A certified phlebotomy technician should have a variety of equipment available for use when preparing to draw a blood sample. It is important for a phlebotomist to have all the equipment necessary gathered and prepped ahead of time so that it is organized and ready for use. The most common instruments and equipment are listed below.
Phlebotomy technician equipment list:
- Needles – the size of a needle is indicated by its gauge. The smaller the gauge number, the larger the needle bore. There are various needles available for use with evacuated systems or a syringe, both single draw and butterfly system.
- Holder/Adapter – the holder is used with the evacuated withdrawing system.
- Tourniquet – the tourniquet should be placed 3 to 4 inches above the puncture site. It should not be too tight and not left on for more than 2 minutes. If longer than 2 minutes it must be removed and replaced to avoid hemoconcentration. Once removed you must wait at least 2 minutes before replacing.
- Alcohol Wipes – use 70% isopropyl alcohol
- Syringes – under certain conditions a syringe can be used in place of the evacuated collection system.
- Povidone - iodine wipes/swabs – only used if a blood culture is being drawn.
- Gauze sponges – gauze is used on the puncture site once the needle has been removed. Press down on the site as the gauze is being applied for the best chance to avoid the formation of a hematoma.
- Evacuated collection tubes – these are tubes that have a pre-set volume of blood that can be withdrawn into them using the evacuated system. Not all tubes are created equal. They are color-coded to display the different additives and coatings that have been applied to the tube.
- Adhesive bandages / tape – Tape and bandage, or a band-aid is applied to the puncture site after the needle is removed and after the excess blood has been controlled with the gauze.
- Needle disposal unit – necessary in every drawing location. Needles should be placed in the disposal unit IMMEDIATELY following the collection. Further, needles should never be broken or recapped.
- Gloves – latex, rubber, or vinyl gloves are necessary to protect both the patient and the phlebotomy technician from bloodborne pathogens.
Of course, there are other tools and supplies that can be used by the phlebotomist. However, this is the main list of equipment necessary to perform the standard procedure. If you are trying for your phlebotomy technician certification be sure to read over this list and become familiar with each item on it prior to beginning your training. Familiarity will give you an upper hand.
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