In technical terms, phlebotomy (or venipuncture) is the surgical puncture of a vein with a needle in order to collect a blood sample. In simple terms, it’s the act of drawing blood. The blood samples typically are studied by a physician to determine whether a patient is healthy…or sick. Collected blood also can be given to a patient in need of a transfusion.
Because collected blood must undergo laboratory testing, or is intended for transfusions, the phlebotomist must take special care to ensure it is handled properly so it’s not contaminated in any way. As more and more patients seek medical care, the role of the phlebotomist has become more critical to the diagnosis of patient health.
The healthcare specialist in charge of collecting blood samples is referred to as a phlebotomist; however, since nurses and many other medical staff – even prospective doctors – are trained in phlebotomy, the person taking blood in any given situation could be rather diverse.
Phlebotomists must receive training in order to select the proper vein from which to collect samples, insert the needle properly, and handle the blood recovery itself. Phlebotomists will work in a hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office or a variety of clinical setting – virtually anywhere medical treatments are performed.
Because of the important diagnostic role they fill, the healthcare industry has seen a rising need for quality trained phlebotomists, among other career paths, creating demand for professionals in the field. Fortis Institute in Forty Fort, PA offers a program in ECG/Phlebotomy/Laboratory Assistant; however, many medical assistants, medical lab technicians, and nurses also learn basic phlebotomy, though they may require some additional training and certification in order to work in the field.
Fortis offers Medical Assistant programs at most of its campuses, as well as Medical Laboratory Technician and Nursing at many others. Visit our Homepage to learn more about the program options nearest you.