Typical Phlebotomy Courses

It is good to take a look at what is offered in some of the phlebotomy courses before investing in one. There are schools that publish their curriculum and some that even go so far as to cover their curriculum in detail. Here is a look at some of the tasks you are likely to encounter in one of these courses. In fact, the course you select should cover these areas because, as you will see, they are of critical importance.

Know the Superficial Veins

If you are going to be a phlebotomist, you must know which veins you can safely draw blood from. Without going into the medical names for each of the veins, they should teach you the veins in such areas as the arms, digits, and hands. Phlebotomy courses should also teach you the precautions that must be taken when drawing blood from each of these areas. In order to do this, they need to teach you the structure of veins, arteries, and capillaries within the human body.

Know the Appropriate Sites

Not only should your phlebotomy program teach you the superficial veins but also to choose the appropriate sites for a blood draw. However, what might be deemed an appropriate site may be a problem for a particular patient. Thus, they teach you how to prioritize alternate sites for a blood draw. Additionally, they teach you the conditions in which it is unadvisable to draw from certain sites such as the legs and feet.

Know the Errors that Can Occur

Errors on a blood draw are troublesome because they cause delays in analysis of the blood plus they could mean that blood must be extracted again. No patient wants blood drawn more than is necessary. Plus, errors cause added expense. Phlebotomy training will instruct you on knowing what possible errors can occur plus how to prevent them. Then, they should educate you on when a re-sampling is necessary.

Cleansing the Venipuncture Site

These courses must teach you how to cleanse a venipuncture site before drawing blood. The most important reason is to prevent infection at the site plus avoid contaminating the sample. Typical phlebotomy courses in this subject area will teach you the cleansing steps and the appropriate sterile or antiseptic agents that will be required.

Knowledge of Special Conditions

Nothing is ever as clear-cut as it seems and the classes that are worth their weight will teach you this. They will teach you how to handle conditions when patients are exceptions to the norm. For example, patients in dialysis or who have had a mastectomy will need to be treated differently.

Then, there is the condition where a blood alcohol test must be conducted. Errors in this area could have serious legal consequences and could alter the outcome of an investigation. There is also the chain of custody procedure that must be strictly adhered to so that a sample can be admitted into court.

Knowledge of Safety

There is an inherent danger with drawing and handling blood for both the patient and phlebotomist. Phlebotomy courses must teach you how to recognize biohazards and how to properly dispose of them. Then, there is the issue of taking appropriate action when the threat of infectious agents becomes apparent. This includes handling and preventing infection when the patient is known to be HIV positive.

There are many other specific courses of instruction that are included in a phlebotomy training curriculum. The courses included depend on the length of the entire program and state and local requirements. However, as you can see, you will get an extensive set of skills and expert knowledge from phlebotomy courses which will propel you into your new career.