What’s the Most Commonly Used Phlebotomy Equipment? From Scrubs to Needles

phlebotomy equipment

For the trained phlebotomist, using the appropriate phlebotomy equipment is an essential part of a successful venipuncture. A seasoned phlebotomist can assemble materials in such a way their hands glide efficiently from one part of the procedure to the next with speed and precision. Not only does this level of preparation help to ensure a correct blood withdrawal procedure, but it also helps inspire confidence in nervous patients. Let’s go over the most commonly used phlebotomy equipment.

The Most Commonly Used Equipment in Phlebotomy:

Scrubs


A phlebotomist is similar to other healthcare workers in that they are often required to dress in scrubs at the workplace. Depending on the employer, a phlebotomist and other laboratory personnel may be required to wear a certain color of scrubs for easier identification purposes. For practical reasons, phlebotomists rely on the various pockets in scrubs and lab coats to keep a supply of materials like extra alcohol wipes, gloves, and tourniquets.

Non-sterile Gloves


Before each procedure, the phlebotomist will don a pair of latex gloves. Like all healthcare professionals, phlebotomists wear gloves to protect themselves and the patient. While the first step in any procedure is a thorough hand-washing, gloves help prevent the passage of pathogens from the phlebotomist’s hands to the patient. Gloves are necessary to help prevent the transfer of blood pathogens from the patient to the phlebotomist. Gloves should fit neither too loosely or too tight. Snug-fitting gloves ensure ease handling phlebotomy materials. Gloves should be discarded immediately after the procedure.

Alcohol pad


Before the insertion of the needle, the site should be cleansed with an alcohol wipe. Once the site is chosen the phlebotomist will open the alcohol wipe and apply it to the site to prevent potential contamination. The phlebotomist and the patient must not touch the site after it is cleaned or the phlebotomist will have to repeat the procedure before the needle is inserted.

Tourniquet


A tourniquet compresses the veins and restricts the flow of blood back to the heart. This allows the phlebotomist to see the veins more clearly to make a successful venipuncture. After the phlebotomist selects the vein, the tourniquet is tied three to four inches above the intended site. The tourniquet should be removed at the end of the procedure.

Needles


Needle selection depends on the procedure and personal choice. Some experienced phlebotomists prefer the butterfly needle for every procedure, while others use the butterfly needle for smaller veins or pediatric procedures. Also known as winged infusion sets, butterfly needles are characterized by a pair of plastic wings that the phlebotomist can grip to more easily guide the needle into the vein. A tube extends from the needle down to a tube holder where the phlebotomist connects the collection tube. Straight needles vary in size and are often connected to a plastic tube holder. After insertion in the vein, the needle will be held still by the phlebotomist while the collection tubes are switched in and out in the tube holder.

Blood Collection Tubes


Collection tubes come in a rainbow of colors. Each stopper color denotes a particular function and test. Colored stoppers are essential for the correct order of the draw. A phlebotomist will select the tube depending on the type of test that is ordered for the patient. Additives in the tubes are essential for the type of test for which the blood is collected. For example, lavender tubes contain an additive that helps the blood coagulate and is used for specimen collection specific for hematology procedures. Collection tubes are manufactured so that they are evacuated tubes and then seal. When the phlebotomist inserts a needle in the tube the vacuum pulls the blood from the vein into the tube. At times, a tube will malfunction requiring the phlebotomist to reach for another one to complete the blood collection. For this reason, the phlebotomist should keep extra tubes within reach so that the procedure can continue.

Labels


Blood collection tube labels are necessary for the correct transfer of patient samples to the lab for testing and diagnosis. Like other phlebotomy equipment, labels should be secured before the start of the venipuncture. Labels should include the patient’s name, date, and other identifying information. The process for labeling blood collection tubes depends upon the laboratory. Labels may be computer-generated and printed or blank for hand-written labeling. Either way, the phlebotomist will double-check the patient’s identity to make sure the blood sample reaches the lab under the right name.

Gauze or Bandages


At the end of the venipuncture procedure, the phlebotomist will remove the needle from the blood draw site and check for bleeding. A piece of gauze or a cotton ball will be placed over the injection site and a slight bit of pressure applied to prevent excessive bleeding and to encourage clotting. Afterward, the phlebotomist will affix a bandage or a piece of gauze secured by tape. The bandage should remain in place for the length of time specified by the phlebotomist.

