Phlebotomists draw blood for tests, transfusions, research, or blood donations. Some of them explain their work to patients and provide assistance if patients have adverse reactions after their blood is drawn.
Phlebotomists typically do the following:
Draw blood from patients and blood donors
Talk with patients and donors to help them feel less nervous about having their blood drawn
Verify a patient's or donor's identity to ensure proper labeling of the blood
Label the drawn blood for testing or processing
Enter patient information into a database
Assemble and maintain medical instruments such as needles, test tubes, and blood vials
Phlebotomists primarily draw blood, which is then used for different kinds of medical laboratory testing. In medical and diagnostic laboratories, patient interaction is often only with the phlebotomist. Because all blood samples look the same, phlebotomists must identify and label the sample they have drawn and enter it into a database. Some phlebotomists draw blood for other purposes, such as at blood drives where people donate blood. In order to avoid causing infection or other complications, phlebotomists must keep their work area and instruments clean and sanitary.