Phlebotomy: Blood and Patient

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Phlebotomy

Phlebotomy is the act of drawing or removing blood from the circulatory system through a cut (incision) or puncture in order to obtain a sample for analysis and diagnosis. Phlebotomy is also done as part of the patient's treatment for certain blood disorders. There are times when drawing blood is the only way a doctor can diagnosis and treat a patients illness. Phlebotomists draw blood from your vein with the order from your physician to find out exact blood levels so that he or she is able to treat your illness to the best of their ability.

The practice of phlebotomy (Greek phlebos = vein and temnein = cut) has taken place for over five thousand years (Finbarr,490). “The Egyptians may have been the first to perform the technique” (Rund, 490).

The phlebotomist’s role requires a professional and understanding manner in all contacts with the patient and their family. Always identify yourself and indicate the procedure that is going to take place. Effective communication is essential whether it be verbal or nonverbal (Millan, 56).

Identify the patient correctly. Verify his or her date of birth. Go over their condition. Find out if they are fasting, dietary restrictions, medications, and medical treatment if these are areas of concern. For example, if your cholesterol panel is being checked you should fast for at least twelve hours before your blood is drawn (Hauck). Fasting means no food, just water. Let them know what tests are on the requisition form that the doctor is ordering. Doing this makes the patient aware that they have your undivided attention and that you take your job seriously.

Always wash your hands before touching the patients arm. This lets them know that they are in a clean sterile environment. The patient should either be sitting in a chair or lie down. At this time you will place the tourniquet on the arm, and palpate (feel) and trace the path of veins with index...
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