Learn More About a Career in Phlebotomy


Are you interested in pursuing a rewarding career in a demanding field? Contact us and learn more about how phlebotomy training at PhlebotomyU will put you on the path to success.

PhlebotomyU Announces New Phlebotomy Training Program Director

San Diego Phlebotomy Training School Appoints Chris Nicholson As New Phlebotomy Training Program Director

San Diego’s longest running phlebotomy training center, PhlebotomyU, announced today the hiring of Chris Nicholson its new Phlebotomy Training Program Director. In this role, Nicholson will be responsible for the overall operation and administration of PhlebotomyU’s training program and for advising on strategic initiatives that the school is considering or currently pursuing.

As a California certified clinical laboratory scientist (CLS), Nicholson brings over 40 years of healthcare and clinical lab experience. Nicholson joins PhlebotomyU after serving as the Senior Director at the Scripps Medical Laboratory where he lead over 600 employees across 5 hospitals. Under Nicholson’s leadership, Scripps and Scripps Medical Laboratory has been named one of the best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine for 11 consecutive years.

“Chris’ pedigree and reputation are unsurpassed in the industry, and we are extremely excited to have him join the PhlebotomyU team to oversee our phlebotomy program and advise us on future initiatives,” said Preston “Cinco” Plumb, PhlebotomyU’s President & CEO.

With the addition of Nicholson, PhlebotomyU will continue to provide leading phlebotomy and venipuncture training in Southern California. PhlebotomyU’s core offering is the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT I) course enabling students to become licensed phlebotomists in California. CPTI courses are offered year-round with monthly day classes, quarterly evening classes and weekend classes. Students receive full didactic and practical class training as well as a phlebotomy internship with a partnering hospital, clinic or lab to obtain the necessary hours for certification. Nicholson will integrate with the team at PhlebotomyU to improve all aspects of the existing course offerings while also developing new business strategies.

About PhlebotomyU
PhlebotomyU’s mission is to enhance students’ careers, meet the needs of healthcare providers, and improve patient care by providing high quality, cost effective phlebotomy education through industry leading curriculum, current technology, and extensive hands-on experience. As one of the most established Phlebotomy schools in San Diego, we are approved to operate by the California Department of Public Health Laboratory Field Services (CDPH/LFS) and California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). We offer accelerated CPT1 classes throughout the year, with programs starting at the beginning of each month as well as weekend and evening classes. In addition to our training courses, we work with healthcare providers around San Diego for internship programs and job placements after graduation.

We are committed to providing students with the opportunity to start or advance a career in healthcare while also assisting employers to find high quality entry-level phlebotomists. Our goal is to drive the healthcare community forward through continual refinement of our course curriculum and improvement of the caliber of Phlebotomy students.

Phlebotomy License Renewal Steps

The CPT I License is the main requirement for becoming a practicing phlebotomist. Once certified, the CA phlebotomy certificate renewal must be done every two years using the CDPH license renewal process. The initial certified phlebotomy technician (CPT I) course can range from five weeks to 9 weeks and includes analytical subjects such as anatomy, order of draw, hospital techniques, and post puncture care. You may click here for a complete list of courses and cost information. In addition to the phlebotomy training, the cost also covers class materials, lab supplies, and the National Exam and the clinical internship. Drug screenings and background checks are also paid for. Financial aid is also available with several payment options being offered.

CPT I License Renewal Process

The CPT I phlebotomy license must be renewed every two years. This ensures that the professionals in the field are taking the initiative to stay informed of any and all updates pertaining to phlebotomy. Before a license can be renewed, certain requirements must be met. Those applying for renewal must already have either a limited phlebotomist technician certificate or a certified phlebotomist technician certificate. Keep in mind that meeting deadlines for certification renewal is crucial. This is discussed in detail under Late Renewals.

Approximately seventy-five days before the expiration of the CPT I license, notices are mailed out to certified phlebotomists for license renewal. Sixty days prior to expiration the license can be renewed. However, it must be renewed thirty days before expiration to avoid suspension.

