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Tip of the Month: The Wizard of Ahhs

There's a little Wizard in all of us

by Dennis Ernst • June 11, 2021


Phlebotomy Wizard
The Wizard of Ahhhs

On the yellow brick road that leads a patient to better health, you’ll find a whole cast of characters collecting blood with abilities as varied as the colors of the rainbow. As we gaze into phlebotomy’s crystal ball and observe this mystical journey, here’s what we might see:

The Scarecrow – With only limited field experience, this collector lacks the necessary knowledge of CLSI blood collection standards. He gives no thought to following proper procedures or facility protocol. Instead, this character is known for using a patchwork of unorthodox phlebotomy techniques.

The Tin Man – Side-stepping patient contact every chance he gets, this collector lacks heart and human compassion. Not only do his attempts at building patient rapport ring hollow, but his collection technique is rusty.

The Cowardly Lion – This employee lacks the confidence necessary to put anxious patients at ease and the courage to always do the right thing. When pressured to bend the rules by the Lions and Tigers and Bears of the institution, this collector will cower and cave, although keenly aware of the consequences.

The Wizard – Those traveling the yellow brick road to recovery know they have “arrived” as they marvel in the presence of this Master Blood Collector. Known as the Wizard of Aahs! by his patients, this collector is renowned for his knowledge of the procedure and unsurpassed skills. Coupled with experience and compassion, the Wizard of Aahs! conjures up a painless phlebotomy and a quality sample time after time. Because clinicians can confidently provide appropriate care based on the test results produced, patients are soon clicking their heels all the way home.

But the story doesn’t end there. Part of what makes this wizard wonderful is the fact that his magic isn’t limited to his patients. As a wise mentor, his goal is to improve every life he touches. For the Scarecrow, the Wizard of Aahs! provides phlebotomy training and continuing education to ensure he never comes up short of knowledge again. After showing the Tin Man how human kindness has the power to both heal a broken body and a broken spirit, he hasn’t side-stepped another patient. The Tin Man’s newfound love for mankind is now coupled with his abilities as a well-oiled phlebotomist. Finally, in his infinite wisdom, the Wizard of Aahs! knows what unfailing support from a respected authority will do for one’s self-esteem. So it is in “encouragement” that the Lion now finds courage, turning his fear into fearlessness.

Not sure where you’d fit into this classic tale? If you have a hunger for knowledge, a heart for others and a commitment to the profession, don’t be surprised if patients and coworkers find a little bit of wizardry in how you skip down the yellow-brick road of your healthcare career.

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