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Document: Phlebotomy
Classification: Position Paper
Date: March 1998
Status: Approved by ASCLS House of Delegates July, 1998

BACKGROUND

Traditionally, phlebotomy has been a component of clinical laboratory science and clinical laboratory technician education. New level I Phlebotomists are educated in formal programs and on the job training, and credentialed through national certification examinations. The traditional roles and scope of practice of phlebotomists are being expanded to include point of care testing (waivered tests), and basic patient care services. These changes in the role and scope of practice are the results of dynamics in health care delivery that resulted in merged knowledge, skills and competencies. New roles for phlebotomists have transformed discipline specific practitioners to multidisciplinary, multiskilled practitioners. Such transformation is assumed to be a mechanism to better utilize existing human resources, and to provide more cost effective quality healthcare delivery. Phlebotomists have been recognized as key personnel who are well prepared to assume additional roles to meet the needs of health care. Hence, the assumption of additional roles places the phlebotomist in a broader scope of practice that might be described within Phlebotomy and Technical Patient Care Services. An emerging scope of practice has been identified as patient care technicians in some institutions.

POSITION

ASCLS affirms that phlebotomy consists of a discrete body of knowledge, skills and competencies.

Many tests are performed on blood specimens that require knowledge of specimen collection standards of practice ranging from patient preparation, appropriateness of site collection, type of sample required (venous, arterial or capillary) together with specimen procurement and delivery to the laboratory testing site.

ASCLS affirms that phlebotomy is a component of the body of knowledge of clinical laboratory science that must be integrated at an appropriate taxonomic level in didactic and clinical education for clinical laboratory scientists. Clinical laboratory technicians, and phlebotomists.

ASCLS affirms the role of phlebotomists as key laboratory personnel, who provide critical contributions to accurate laboratory information leading to the accurate detection, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease.

Phlebotomists are ambassadors of the laboratory who for many patients/clients are the primary laboratory personnel with whom they have direct contact. Furthermore, through specimen collection, phlebotomists provide critical contributions to accurate laboratory information.

ASCLS affirms that the traditional roles and scope of practice of phlebotomists are being expanded to include point of care testing (waivered tests), and basic patient care services.

Phlebotomists must be educated and demonstrate competencies in phlebotomy, point of care testing, and patient services specific to their scope of practice.

ASCLS is committed to quality service and excellence in the standards of practice in all aspects of laboratory testing including phlebotomy and related services.

Personnel performing phlebotomy and related services must be qualified and credentialed, and demonstrate competence and a commitment to quality improvement within this scope of practice.

ASCLS affirms that the intent to promote and support outcomes research to assess the quality of laboratory services related to phlebotomy.

Outcomes research is essential to affirm clinical laboratory scientists' position in healthcare.

ASCLS affirms the role of clinical laboratory scientists' as teachers and supervisors in the education of phlebotomists.

Clinical laboratory scientists are uniquely qualified in and committed to all aspects of clinical laboratory practice including phlebotomy. Furthermore, phlebotomists' contributions are integral to the accuracy laboratory information and quality patient/client services.

ASCLS affirms its intent to lead a strong advocacy role with individuals, groups, and organizations that participate in the education of phlebotomists.

As advocates, the clinical laboratory scientists promote education and credentialing, and demonstrate a commitment to quality patient/client services.

ASCLS is committed to the education of those who utilize phlebotomists.

Effective utilization of laboratory personnel and services are critical to provide quality cost effective healthcare.