Medical Lab Technician Assistant

5 Common Mistakes Phlebotomy Technicians Should Avoid after Medical Lab Tech Training

November 30, 2018

November 30, 2018

working using a needle to take blood

Medical lab technicians—especially those who work as phlebotomy technicians—often have to draw blood from patients. Blood-draws, in fact, are the most common invasive medical procedure in the world, with billions performed annually. If you decide to pursue a career as a phlebotomy technician, it can be easy to take blood-draws for granted. Mistakes, while rare, can and do happen. Although those mistakes are often minor, they can still cause discomfort for patients and may result in inaccurate results in the lab. To help you become the best phlebotomy technician you can be, we’ve compiled a list of five mistakes you should look out for after your training.

1. Drawing Blood from the Wrong Patient: Rare, but Scary
This mistake is the one you want to avoid the most during your phlebotomy technician career. Drawing blood from the wrong patient is not only upsetting for the patients involved, but it also means that in many cases the blood specimen will be useless for lab tests. In the very worst cases, one patient could end up being treated based on another person’s lab results.

Fortunately, misidentifying patients is extremely rare and easily avoidable. Using standard identification procedures, like checking the patient’s identity document and asking them to spell their name out loud, can help avoid such errors.

2. Labelling Errors: A Small Mistake, but With Big Consequences
Labelling errors can have the same disastrous effects as misidentifying a patient. If a blood specimen is labelled with the wrong patient’s name, then one patient could end up being treated according to inaccurate lab results. This can be dangerous for patients, especially those requiring a blood transfusion. lab worker marking a blood sample
Labelling errors are rare

Many labelling errors are the result of trying to cut corners. For example, some hospitals and clinics use pre-labelled tubes rather than applying labels at the time of collection. While pre-labelled tubes may be more time-efficient, they are a big cause of labelling errors.

3. Medical Lab Techs Should Know How to Use Equipment Properly
Mistakes can also happen that are related to faulty or misused equipment. Some of the most common equipment-related mistakes include leaving the tourniquet on the patient for too long, not sterilizing the equipment properly, and not using the correct needle gauge. In your medical lab tech training, you will learn how to use medical equipment properly so as to avoid such mistakes.

4. Poor Phlebotomy Techniques You Can Avoid with Medical Lab Tech Training
Poor phlebotomy techniques can refer to a range of different problems. Such mistakes include drawing blood from the wrong vein, from an area that is prone to infection, shaking the tube too hard, or not transferring blood using the proper transfer devices. mlta worker with blood sample
Shaking the blood tube too hard can lead to inaccurate test results

These poor phlebotomy techniques are often the result of a lack of hands-on practice. Fortunately, medical laboratory assistant schools that include practical, hands-on training will teach you how to avoid these errors.

5. Avoid Collection Problems as a Phlebotomy Technician
Similarly, problems specific to the collection of blood itself can also occur. These problems may include getting the order of the blood draw wrong, collecting blood too late or too early, or not drawing enough blood so that an accurate lab test can be run. Again, these mistakes are best avoided through proper training and education.

Are you looking to pursue a rewarding career as a medical lab technician or assistant?

Contact Medix College today to see how our medical lab technician training can put you on the path to a fulfilling career.

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