It’s Phlebotomist Recognition Week!
Q&A with a PHC Phlebotomist

Tammy Despain, Phlebotomist / Lab Assistant
Lake Norman Family Medicine

What is a phlebotomist?

A phlebotomist is technically a person who draws blood, but there is more that encompasses the job. A phlebotomist is a liaison between the provider and the patient when it comes to the integrity of the lab specimens drawn and the reported results. We provide a service, but we also provide customer service and make a sometimes-scary experience bearable.


What is the behind-the-scenes process of a Phlebotomist?

The phlebotomist not only draws blood, but they play an integral part in the patient’s care plan. When reviewing orders prior to the draw, you need to be detail-oriented as to not miss any ordered tests. As you are drawing labs you need to follow recommended guidelines to ensure a quality specimen is sent for testing. When processing samples in the in-house lab, you need to follow all established guidelines to ensure timely reporting and submission of results. The Phlebotomist is responsible for communicating effectively between the lab, administration, providers, and the clinical staff.


When would a patient need Phlebotomy?

When the provider thinks the symptoms the patient presents with can be diagnosed by having their blood drawn.


What do you love most about being a Phlebotomist?

I love the interaction I have with patients. I love hearing their stories, I love when I can make a patient less uncomfortable with the Phlebotomy experience. My goal is to provide exceptional customer service as we have a huge impact on how they feel about the practice and their experiences when they come here.


What is one thing patients ask you the most? And what is your response?

How long have you been doing this job?
I tell them that I am a senior Vampire! I have been doing this job for 30 plus years.