Phlebotomy plays an important role in diagnosing many medical conditions. It is also used to help monitor certain health conditions and progress people may have during treatment. Blood samples may be taken at regular intervals in order to measure how effective a treatment is. Phlebotomists also play a role in the treatment of certain medical conditions such as Hemochromatosis where the disease is managed by the removal of excess blood. Lastly, phlebotomy is used in research where studies are done on various blood samples to obtain data on medical conditions. The demand for phlebotomy services is increasing due to several factors, including aging populations and advancements in medical technology. As the population ages, the rate of certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can increase. Blood tests are then vital to manage these conditions. As well, older adults may need more frequent blood tests than younger adults which also contributes to the demand for phlebotomy services.There are several terms used to refer to phlebotomists such as, blood drawer, blood technician, venipuncturist, phlebotomist, and medical laboratory assistant. This blog will cover the importance of a skilled blood drawer as well as an explanation of the virtuous terms phlebotomists go by.
Phlebotomists go by various terms and some of them don’t all mean the same thing so it’s important to understand the meaning behind each job title. A venipuncturist is someone who draws blood from only the veins and not the capillaries or arteries. A blood technician is someone who not only draws blood but will also process and analyze the blood samples. A medical laboratory assistant is one who works in a laboratory setting to process and analyze blood and other bodily fluids and they would have more training beyond a typical phlebotomist. The term phlebotomist is the most generally used term to describe those who are trained and certified to draw blood. It’s important to remember that there is a big difference between a phlebotomist and a medical laboratory technician. That is that phlebotomists collect blood and other specimens from patients for laboratory testing; whereas, a medical laboratory technician performs the tests on the given patient specimens to help diagnose and treat diseases.
Accuracy and precision play a major role in drawing blood because the results of a lab test can be affected which can then also affect the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Errors in blood collection, such as using the wrong anticoagulant or failing to follow proper specimen handling procedures, can lead to inaccurate results. For example, if a phlebotomist collects a blood sample using the wrong anticoagulant, the clotting time may be affected, leading to inaccurate results for coagulation tests. On the other hand precision is really important because it can be important to obtain the same results every time a test is performed. Measurements must be consistent and variation should be kept to a minimum. Both accuracy and precision are just as important because they ensure the blood tests are reliable and provide an accurate reflection of the patients wellbeing.