Phlebotomy License Renewal Requirements

  1. Continuing Education with CPT Classes – Before applying for license renewal and two years before license expiration, six contact hours of ongoing education must be completed. This must be done at a CDPH credit approved school or agency. Copies of certificates or unofficial transcripts must accompany the application proving that the contact hours have been completed.
  2. Current Phlebotomist’s Information – It is the responsibility of each applicant to make sure that all their information is updated with any changes in name and/or address. This information should be reviewed prior to applying for renewal. A license or certificate number will also be needed. Go to the Laboratory Personnel License Search in case of a lost or forgotten license or certificate number.
  3. Completing the Online Application All applications must be completed online by going to the CDPH Certificates, Licenses, Permits and Registration Portal. First-time applicants will be required to set up an account with a user ID and a password. Once this has been completed, they can begin filling out the application to renew their phlebotomy license/certificate. Remember, proof of completion of six contact hours must accompany the application.
  4. Application and Renewal Fees – Whether the applicant is a limited phlebotomy technician or a certified phlebotomy technician, an introductory fee along with a renewal fee must be paid at the time of completion. The California phlebotomy license renewal fee is $100.00.

Approval and Receiving the Renewed License

Once the certification process has been completed and approved, applicants can print out their approval notice to serve as temporary proof of their certification. They can check the status of their application on a regular basis because the CDPH website updates every few days. Since hard copies of licenses are no longer mailed, applicants will need to print them out once their renewal has been approved. A PDF reader is required for printing and an applicant can print out as many copies as needed.

What Happens to Late CPT I Renewals

Getting the phlebotomy license renewed after it expires does not require the payment of a late charge for the Limited Phlebotomy Technicians or the Certified Phlebotomy Technicians. However, phlebotomists are not permitted to work while their license is expired and it may take longer to have your license reactivated. It is extremely important to get the CPT 1 renewal application done on time along with having the required contact hours of ongoing education.

Recap – The CPT License Renewal

Being a phlebotomist can be an exciting and rewarding career. You can start out with the basic beginning requirements or, if you have previous venipuncture experience, you can take the abbreviated course. There are also additional courses for those who want to advance their careers in phlebotomy. For more information on signing up for phlebotomy classes or help with renewing your license, be sure to contact PhlebotomyU. You can call, send an email and fill out a form to request course information. Don’t put it off. Your future in phlebotomy is waiting for you! 

Collecting Blood from Newborns

Neonatal phlebotomy can be understandably intimidating. There are certain things to consider when performing a phlebotomy procedure on a young infant. Learn about the neonatal heel prick, also known as dermal puncture, here.

California Phlebotomy License Renewal Requirements

While many fear blood or the act of getting their blood drawn, the role of the phlebotomist is extremely important in the health and treatment of individuals. Here are 8 phlebotomy facts that demonstrate its importance in medical practice over the past two thousand years.

8 Surprising Phlebotomy Facts

8 Facts About Phlebotomy

A phlebotomist is someone who uses venipuncture to draw blood from an individual. While many fear blood or the act of getting their blood drawn, the role of the phlebotomist is extremely important in the health and treatment of individuals. Drawn blood can indicate the presence or absence of blood cells to indicate a serious illness or unhealthy levels of cholesterol or blood sugars. It can also indicate genetic markers that signal a predisposition for a disease, or the possibility of disease in future children. Here are 8 phlebotomy facts that demonstrate its importance in medical practice over the past two thousand years.

Bloodletting Was Common in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome

Phlebotomy’s earliest ancestor was the process of bloodletting. While it was used for very different purposes than the modern procedures, the idea behind the process was similar. Instead of removing blood for diagnostic purposes, physicians believed that releasing blood from the body was a way to treat common and serious ailments, essentially letting the poisonous illness drain from the body. Additionally, there was a belief that physicians needed to balance the four humors of the body: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood. Bloodletting was believed to be a therapeutic way to accomplish this equilibrium.

