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Level-Headed, Steady-Handed: Vital Skills for Phlebotomy

Woman Drawing Blood From ManWorking in a medical environment presents many challenges, but offers the reward of knowing you’ve helped patients achieve better health. One of the most important duties you’ll carry out as a medical assistant is phlebotomy, or the drawing of blood. When the job is done right, the procedure goes smoothly and helps doctors evaluate patients with more insight than diagnostics and imaging can provide alone. Here, Prism Career Institute delves into the important phlebotomy skills medical facilities will be looking for in medical assistant job applicants.

Technical Skills

Anyone who works with patients will need technical skills and soft skills, and the technical skills of phlebotomy must be mastered with precision. Medical assistants performing phlebotomy tasks work with needles and other medical instruments, which will require attention to detail. Hand-eye coordination and accuracy will be vital to your success. You’ll need to precisely puncture the vein, calculate the proper amount of blood needed, and make sure the puncture site is thoroughly cleaned.

After the blood has been drawn, you’ll need to maintain proper procedures to ensure the integrity of the specimen and follow infection guidelines to prevent any contamination. Whether you’re drawing for testing, research, transfusions, or donations, labeling, and documenting each sample properly is critical. You’ll also need to be able to input data into your facility’s computer system, so a working relationship with technology is sure to help.

Soft Skills

Aside from the physical nature of phlebotomy, several soft skills can help you confidently approach this task. Soft skills refer to traits that you can’t learn in a classroom but will acquire during your externship and on the job as you gain experience. These skills generally revolve around patients and the work environment.

One of the most important soft skills for this position (or almost any for that matter) is communication. As you can imagine, not everyone loves the idea of getting a needle put into their skin. You’ll need to actively communicate and listen to each patient, helping them understand the process if they’re fearful or nervous. If you can keep them calm, not only will they feel safer, but the process will go quicker and easier for you.

You’ll also need to be aware and alert regarding patients’ needs. The drawing of blood can result in dizziness or fainting for some individuals, so it’s important to keep an eye on your patients. Speaking with them throughout the process can also help take their minds off of the procedure.

Lastly, the ability to handle pressure is crucial in many medical environments. If you wish to work in a hospital or donation center, being able to work under pressure can help make each process effortless. If a parent is watching you take blood from their child or if you need to draw blood fast in an emergency situation, it will help if you can stay cool, calm, and collected.

See How Prism Career Institute Can Help You on Your Journey

If you want to excel in the medical field, you’ll need the knowledge and know-how that a program at Prism Career Institute can offer. Ready to explore our Medical Assistant Training Program in Cherry Hill or Egg Harbor, NJ? You can apply online today or contact us with any questions to start your journey on the road to this exciting career.