Phlebotomists Often Must Play Problem Solver

More to Phlebotomy Than Some Imagine

There’s More to Phlebotomy Than Some Imagine

You may think that only medical imaging technicians and surgeons get to “see inside” a patient and find out what is ailing them.

But phlebotomists and other lab technicians also have a unique opportunity to see inside a patient and provide a window for physicians to diagnose and treat illness. Fans of “CSI” style shows may enjoy the challenge and intrigue that comes with the skills and knowledge of being a phlebotomist.

Since a full body human microscope has yet to be invented, this may be the next best way to see what is going on with patients at the cellular level. Phlebotomists study all the components of blood, from the all-important red blood cells, carrying oxygen to and fro, to white blood cells that fight infection and plasma which acts as a courier system for sugars, hormones, enzymes and vitamins.

The average person has about 5 liters of blood flowing through their veins and arteries at any given moment (depending on their size, gender, precipitating health conditions and such).

The science of phlebotomy is detailed, interesting and it also dates back thousands of years. For instance, someone in the role of “phlebotomist” in ancient Greek times would find themselves performing a technique called “bloodletting” on patients, where patients were “bled out” to restore balance and overall health.

There are modern medicine techniques that utilize some of the theories of bloodletting and are used in patients with too much iron or too many red blood cells. At one point in time, leeches, nature’s own little phlebotomists, were thought to be the best tool for bloodletting.

Today, instruments and sterilized needles have replaced insects and phlebotomists have much more current information on what actually works in medicine and what is superstition. However, at the core of the science, a phlebotomist remains interested in looking at a patient under the microscope and finding out what has put them out of balance.

A career as a phlebotomist is listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as one of the fast growing occupations today. As a recession proof health care job that takes a relatively short period of time to train for and pays profitable dividends, it is worth the time and effort to find a training program.


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