George Washington Died From Lack of Blood

Our very first president could have lived a longer life if only he had a modern phlebotomist to help him out. Washington reportedly lost between 5 and 7 pints of blood in 2/3 of a day as a result of excessive bloodletting. He received the treatment in response to a very bad sore throat but ultimately lost his life due to a significant shortage of blood in his body. More modern facts about phlebotomy have informed technicians on the proper procedures for drawing blood in order to avoid situations where patients lose too much blood.

Blood Used to be Drawn From Larger Veins

Prior to the modern understanding of safe venipuncture, blood used to be let by severing arteries and veins in the neck or forearm. This practice was done using any sharp metal or wooden implement and was used to treat common ailments during medieval times, such as smallpox, gout and the plague. This led to an excess of blood being released from the body in some instances, and the lack of sterilization could lead to serious or lethal infection.

Barbers Were Also Phlebotomists

While the idea of drawing blood in the lab might feel nerve-wracking, consider the idea that barbershops used to practice phlebotomy in addition to cutting hair. As mentioned above, bloodletting was common in ancient and medieval times, and medical care used to be administered by monks and assisted by barbers at their shop. Patients could get a haircut and have a vein cut to drain blood all in the same visit. This is why a barber’s pole is red, white and blue. The pole resembles the shape of the stick patients held to make their vein prominent while the red color symbolized the blood and the white represented the bandages.

Leeches Were Commonly Used to Draw Blood in the 19th Century

As if cutting people open to release their blood doesn’t sound bad enough, physicians in France and England used to use leeches to suck the blood of patients in the 1830s and 1840s. Back in ancient times, and again in the middle ages, the leeches were used to heal headaches and other ailments. While leeches are currently still used to help with removing blood in swollen areas or following procedures with an increased risk for blood clots, there are much safer means to draw blood for diagnostic purposes.

Veterinarians Also Practice Phlebotomy

People are not the only ones who require blood to be drawn on occasion. Animals can also require blood to be drawn to check for disease or to perform routine checkups. Pets, such as dogs and cats, may require regular bloodwork in order to ensure that they do not have any life-threatening illnesses such as Lyme disease or heartworms. When animals are ill, it might also be necessary to collect blood to check for disease.

There are Four Blood Types

There are only four major blood types that run through everybody’s veins: A, B, AB and O. Additionally, these blood types are labeled positive or negative depending on whether the Rh antigen is found in the blood. Blood typing is important for blood transfusions, as patients need to receive blood of the same type as what runs through their veins. Those with type O blood are considered “universal donors” because their blood can be used for any blood type because it does not contain antigens.

Blood Can Also be Drawn for “Good” Reasons

The last but certainly not least of the facts about phlebotomy is the idea that getting your blood drawn doesn’t have to be a “bad” thing. Although we tend to associate phlebotomy with illness, the process of drawing blood can be useful for other things as well. Research assistants may draw blood as part of their studies to help understand and make sense of human health. Analyzing the blood of participants to determine genetic markers for illnesses, the body’s responses to treatment, or the way blood cells behave when the patient already has a known diagnosis can help further our knowledge of how to recognize and treat serious illnesses.

As these phlebotomy facts show, the work that phlebotomists do saves the lives of patients every day. Whether taking a sample to determine the presence of an illness or drawing donated blood to help those in need of transfusions, the work of someone skilled in venipuncture is incredibly important to the health and safety of the individuals they work with. If you think you would like to learn how to do this all-important job, contact us today!

Legal Issues in Phlebotomy

Phlebotomists are an integral part of a modern medical team. As such, their jobs encompass much more than the simple mechanics of blood withdrawal. An important part of a phlebotomist’s education involves learning about the ethical and legal questions associated with the field of phlebotomy. This article will provide you with a brief overview of some of the major legal issues faced by phlebotomists every day.

Informed Consent

Every medical professional must make sure that his or her patients understand and consent to every procedure. In most instances, the patient has the right to an explanation of what medical procedure is being performed and why. If the patient is a minor, her parents or guardians must provide consent on her behalf. Phlebotomists must also bear in mind that the patient has the right to refuse consent. Even if a doctor has ordered a blood draw or injection, the patient has the right to refuse any venipuncture.

