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Mobile Phlebotomist Duties and Responsibilities
Mobile phlebotomists work in a variety of environments, so specific duties may vary between settings. However, based on postings that we analyzed, they all share several core responsibilities:
Collect Blood Mobile phlebotomists collect patient blood donations and samples. They prepare blood collection equipment, including needles, tubing, and collection bags. They then find patients' veins, clean and sanitize the skin, and extract the required amount of blood. Post-collection, mobile phlebotomists clean the extraction area, providing bandages to patients.
Conduct Patient Intake Mobile phlebotomists follow patient intake procedures. They interview patients to gather medical histories and other pertinent information, verify patient identities, and take note of patient questions or concerns. For events such as blood drives, mobile phlebotomists also ask patients about risk factors such as recent tattoos or travel, checking a small sample of blood to ensure that the patient is able to donate.
Label and Store Samples After taking donations or samples, mobile phlebotomists label and safely store blood collection vessels. Phlebotomists adhere to strict medical standards and practices to ensure that patient samples remain safe to handle and free of contamination. They transport blood collection bags to refrigerated storage, ensuring that the samples contain vital data about the patient.
Travel to Patient Locations The main difference between mobile phlebotomists and those who work within a dedicated healthcare facility is that mobile phlebotomists travel directly to patient or client locations. This can include nursing homes or rehabilitation centers, as well as businesses and public spaces where blood drives take place. Mobile phlebotomists sometimes need to drive refrigerated vehicles to these locations, ensuring that they have all necessary supplies to collect blood samples and donations.
Maintain Patient Records Mobile phlebotomists maintain detailed patient records, making note of medical issues or illnesses reported by patients during the collection process. They ensure patient privacy and confidentiality in accordance with medical regulations. They also ensure that medical professionals receive patient information along with their blood samples.
Transport Samples to Laboratories Lastly, many mobile phlebotomists transport blood samples to laboratories for testing and processing. This includes transporting the samples using refrigeration and other preservation techniques, ensuring that samples are correctly logged during the intake process, and working with laboratory technicians to transport blood samples once they are delivered.
Mobile Phlebotomist Skills and QualificationsMobile phlebotomists are flexible, working at various locations while maintaining a high level of attention to detail during patient interactions. Most mobile phlebotomists have at least an associate's degree, along with the following skills:
- Blood collection - mobile phlebotomists need extensive experience with collecting patient blood samples and donations, including following medical safety procedures
- Specimen storage and transport - they have a solid grasp of processes and procedures for safely transporting and storing laboratory samples
- Bedside manner - mobile phlebotomists should possess excellent bedside manner and be able to successfully interact with a wide variety of patients, making them comfortable during the collection process
- Driving skills - because they travel to client and patient locations, frequently using company vehicles, mobile phlebotomists should possess strong driving skills and a valid license
- Communication skills - mobile phlebotomists need excellent written and verbal communication skills to interact with clients, patients, and laboratory technicians
Mobile Phlebotomist Education and TrainingWhile there are no formal educational requirements for mobile phlebotomists, many have at least an associate's degree in a related field, such as medical technology. Some phlebotomists also finish a bachelor's degree in this field. Additionally, some states require mobile phlebotomists to be certified by an organization such as the National Phlebotomy Association or the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians before they begin work. These certification programs provide instruction in techniques and best practices for blood collection and storage.
Mobile Phlebotomist Salary and OutlookAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), phlebotomists earned a median annual salary of $32,710 in May 2016. The lowest-earning 10 percent earned less than $23,330 per year, while the highest earners made over $46,850. The BLS expects employment in this field to grow at a very rapid pace between 2016 and 2026. They estimate that phlebotomist employment will rise 25 percent within this period.
We searched the web and found several resources if you're interested in learning more about working as a mobile phlebotomist:
National Phlebotomy Association - The National Phlebotomy Association provides certification and professional development for phlebotomists, along with career guides and outreach programs.
Phlebotomy Essentials - Read this book to gain a deeper understanding of phlebotomy techniques, standards, and technologies.
American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, Inc. (ASPT) - The ASPT is a professional organization that provides another certification program for phlebotomists, as well as events and conferences.
Phlebotomy Notes: Pocket Guide to Blood Collection - This handy guide proves a quick reference for blood collection techniques and best practices.
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