On the job training for phlebotomy is still available in some areas. When hospitals or clinics need phlebotomists and trained professionals are nowhere to be found, they may offer paid on-the-job training for people with a high school diploma or equivalent GED. The jobs are not easy to find. Assuming you do find one, here’s what you could learn.
How to Follow Doctor’s Orders
Depending on the environment in which you work, you might not receive verbal instructions from the physician. That means you will need to be able to determine the needs of the patient by reading the doctor’s orders.
In many phlebotomy training classes, the first semester focuses on medical terminology. You learn about the different tests the doctors may order and how those orders will be communicated to you.
With on-the-job training, the education will be more haphazard. You will likely learn to collect blood before you learn about the tests that will be performed on the samples. Other phlebotomists will probably try to teach you how to read the doctor’s orders.
If you stay with the same hospital or doctor’s office, you may learn everything that you need to know. But you might not get the skills that transfer to another job.
Selecting Appropriate Vacuum Tubes
One of the first things you will learn during on the job training for phlebotomy is how to select the appropriate vacuum tubes for blood collection. Depending on the age of the office, you could be using the latest technology or something that is a bit outdated. While the vacuum tubes have not changed greatly, they have improved over the years.
Evaluating the Vein Size
Another of the things you will learn is how to check the veins of the patient and evaluate the size of the patient’s veins. This evaluation allows phlebotomists to select a needle of the appropriate size or “gauge” in order to cause the least amount of pain and reduce the risk of causing a vein to collapse.
In colleges, evaluating vein size, needle insertion and other practical aspects of phlebotomy are learned during clinical hours. Typically the clinical hours are taken during the second semester, after the student has learned some of the basics about blood and blood collection.
Order of Draw
In a small office, you might not learn about order of draw during on the job training for phlebotomy. But the information will be included on the state certification exam, should you decide to take the test.
The order of draw has to do with the number of tubes of blood that are collected and the order of priority of the tests for which the samples have been drawn. The order of draw also prevents contamination from chemicals such as the alcohol used to disinfect the insertion site.
Order of draw and tube cap color coding used to keep the whole thing straight is most important in busy hospital settings. If you did get free on the job training for phlebotomy, but you feel you are not learning everything that you need to know, you might consider online training or day training for phlebotomist specialists. There are many options to help you get the education you need.