Assault

You may be surprised to see assault on a list of legal issues in phlebotomy. Unfortunately, they are lurking closer to the surface than you might think. If a phlebotomist threatens someone with a needle, they have committed assault. Simply put, assault is defined as making someone fear that you will use force to harm them. This can be a sensitive issue for phlebotomists because many people have a fear of needles and the pain associated with venipuncture. A well-trained phlebotomist will know how to deal with patients in a safe and legal manner.

Battery

Assault simply involves causing someone to fear that bodily harm will come to them. For the crime of battery to take place, actual physical contact must occur. In phlebotomy, this can be an issue if a phlebotomist forces an injection on a patient against their will. If a phlebotomist intentionally holds a patient down or uses more force than necessary, he has committed battery. This can not only end a career, it can lead to ruinous lawsuits and criminal charges.

Another issue that falls into the category of assault and battery is use of a dirty needle. Even if no excessive force is used, a dirty needle can cause life-altering harm to a patient. A phlebotomist is legally responsible for ensuring the sterility of all equipment in his or her care.

Confidentiality

A patient has the right to know that their personal information will not be spread by the medical professionals who are in charge of their care. Blood withdrawals are often associated with testing for sensitive diseases, and phlebotomists will be privy to confidential information about many patients. They have a legal obligation to maintain their patients’ privacy. The law describing a patient’s right to medical privacy is commonly referred to as HIPAA. Under HIPAA, a patient has a right to confidentiality regarding any identifying information, including their diagnosis, treatment, and even birthday.

Negligence

Even if a phlebotomist has not committed one of the crimes listed above, they can still be held liable for negligence. Negligence involves four elements: duty, breach, cause, and harm. This essentially means that for a patient to sue a medical practitioner, they must show that the practitioner failed in executing their duty to the patient, which was the direct cause of harm. This may sound simple, but it has been the subject of countless long courtroom battles. Following basic phlebotomy principles is one of the best ways for a phlebotomist to help prevent charges of negligence.

Malpractice

Malpractice is a term for the type of civil lawsuits that patients generally bring against medical practitioners who have failed to follow the standard of care. If a phlebotomist is facing a malpractice suit, they are not in danger of going to jail, but they may face other severe consequences. Depending on their jurisdiction and the severity of the harm caused, a jury may award the injured party a significant financial reward.

Medical practitioners take out malpractice insurance so that they can safely afford to pay for the damages awarded in malpractice suits. Phlebotomists can choose to purchase their own malpractice insurance or they may be covered by their supervising physician. However, ultimate cost of a malpractice lawsuit may be the loss of a profitable career rather than the payment of damages. Malpractice insurance premiums often rise after a lawsuit, leading many professionals unable to continue in their chosen career paths.

Interested in learning more?

You now know more about the basics of legal issues in phlebotomy. These issues are not incidental to a safe and successful phlebotomy career; rather, they are absolutely integral. In the modern world, it is impossible to be an ethical member of a medical team without awareness of the often complicated legal issues that surround the field.

The issues discussed here are only the tip of the iceberg. If you are interested in pursuing your education and learning more about phlebotomy, contact PhlebotomyU today. We’ll give you guidance as you join this exciting and dynamic profession.

Is Bruising After Blood Donation Normal?

Many people feel anxiety about donating blood. They may be worried about the pain or nervous about the possibility of feeling light-headed or even fainting. Despite this, blood donations are an increasingly common part of modern medicine. Blood donation centers can be found everywhere, and it is likely you will someday be met with an opportunity to donate. If you have already donated blood, you may have been one of many to find an unwelcome surprise on your arms later on in the form of bruises. You’ve probably stopped to ask yourself, “Is bruising after blood donation normal?” Fortunately, though it may not be pleasant, bruising is an entirely normal issue in the field of phlebotomy. While not everyone will experience bruising every time they donate blood, if you are donating blood on a regular basis, it will almost certainly happen to you at some point. In this article, you can find out more about what causes bruising and how it can be prevented.

What causes bruising after blood donation?

The human body is host to about 100,000 miles of blood vessels. Bruising occurs when blood leaks from one of those blood vessels and pools under the skin. People have varying degrees of susceptibility to bruising. Some can suffer significant injuries with limited bruising, but others find themselves covered with bruises from seemingly minor accidents.

