by Dennis Ernst • February 13, 2018
The Center for Phlebotomy Education often posts survey questions inviting readers and visitors to its website and Facebook page to participate, then publishes the results in the following issue of Phlebotomy Today-STAT! This month, we summarize responses from some of the more intriguing surveys conducted over the past 12 months. Topics include patient identification errors, policy violations, certification, reducing anxiety in patients, Lab Week activities and more. Links are provided to the archived issue of Phlebotomy Today-STAT! that discusses the survey results at length.
Errors and Omissions
Which of the 28 steps of a basic venipuncture are most commonly omitted, or performed incorrectly, where you work?
- asking about prior complications/incidents with blood draws---40%
- releasing the tourniquet within one minute---32%
- not recleansing the site after repalpating---30 %
- filling all tubes to the fill line---27.5%
- observing the site for bleeding for at least five seconds prior to bandaging---27%.
What is your facility's policy on identifying patients prior to a blood draw? Do you always follow the policy?
- state full name: 77 percent; 14 percent don't always comply;
- state birth date: 98 percent; 5 percent don't always comply;
- spell first and last name: 7 percent: 48 percent don't always comply;
- seek a third-party when patient is unable to provide the required information: 86 percent; 11 percent don't always comply;
- compare information provided with ID band and test request: 89 percent. 7 percent don't always comply.
Pain & anxiety
What are you using to reduce the pain and anxiety of phlebotomy on pediatric and adult patients?
- Verbal distraction (conversing, small talk, etc,)---85%
- parental comforting---81%
- use of a 23-gauge needle or smaller---79%
- visual distraction---71%.
- verbal distraction---91%
- explaining the procedure in advance---64%
- visual distraction---51%.
Does your employer require phlebotomists to be certified?
If you are certified, which agency certified you?
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)--51.3%
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)--14.1%
- National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)---6.4%
- National Phlebotomy Association (NPA)---4%
- American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT)---4%
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)---2.6%
- New Zealand Institute of Med Lab Science (NZIMLS)---2.5%
Would I recommend my profession?
Would you recommend your profession to a friend or acquaintance?
If you would not recommend your profession, why not?
- low pay---60%
- lack of respect from other healthcare professions---50%
- lack of respect from other laboratorians---30%
- no opportunities for advancement---40%
- always being understaffed---30%
What policies where you work are commonly violated.
- texting personal messages---75%
- duration and frequency of breaks---43%
- surfing the Internet for personal reasons---43%
- dress code violations---29%
- taking/making personal phone calls---36%
- exceeding allowable sick days---32%
Limits to piercing, policies against vulgarity and offensive speech, policies assuring a safe work environment, and HIPAA policy violations were each reported to be common with 14 percent of respondents. Failure to wear gloves was cited by 4 percent.
Tube labeling practices
Do you ever label tubes you didn't draw?
- Only if I witness the collection including the patient identification step---36%
Of the tubes you draw yourself, do you ever label them away from the patient?
Do you ever label tubes before they are filled?
- Yes, it's acceptable where I work---7%
- It is acceptable where I work, but I always label after the draw---14%
Should pre-collection labeling be allowed?
If I could enact a law...
What laws would you like to enacted for those who draw laboratory samples?
- mandatory certification for those who draw blood---21%
- mandatory training program---9%
- mandatory continuing education---9%
On my wish list
What products and concepts do you wish would be developed to help you in your role as blood collection personnel?
Managers' top five:
- a device that eliminates hemolysis---73.7%
- a device that makes it impossible to misidentify a patient or mislabel a tube---68.4%
- a site prep solution that not only cleanses the site, but instantly anesthetizes the skin, making every blood draw painless---63.2%
- gloves that don't feel like I'm wearing gloves when I palpate for veins---57.9%
- a device that eliminates blood culture contamination---36.8%
Educators' top five:
- a device that eliminates hemolysis---88.9%
- a device or method that improves patient comfort and satisfaction---66.7%
- a device or feature that eliminates accidental needlesticks during phlebotomy---66.7%
- gloves that don't feel like I'm wearing gloves when I palpate for veins---66.7%
- a site prep solution that not only cleanses the site, but instantly anesthetizes the skin, making every blood draw painless---44.4%
Front line healthcare professionals' top five:
- a site prep solution that not only cleanses the site, but instantly anesthetizes the skin, making every blood draw painless---69.8%
- a device or method that improves patient comfort and satisfaction---56.6%
- gloves that don't feel like I'm wearing gloves when I palpate for veins---50.9%
- a device that reduces back strain caused by bending over to draw blood---45.3%
- a device that eliminates hemolysis---43.4%
Celebrating Lab Week
How did your facility celebrate the last National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week?
- Our profession was not celebrated---30%
Of those whose facilities did celebrate Lab Week:
- phlebotomists received special recognition---38%
Among those employed at facilities that celebrated Lab Week:
- the recognition had no effect on how I feel about my profession---62%
- the recognition made me feel worse about my profession---6%
Summoning waiting patients
What practices are in place where you work for summoning patients from a waiting room, and confirming their ID once they arrive at the draw station?
- we announced the intended patient's first name aloud---36%
- we announced the last name---14%
- we announced the intended patient's first and last name---31%
- we announce a unique identifier---11%
- we displayed a unique identifier for patients to respond to---8%
- when the outpatient you summoned enters the draw station, how do you confirm his/her identification?
- we compare the order or labels by requesting the patient to verbally provide specific information---75%
- we ask the patient who responded to the summoning to affirm specific information the phlebotomist provides---6%
- no verification takes place in their draw stations---3%
- other methods---17%
Finally, we wanted to know if and how those who draw blood specimens confirm the tube was properly labeled after the draw, as required by the standards. Surprisingly, 22 percent did not verify the labeled tube. Two respondents said they only confirmed tubes used for transfusion testing. Of those who regularly confirm tubes are labeled properly, 21 percent compare the tube(s) with the patient's ID band, while 39 percent show the labeled tube to the patient for confirmation.
overall rating: my rating: log in to rate