As a phlebotomist, there is plenty of knowledge and technical skills, each more important than the last one, to acquire.
But what makes the difference between a regular specialist and an admired phlebotomist is the mastery of soft skills.
Things like compassion, active communication skills, and an observational spirit can make your job a lot easier and more fulfilling. How? Read on to find out.
1. Active Communication Skills
Any job that implies working with people requires ample communication skills. As counterintuitive as it may seem, these skills are even more crucial for a phlebotomist.
When faced with medical procedures, most people are stressed or uncomfortable, at least. When it comes to children, this is more obvious. But the truth is most adults feel the same way – they are just used to not showing it.
And what stresses them even more once they’ve arrived in your centre is one of two things: not understanding the procedure and feeling alone. This can lead to somatizations such as fainting or a sudden drop in blood pressure, which may hurt the patient or create a negative experience for both of you.
By developing your communication abilities, you can explain the procedure clearly and establish rapport with the patient. This, in turn, will make him more responsive to your procedure and increase the chances of an incident-free encounter between the two of you.
2. Great Observational Spirit
While this is a skill you can’t quite learn from books, you can learn it by practice and training. It’s amazing if you learned how to draw blood, but if you don’t pay attention to distributing it in the right tubes or follow the correct order, your entire work is futile.
Additionally, observational spirit comes in handy to evaluate the physical condition of your patient. Do they begin to feel weak while you’re taking blood? Are they close to fainting? Even if they did say they’re okay with having their blood taken, sometimes their body might respond differently. And a sharp observational spirit will help you avoid complications.
3. Compassion and a Positive Attitude
It’s important to apply these not only with your patients but with yourself as well. Learn to cultivate compassion and positive inner dialogue. This way, smiling and caringly engaging in small talk with your patients will come naturally.
Therefore, the experience of having their blood drawn will turn from an anxious one to a pleasant one. All thanks to a phlebotomist who did not interact with him mechanically, but wholly and humanly.
Why Should You Learn These Soft Skills?
The best part of soft skills is that they’re transferrable. Once you master them, you’ll be able to use them beyond professional contexts. Being able to actively listen to your patients means you’re able to actively listen to your spouse, friend or sister. They may be called “soft” skills but these are the backbone of healthy relationships. And mastering them will make you stand out from the crowd, both as a phlebotomist and as a val