Before obtaining a blood specimen from a patient, it is important to verify that the patient followed any special dietary instructions that were given by his or her physician. For example, if a patient was required to refrain from eating for a certain period of time, typically overnight or for a certain span of time, the specimen should not be collected unless these guidelines were followed. Collecting a specimen could give false results. While studying how to become a phlebotomist, this is one thing you will learn.
Once it is determined that any dietary guidelines have been followed, the phlebotomist technician should ask the patient if he or she is allergic to latex. Exposure to latex can cause serious life-threatening reactions in people who are allergic to it. If a patient is allergic to latex, use only latex free equipment and do not allow any latex items into the patient’s room.
The spread of infection can be greatly reduced simply by using proper hand sanitizing. Hands can easily be decontaminated by washing or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer’s. Hospitals and care facilities usually have these types of sanitizers available throughout and even in patient rooms. When using hand sanitizers, more is better. It is important to use a generous amount of sanitizer and to let it evaporate in order to achieve antisepsis. Hands that are visibly dirty or that are contaminated with blood or other body fluids must be washed with good old fashioned soap and water. If there is no hand-washing facility available, detergent containing wipes can be used followed by the use of an alcohol-based hand cleaner. You may even be required to wear gloves, depending on your facility protocol.