During a blood donation, the phlebotomist will insert a needle into a blood vessel to draw blood out of the body. In the course of this process, blood may spill from the blood vessel. It is also possible that another minor vein or capillary will be damaged in the process of donating blood. It is difficult for even the most skilled phlebotomist to avoid hitting all veins and capillaries during this process. 

Even if bruising does not occur during the blood donation process, it is important for donors and phlebotomists alike to practice proper aftercare. After donating, donors should apply pressure to the donation site to prevent blood from leaking out under the skin. They should also avoid lifting heavy objects for the remainder of the day, as this can cause additional bruising.

What can be one to avoid bruising?

Although bruising is common, donors can take action to avoid bruising. If you are planning a blood donation, avoid wearing tight clothes, as this can create unnecessary compression on the veins. A skilled phlebotomist will also be able to offer advice that can help minimize bruising. Throughout the donation process, it is important to follow any instructions your phlebotomist gives you, as this can help ensure a painless donation and decrease your chance of bruising. Fortunately, the science and technology associated with phlebotomy are always improving. Hospitals have even recently begun to introduce a new needle designed to decrease the pain associated with blood draws. Knowing this, you should be able to walk into your blood donation with confidence.

After your donation is complete, you should be careful with the arm that was used for a donation. Although you might not be feeling any pain, your body still has to work to heal itself following blood donation. After you have donated blood, a small clot will begin to form over the puncture in the blood vessel used for donation. This may sound alarming, but it is completely normal. However, agitating or exercising the donation site may dislodge the clot and cause blood to leak out into the arm. For this reason, it is a good idea to avoid choosing a donation site in your dominant arm. If you have the opportunity, you should sit and relax for a few minutes after your donation. The healing process begins immediately after the donation has ended, and it is in your best interest to allow this process to occur unimpeded.

What should I do if bruising occurs?

In most instances, bruising does not require special treatment. You can simply use a cold compress or ice pack on the bruising site to minimize pain. Donors should always consult a doctor before taking any pain medication. It is usually inadvisable to take ibuprofen or aspirin for at least 24 hours after donation, as these medications can interfere with the clotting process.

In some severe cases, it may be necessary to consult a doctor. If you experience severe pain, pain that does not diminish, numbness, swelling, or inflammation, you should seek medical treatment immediately. This is extremely rare, and most people will find that their post blood donation symptoms will be limited to some soreness, bruising, and stiffness around the donation site. You may find the bruising seems to grow in area before it disappears. This is also completely normal and is a sign that the blood is no longer concentrated around the donation site.

Interested in learning more about blood drawing?

If you would like to learn more about blood donation and phlebotomy, PhlebotomyU is here to help! Contact us today to take the first steps towards a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. We have all the resources you need to make your dream a reality.  

Venipuncture Materials 101

Venipuncture is conducted by a trained phlebotomist; it is the process of collecting blood from the veins. This procedure requires certain venipuncture materials be used to be able to collect the blood from the patient. Therefore, the phlebotomist must have the tools close by while conducting the procedure of drawing blood. Once your blood is collected, it usually goes to a laboratory for medical testing purposes. We will take a closer look at the venipuncture materials needed, why these materials are important, how to use each properly, and sterilization.

Collection tubes

Collection tubes must first have their tops sterilized. Once it is properly sterilized, it is inserted into the hub of a needle before being used. After the needle is piercing the vein, the collection tube should be pushed further into the hub. By pushing the tube further into the hub, it will cause the blood to flow into the tube. Collection tubes usually are glass or plastic and have tops with different colors that represent which diagnostic testing will be performed on each.

Needle

Needles are the most common object people think of when going to get blood drawn from a phlebotomist. The objective of using a needle is to pierce a vein to gather blood for medical testing. The most common needle used is a butterfly needle. However, there is a new blood drawing needle beginning to be used that leaves the patient with less pain and reduces speed during the venipuncture procedure; it is called the Vacutainer UltraTouch Push Button Blood Collector.

