For most people, the prospect of blood being drawn likely won’t seem stressful. Phlebotomy is a fairly routine process that is both quick and safe. However, some medical conditions make this process more difficult. In addition, for those who have a fear of needles, blood tests or blood donation can be a stressful experience.
Fortunately, recent advances in phlebotomy hold promise, and could be the key to making the process of collecting blood even smoother for those with complicating conditions or a fear of needles. Here’s a look at some of the new technology and developments you might one day see during your career.
New Imaging Tools Could Help Find Suitable Veins
Individuals with a history of intravenous drug use, or even with just naturally small, fragile, or blocked veins, can experience difficulty. It may be hard to draw blood from these patients, or even find a suitable vein in the first place. This could lead to medical professionals inserting needles multiple times in an effort to find a vein, which can cause stress and discomfort for the patient.
New imaging technology could present a viable solution to this problem. For example, the “VeinViewer Vision 2” uses a near-infrared light and a projector to detect the activity of veins in a patient and then project an image of their activity back onto the skin where they are found. The effect is almost like a safer version of an X-ray, allowing medical professionals to see under the skin and find suitable veins for blood work. For those graduates of medical lab tech training who become phlebotomy technicians, this is a tool that has the potential to save a great deal of time, and would likely allow individuals with difficulty giving blood to have a more comfortable experience.
Pros With Medical Lab Tech Training Can Look Forward to a Different Kind of Needle
Part of the problem with standard needles is that some people may have a fear or even phobia of them. What’s more, frightened patients can sometimes have difficulty staying still for the duration of a blood sampling, especially when their fear is extreme.
Approaches that minimize patient fear and anxiety can help make sampling easier
One possible solution is the recently developed VenousPro system, which uses sensor technology to automatically target appropriate veins for drawing blood. In addition, this system goes one step further by employing a design that hides the presence of a needle, and also has a clamping mechanism to hold arms in place. This combination allows for a blood drawing process that is less distressing to patients, and which makes it easier to draw blood even when they’re afraid.
For graduates of medical laboratory assistant schools, these new technologies can be exciting developments to look forward to in the coming years. However, these technologies could still be a long way away, and even once they do become widespread, the interpersonal skills students master during their hands-on training will still be essential for soothing stressed patients. Do you want to learn more about modern phlebotomy training?
Contact Medix College to find out about our medical laboratory technician program!