Phlebotomy derives its names from the Greek words phlebo which means veins and tomy which means the process of cutting or puncturing. Hence as the etymology suggests it is the process of drawing blood from ones veins through making incisions. Its origins date back to the ancient times when it was more commonly referred to as bloodletting. This process involved releasing blood from the veins to decrease the blood pressure. Today phlebotomy has developed into a bigger and technically more advanced science. It consists of drawing blood from veins, storing it for running tests and testing the blood for various diseases and infections. A certified phlebotomist makes around 30,000$ annually which is a very good amount of money considering the hours put in and the workload. Many hospitals and healthcare institutes opt to hire phlebotomists for taking care of the blood samples rather than their own nurses in order to avoid legal problems. Hence being a phlebotomist is very profitable both financially and scientifically. In order to become a certified phlebotomist one has to undergo training at accredited training schools, complete their courses and training and has to clear a certification examination by any one of the standard institutions. The courses involved in phlebotomy may relate to different areas like anatomy, physiology etc. It is important to know the essential courses required for the job. Let us take a look at some of the courses which are taught at most of the phlebotomy schools:
In the initial stages the courses involve introduction to phlebotomy which contains the basics. Then the students are taught about basic anatomy of the human body. The structure of the human body and the effects of drawing blood on different parts of the body are explored in this topic. The next aspect involves learning about infectious diseases, proper hygiene to be maintained and precautions that are to be taken. Apart from this some other knowledge pertaining to the specific needs of the patients and how the process varies from patient to patient is also given to the students.
The Practical Aspect:
Once the theoretical part of the course is completed the students are made to practice their knowledge. First they are introduced to the equipment going to be used in the labs and on the job like the different kinds of needles etc. Then comes the part where they are taught how to prepare the patient for the process. The instructor gives them a practical demonstration of how to behave with patients and how to prepare the needles and other equipment and the proper angles and methods to insert the needles for drawing blood from the veins. The students are also taught how to deal with patients who have special medical conditions or if they develop any allergic reaction to the medication. This constitutes the major part of the practical training. Mostly the students are made to practice on cadavers initially so that they don’t make any mistakes when they perform the procedure on actual patients.
Storing the Specimen:
In the last stage of their training the students are taken to the lab and they are thoroughly instructed as to the procedures to be followed while storing the specimens. Next they are taught how to test the samples for various kinds of diseases and infections. This is an important part of a phlebotomist training since the lab samples need to be handled with care.
With this, the student completes his training phase of phlebotomy. All these procedures are done under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. After this the students need to take an exam which if they succeed in clearing makes them eligible for receiving an authentic phlebotomy certificate. After getting the certificate they can apply for a job at any hospital or any health care centre.