Phlebotomy clinicals are an extremely valuable part of phlebotomy training because they allow you to gain the hands-on experience that many employers require, as well as give you the confidence and skill to perform well in any phlebotomy position.
Clinicals take place after you’ve successfully completed the classroom portion of your training. They’re held in a doctor’s office, lab or other facility where skilled phlebotomists can guide you in practicing what you’ve learned in the classroom.
Many phlebotomy clinicals require approximately 100 hours, which is the number of hours of experience required by many employers.
During this time you’ll draw blood and carry out the duties of a phlebotomist, while being supervised and observed to ensure that you’re performing these tasks correctly.
While this may seem overwhelming, it helps to remember that you’re not expected to enter your time of clinical experience as an expert! Clinicals are designed to help you improve your skills and give you confidence.
Many phlebotomy students feel anxious as the clinical portion of their training approaches, but phlebotomy clinicals are a time to learn to perform the duties of a phlebotomist with ease, not a time to be fearful.
There are several strategies you can employ to help you make the most of your hands-on training time and keep your nerves at bay.
Study hard. Since you’ll practice what you’ve been studying in your classes during phlebotomy clinicals, it’s important to pay attention to your instructors and glean as much as you can from your textbooks.
Ask questions when you don’t understand something and study to truly grasp the material—not just to pass tests. By making an effort to learn all you can in the classroom, you can be more confident when you start practicing on real patients.
You’ll also save your supervisors (and yourself) valuable time because they won’t need to repeat what you should have learned from your instructors.
See each patient as a fresh start. It’s inevitable that you’ll make at least a few mistakes—and that’s okay. But, don’t let it affect the rest of your day. Each patient that you interact with is a fresh start, so treat each one like they’re the only person you need to deal with all day.
Treat it like a job. View your clinicals like a job—one you want to keep. Clinicals are like a dress rehearsal for your first position as a phlebotomist, and building good habits now will benefit you in the future.
Arrive on time, follow instructions, give everything your best shot, and act professionally.
Phlebotomy clinicals provide a great opportunity to refine your skills and prepare you for a successful career. You can take advantage of all they have to offer by studying hard, moving past your mistakes and acting like the professional you’re training to become.