If you’re considering the idea of going into the field of phlebotomy, it’s possible that you’ve wondered about what phlebotomy training might be like, or what might be taught in a phlebotomy training course. What’s taught specifically may vary from one school to another, and from one course to another, but there may also be some commonalities between various phlebotomy training programs. In a phlebotomy training program, a student may learn a number of different skills, such as various methods of drawing blood like venipuncture and dermal puncture. While these two methods are similar, they are also different in many ways.
Venipuncture is the process of piercing a patient’s vein with a hollow needle and connecting that needle to a collection device such as a test tube, bag, or something else that contains the blood. This method is typically used when more than a few drops of blood is needed, and a patient has veins that can be located. Sometimes it may be hard for a phlebotomist to locate the veins on a patient (which can be the case with elderly patients), and in these cases, venipuncture may not work as well.
When a smaller amount of blood is needed, dermal puncture may be used. Dermal puncture is the method of pricking the top layer of a patient’s skin, often times on their finger tip, and collecting the small amount of blood that flows out into a small hollow tube, or other device. The small hollow tube used in dermal puncture to collect blood may be referred to as a “finger stick.” A person enrolled in a phlebotomy training program may learn more than just how to draw blood. They may also learn about this history of phlebotomy, and how blood drawing has evolved over time. They may also learn about how some blood tests work, methods of collection, how to keep a sterile work environment, and how to counsel patients who are upset, and other information. Counseling upset patients may be a big part of a phlebotomist’s job depending upon where they work, because it’s a well known fact that a lot of patients are afraid of needles. Some people are so afraid that they may become upset and refuse to allow their blood to be drawn. This is when a highly trained and experienced phlebotomist may be able to make them understand that they aren’t in any danger, and having blood drawn is a normal part of medicine.