Those who have been trained for phlebotomy tasks, like collecting blood samples for analysis from different types of patients, face different challenges because of their responsibilities. Medical professionals working in the field of phlebotomy are typically found in environments such as commercial laboratories, hospitals, doctor’s offices and hospitals. One of the most common concerns among phlebotomists is the possibility of facing risks brought about by their task of collecting blood samples from different patients, including those with blood related medical conditions, such as AIDS.
But the question remains: are phlebotomists really at risk from AIDS? Read below to learn more about this concern.
How AIDS is transmitted?
There is no doubt that AIDS is a disease to be feared of. It is a highly contagious disease which can easily be transmitted from one person to another. The most common way of transmission is by having unprotected sex. On the other hand, the use of needles infected with the virus can also be a cause of transmission.
Once a person is infected with the virus, HIV is found in the body fluids such as semen, saliva, as well as blood. It is a misconception that the virus is transmitted by simple touching of hands. Through a valid method of transmission, the virus enters the blood stream and damages the body system, eventually causing havoc to the body.
The risks involved
There have been reports of healthcare workers facing the risk of exposure to AIDS because of their line of job. These medical professionals are exposed to the blood of a potentially infected patient. However, the risks remain as risks. It does not mean that medical professionals, such as phlebotomists are indeed in danger of acquiring AIDS just because they are performing their job.
Rest assured certain safety precautions are being implemented in various medical locations where phlebotomists work. Dangerous practices such as the ones listed below are definitely being avoided by professional phlebotomists.
- Recapping of used needs with the use of two hands
- Disassembling and recapping of vacuum-containing holders and tubes
- Reusing vacuum tube holders and tourniquets which may be contaminated with blood and virus
- Working alone while dealing with disoriented patients who may have the tendency to move unexpectedly, thus causing needle sticks.
Certain guidelines are being set in place in order to enhance the quality of extracting blood specimens, thus promoting safety among phlebotomists working in their field of work. All medical facilities are required to implement safety procedures in line with the guidelines directed by the World Health Organization. If a medical facility or an organization fails to do so, they are being reprimanded according to guidelines.
When it comes to dealing with serious medical conditions such as AIDS, everybody is indeed, at risk, not just phlebotomists or any other medical professional. The risks are there, but it does not mean that they will automatically acquire them. By following certain safety procedures, these risks are avoided accordingly and safety for both patients and phlebotomists is promoted. These procedures must especially be followed if you’re a mobile phlebotomist, since you will be doing your work on your own.