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.