For now, we will focus on the butterfly needle. Before using a butterfly needle, you should be sure to wash and dry your hands prior to putting on gloves. After completing sterilization, take the cap off the needle and handle it by the wings. Then, insert the collection tube into the hub. Hold the needle with your dominant hand with the bevel facing upward. Use your other hand to hold the vein in place and insert the needle at a 15 to 30-degree angle. Blood should begin flowing into the needle, and the collection tube should be pushed further into the hub, as mentioned before. Release your collection tube and tourniquet first and withdraw the needle from the site. Be sure the properly discard the needle afterwards into a disposal unit.

Lancet

A lancet is an important object to know if you are drawing blood from a child or infant. The lancet is usually used on the finger or heel during the venipuncture procedure. This tool is easier to use on a child or infant because it quickly punctures the area and is able to be immediately removed. This helps with the child experiencing less pain and discomfort. Even with a lancet, you need to be sure to sterilize the area you plan to puncture beforehand. A lancet must be immediately discarded into a proper disposal unit as well.

Tourniquet

A tourniquet is a neat tool used to squeeze your arm, which compresses your veins. It prevents your blood from returning to your heart. This causes your veins under the tourniquet to swell and fill with blood. This object has become a common tool used to help phlebotomists see the vein needed to be pierced, and it aids in making the venipuncture process easier.

To properly use this item, place it three to four inches above the area you plan to inject, which is usually the forearm. Once your patient’s arm is in the correct position, place the tourniquet under the forearm. Complete a partial tie by crossing the ends of the tourniquet once and partially tucking one loose end.

Alcohol or Iodine Wipes/Swabs

One of the most used and needed products by phlebotomists are wipes or swabs. Wipes and swabs disinfect the area before it is punctured for blood collection. You must always remember to open the wipes with the use of gloves before beginning the venipuncture process. The wipe or swab must remain in the covered pack until it is ready to be used. Then, the phlebotomist will use it to disinfect the area with wiping in a circular motion. Also, be sure to throw away the wipe or swab immediately after use.

Gauze

Immediately after the needle is removed from the area, a gauze pad is used. The gauze pad is usually used by the phlebotomist to apply pressure to the punctured site, and it maintains sterilization. It is important to use pressure on the area because it helps the bleeding to stop and begins the blood clotting process. This also helps prevent any future bruising that could occur to the punctured area.

Gloves

Gloves are an extremely important item of the venipuncture materials. Non-sterile examination gloves are the best to use. Your safety and health must always come first, which is why gloves are a crucial necessity. By wearing gloves, you will remain protected from any contamination that could come from blood related pathogens that the patient may have. The gloves protect the patient as well, so that he is not exposed to any pathogens that could be on your hands. This is critical to remember because these contaminations can easily enter the patient’s body through a punctured area during the venipuncture process.

Before putting on gloves, you should always wash and dry your hands to help reduce the chances of cross contamination from the phlebotomist to the patient. Also, make sure you use the right size gloves to make it easier to handle the phlebotomy materials.

After you finish collecting the patient’s blood, you should carefully throw away the gloves without touching the outside with bare hands. Turn the glove inside out for protection from exposed pathogens. Washing your hands again is also a good idea.

Disposal Unit

Disposal units, such as a sharp container, are a required object of the venipuncture materials. Disposal units aid in controlling exposure to pathogens. Disposal units offer the phlebotomist, patients, and other healthcare workers the proper and safe disposal of used needles or any other tool that was used to puncture during the venipuncture process. Sharp containers are usually bright red and have a biohazard sign printed on them.

Safe Venipuncture with PhlebotomyU

PhlebotomyU currently offers a Safe Venipuncture course to help radiologic professionals learn how to safely perform the venipuncture procedure with these tools. If you are interested in phlebotomy school or curious to learn more about venipuncture, feel free to contact us today! We would love to hear from you. Since 1986, PhlebotomyU has been dedicated to providing the knowledge and skills to prospective and current healthcare professionals through our phlebotomy training. We aim to educate you on the most recent trends in blood analysis and clinical laboratory medicine, and we would be glad to have you join us.

What is the NCCT?

A NCCT phlebotomy technician is trained to withdraw blood for transfusions, donations, medical testing, or research. The blood is collected primarily through venipunctures. Patients may have a fear of blood and needles, making it difficult to get the necessary sample. It is a phlebotomist’s job to create a trusting environment and inspire confidence in patients through skillful, reliable, and safe practices. Demand for skilled phlebotomists is huge – the market projects a 25% growth rate through 2026.

