A lot has been written about the kind of phlebotomy training that you need in order to become a phlebotomist, but not so much about what kind of a person you need to be in order to be successful in your career. When thinking about how to become a phlebotomist, you need to consider your personality. The people who excel at what they do in all fields are those that match their character and personality to their choice of career. You want to be able to do that, so let’s have a look at who would be most successful in phlebotomy.
- You need to be a people person
- You need to have a steady hand
- You cannot afford to be queasy
- You need to be very organized
- You need to be analytical
Needles freak many people out – in fact it’s the odd person who won’t wince at the sight of a needle going into flesh, even another person’s. You need to be able to talk to your patients so that you can calm them down and get their mind ff the fact that you’re drawing their blood for long enough for you to get your job done. You’ll handle lots of little kids as well, and these are probably the trickiest. They will squirm and cry – how will you get them to settle down for a minute or two, and then calm them down after you have taken their blood? If you’re a person with a happy disposition and who likes to talk to others and make them feel comfortable, you’re likely to succeed as a phlebotomist.
You are not allowed to miss a blood vessel. Your hand-eye co-ordination must be perfect, probably better than a doctors or a nurse’s. This means that for instance, you cannot consume substances, like excessive alcohol, which might leave you with shaky hands. If you get nervous easily, you will also lose co-ordination. A clear mind and firm hands will go a long way in making you a good phlebotomist.
Not about blood, not about tissue samples and not about body fluids because in your career, especially if you’re working in a fully fledged hospital, these are specimens that you may be required to handle. If you feel sick at the sight of any of these, start looking at a medical career that will not involve you handling any of these things.
Blood samples have to be labelled and a single innocent mistake could cost a life. That’s a lawsuit coming the way of the hospital. If you are the kind of person who finds it hard to keep things in their proper order, you might have a problem in the lab. Each blood specimen needs to be labelled correctly, sent to the right place and stored or destroyed in a systematic manner. Get into the habit of organizing your work area so that when you eventually get to work, you find it easy.
Depending on what phlebotomy area you choose to engage in, you may be required to analyse blood samples to test for disease. This means that your mind should be able to work through a blood sample in a step by step fashion until you arrive at a conclusion. Doctors will usually use these results to treat patients so you must always be right.
How to become a phlebotomist is not just about the theory and clinical work, but if you don’t have these skills, you can learn them – don’t opt out yet.