This guide sheds light on all the recommended steps for safe phlebotomy and emphasizes the widely accepted principles for blood drawing and blood collection. Educational institutions can use these guidelines to establish standardized operating procedures.
Quality control, planning & appropriate location
It is a great idea to plan for a phlebotomy session well in advance to have a hassle-free experience. As a phlebotomist, you should work in a clean, quiet, well-lit area. You also need to ensure quality control as it is considered one of the best practices of phlebotomy. It also minimizes the risk of any unanticipated mishap.
Availability of equipment & appropriate supplies
The administrative management is responsible for the procurement of supplies such as non-sterile gloves, hand-hygiene materials, disposable syringes and needles in significant numbers for each blood sampling. Before selecting safety-engineered devices, one should investigate its use compatibility with existing phlebotomy practices.
Training in phlebotomy
The staff should be trained adequately in phlebotomy to prevent exposure to contaminated blood. Heath workers not trained in phlebotomy should be motivated to take up such formal training. At the same time, supervision by experienced staff is necessary for physicians and other workers during blood sampling.
Cooperation by patients
Phlebotomy involves mutual understanding between a patient and a health worker. For such an agreement to develop, the patient should display cordiality and collaboration with the worker. The physician should communicate effectively in a clear and crisp manner with the patient either in a written or verbal form.
Quality of Lab Sampling
Numerous factors influence the outcome of results during blood collection and transportation. The usage of recommended collection tubes, a correct gauge of hypodermic needles, labeling and accurate interpretation of results are few such factors determining the quality of laboratory sampling.
Assembling the equipment
As a phlebotomist, you should place all the required equipment within a comfortable and safe reach on a trolley or tray. The equipment includes plastic tubes with rubber caps, laboratory sample tubes, vacuum extraction blood tubes, blood-sampling devices, alcohol hand tub, laboratory specimen labels, etc.
Preparing the patient
Verify the lab form and check whether it matches with the patient’s identity. Ask for any known allergic reactions or phobias. Then, place a towel under the arm of the patient and obtain verbal consent for the test.
Disinfecting the Entry Site
You need to clean the entry site for 30 seconds with a 70% alcohol swab. Then, allow it to dry for another 30 seconds. Apply gentle pressure. You should start from the center of the site and work outwards and downwards from there. Failure to provide enough time for contact enhances the risk of contamination.
Drawing samples in the right order
The order of draw of blood collection tubes should are done correctly to avoid contamination of additives between the tubes. Verify the tube additives and color-coding with local laboratories. The United States National Committee Clinical Laboratory Standards laid down revised recommendations for the same in 2003.