The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) is the credentialing organization responsible for testing and certifying professional healthcare roles. After training from an accredited program is completed, an exam is administered and must be passed to become a certified phlebotomy technician (CPT). With such a rapid growth rate, employers seek technicians that received training from an accredited program and are certified by the national accrediting agency. Receiving certification ensures prospective employers that you are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in your medical field.

What is the National Center for Competency Testing?

The National Center for Competency Testing is an independent credentialing agency that tests healthcare professionals and provides certification for several healthcare roles. Credentials are valid for five years and can be maintained as active or inactive. The organization is meticulous in its exam design, guaranteeing that each certification is credible not only to employers but also to the public. The National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT) certification, administered by the NCCT, is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

NCPT Eligibility

There are three routes that you can follow to be eligible for the NCPT exam. Although all routes of eligibility are similar, requirements for eligibility differ depending on whether you are a current or former student, have full-time work experience, or were military trained.

Current and Former Students
If you are currently a student enrolled in, or a student who graduated from, an accredited program, to be eligible for certification you must:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Submit a copy of your diploma from the program
  • Submit a certification critical skill competency form
  • Pay a $90 exam fee

Work Experience
If you have at least one year of verified full-time experience as a Phlebotomist within the past 5 years, to be eligible for certification you must:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have one year (or 2,080 hours) of full-time employment as a Phlebotomy Technician under licensed supervision within the past 5 years
  • Submit a copy of your high school diploma/ED and the certification qualification experience form that is completed by your employer
  • Pay a $90 exam fee

Military Experience
If you received technical CPT training during military service within the past 5 years, to be eligible you must:

  • Be a high school graduate or have a GED
  • Submit a copy of a SMART transcript or DD214
  • Complete the certification critical skill competency form
  • Pay a $90 exam fee

What to Expect from a Training Program

Enrolling in a CPT training program is the first step towards starting a rewarding career in medicine. In general, students will learn about a range of topics, including CPR, anatomy and physiology, lab safety and blood sampling procedures.

PhlebotomyU offers affordable training and credentialing programs, with classes available for weekday and weekend sessions. The CPT1 full course takes 5 weeks to complete and includes:

  • 20 hours of basic didactic training
  • 20 hours of advanced didactic training
  • 40-60 hours of hands-on in-class training
  • The National certification exam
  • 40-120 externship hours

The advanced CPT1 license course is made for students who have a minimum of 1,040 hours of work experience as a phlebotomist and want to get a CPT1 license. The course involves the 20 hours of advanced didactic training and is also available for weekday and weekend sessions. Regardless of the course, all students have to pass the National exam to be able to obtain a CPT1 license. Other prerequisites include:

  • A signed letter of experience
  • High school diploma, transcript, or ED
  • Background check and drug screen
  • Immunizations
  • BLS certification
  • Updated resume

CPT-1 Program Costs

Tuition for this program is $2,900 and it covers the costs of training, course materials, lab supplies, background checks, drug screen, the National exam, and the clinical externships. Additionally, financing options are available through PhlebotomyU’s student loan program. There are three financing plans in the loan program and an up-front registration and origination fee is required. To be eligible, the Student Loan Program Questionnaire needs to be completed. If approved, then you must pass a credit check and have all the prerequisites. Discounted payment options are also available for students who sign up as a group or through employers.

The start of your career as a phlebotomist is only a few weeks away. Training at PhlebotomyU prepares you for your career and guarantees potential employers that you are equipped for the job. PhlebotomyU is dedicated to enhancing your career, meeting healthcare providers’ needs, and improving patient care. Courses are created to equip students with the skills and knowledge required to work in various healthcare facilities, including hospitals, labs, blood banks, and private practices.

Since its establishment in 1986, PhlebotomyU has worked to provide excellent continuing education to healthcare professionals. The institution is certified to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). It also offers additional classes in venipuncture and drawing blood. Besides providing high-quality education, PhlebotomyU provides students other valuable tools, including career services and externships with affiliated healthcare facilities.

Are you ready to get your career as a phlebotomist started? Contact us today!