The phlebotomist or nurse should follow a few important procedures, in order to ensure safety during the blood drawing process.
• Proper Gloving and Clean Hands - Phlebotomists glove-up to keep themselves, and their patients, safe from any possible contaminents. They frequently wash their hands and wear a fresh pair of gloves for every patient, to avoid the possibility of cross contamination.
• Cleaning the Area - Phlebotomists clean the puncture site with a treated pad, to eliminate risk of any contaminents entering the sample. They then place a gauze against the spot of the puncture, when removing the needle, to ensure blood doesn't leak out. A bandage or gauze and tape will usually be applied, to keep the area safe while it heals.
• Confirming Patient ID - This is done by confirming name, birthdate, and patient number with a patient's armband. These identification markings must match perfectly with the requisition form, to ensure the correct blood draws are being performed on the correct person. Labels with the patient's printed information are applied to vials, to ensure proper identification by the employees who work in the lab.
• Color Labelled Tubes - Different tubes have different chemicals in them that react to the blood in various ways. These tubes are color-coded, to ensure they are tested correctly.
• Proper Needle Disposal - Hospitals and doctor's offices have "sharps containers" that safely hold used needles until they can be safely disposed of.