific test ordered on the blood.  These can include clot activators, a gel for serum separation, a gel for plasma seperation gel plasma separation, or additives for reactions.

A phlebotomist job description includes assembly of equipment such as needles, gauze, vials, alcohol and tourniquets.

Phlebotomist job responsibilities may also include:

  • verifying patient information
  • labeling specimen vials
  • submitting specimens for further processing or testing
  • matching laboratory requisition forms to specimen tubes
  • disposing of contaminated needles in accordance with applicable laws, standards, and policies
  • disposing of blood or other biohazard fluids or tissue, in accordance with applicable laws, standards, or policies
  • entering patient, specimen, insurance, or billing information into computer
  • organizing or clean blood-drawing trays, ensuring that all instruments are sterile and all needles, syringes, or related items are of first-time use
  • documenting the route of specimens from collection to laboratory analysis and diagnosis

 A phlebotomist may work with doctors, nurses and other medical professional team members.  Phlebotomist duties  may also include verifying records, assembling and checking equipment and communicating with patients.

Information on this page summarized from:
(1)Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Phlebotomists,  http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/phlebotomists.htm
(2) Wikipedia contributors, "Phlebotomist," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phlebotomist&oldid=445957184
(3) Wikipedia contributors, "Phlebotomy," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia ,http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phlebotomy&oldid=437546234
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