The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Special Topics in Phlebotomy. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Effective Communication

Effective communication is a key component of successful phlebotomy procedures. It is important to prepare the patient adequately for the blood collection procedure, not just physically, but also mentally.
Educating the patient about the process is respectful to the patient and will improve sample integrity. Allow time:
  • For patients to ask questions
  • To share information that is important to the sample collection process
  • To describe post-venipuncture self-care information

Use simple vocabulary and not complex medical terms when explaining procedures or answering patients' questions.

If an error does occur during the venipuncture procedure and is realized by the phlebotomist, the appropriate actions should be taken. For example, if a blood tube was not collected for a particular test, the phlebotomist should explain the error to the patient and perform a second venipuncture to collect the required tube.

Ignoring an error or taking inappropriate actions can put a patient at risk.