The Benefits of Hiring a Traveling Phlebotomist for Senior Living
Did you know that there are approximately 30,000 assisted living facilities in the United States? On average, occupancy ranges around 810,000 residents.
Many residents have multiple chronic conditions, including memory loss or physical impairments. These medical conditions make it challenging to travel outside the facility. Additionally, venturing into medical offices could put a resident at risk for viral exposure.
Instead, a traveling phlebotomist makes it easier to get accurate lab testing without transporting a resident. Luckily, we have put together a complete guide that goes over the benefits of hiring a traveling phlebotomist.
Keep reading on for more information!
What Is a Phlebotomist?
A phlebotomist is a medical technician with training to draw blood. Phlebotomists primarily collect blood samples for tests and lab work. These blood tests could determine conditions and treatments, such as:
- How effective a patient’s medication is
- Diagnosing a medical condition
A person does not need a degree to become a phlebotomist. However, these professionals are required to complete a technical program.
After adequate training and clinical practice, they work in various industries. These industries include hospitals, outpatient offices, and home health agencies.
Since phlebotomists work in many health industries, it has become more commonplace to have phlebotomists in the home health or travel industry. A traveling phlebotomist is highly beneficial for a few key reasons:
- Assists patients who are unable to leave a facility
- Avoid travel expenses and time
One of the biggest questions is “how to get blood work for seniors?” Senior living centers pose a unique problem since many elderly adults are physically or mentally unable to travel to get blood work for seniors consistently.
Traveling phlebotomists also make it more comfortable to get blood testing for seniors by staying in a familiar area and surroundings with them.
Phlebotomy for Senior Care
Nearly 60% of older adults experience two or more chronic illnesses. Some common medical conditions that affect seniors are:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic bronchitis
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Older adults are also more at risk for hearing and vision loss and age-related memory loss. These conditions make it more challenging to help them through medical appointments and testing. Unfamiliar offices can confuse adults with memory loss or Alzheimer’s.
Residents’ fragile skin and poor caloric intake could make it even more difficult for a phlebotomist to draw blood. An experienced company with expertise in working with seniors is ideal. The first step that a traveling phlebotomist takes for senior living care facilities happens well before they arrive.
Pre-Testing Phlebotomy Procedure
Phlebotomists will coordinate with health care workers or the patient themselves about:
- Drinking plenty of fluids before
- Inquiring about needle phobias
- Instructing patients not to exercise before
Fluids and exercise can adversely affect lab results. Dehydration can start days before the tests. It is important that residents start drinking plenty of fluids one to two days before the phlebotomists arrive.
Even mild exercise could release adrenaline and other neurotransmitters. It will change electrolyte balances and affect final lab results. Finally, a needle phobia can make blood work for seniors more challenging.
If a phlebotomist understands that a resident has a needle phobia, there are some steps they can take. First, they could use a smaller needle. Another option is using numbing cream beforehand if the fear is related to pain.
Knowing a person has a needle phobia will also prep the travel phlebotomy team. They might send someone more skilled in dealing with residents with a needle phobia.
Blood Work for Seniors
Once a traveling phlebotomist arrives at a senior living facility, they will remain in familiar areas or rooms when working with residents. This eliminates fear and confusion regarding unfamiliarity.
The phlebotomists come prepared with everything they need to draw blood for seniors. These kits include multiple sterile needles, gauze, wrappings, and more. Proper travel equipment helps keep the phlebotomist and resident safe from blood-borne illnesses.
The phlebotomist will also spend time explaining the procedure. Detailing the steps they take will eliminate anxiety or apprehension for your residents.
Lastly, Precision Labs trains and educates phlebotomists to take their time. Not rushing through a blood draw can put residents at ease and make it easier the next time they need blood work.
Post Blood Work Protocol
Seniors are more at risk for bleeding. Many senior care living residents are likely on anticoagulation medication for atrial fibrillation and other disorders. These medications make it easier for residents’ to bleed even with simple procedures.
The risks are minimal for simple blood draws since they are targeting veins. Your phlebotomist will bring plenty of gauze and medical wraps to stop traces of bleeding and avoid infection risk.
How To Hire a Phlebotomist
How can you hire a phlebotomist? First, phlebotomists typically work for a company specializing in blood testing and laboratory work. They could also be hired directly through a medical agency such as a hospital.
For a traveling phlebotomist, you need a company with vast experience working with assisted living facilities, home health agencies, and other offices. Check their reviews, ask about their traveling services, and inquire about turnaround lab testing time.
Find a Phlebotomist for Your Senior Living Facility
Have you needed to find a traveling phlebotomist for your senior living facility? Traveling phlebotomists make it easier to get blood work for your residents. You avoid travel expenses and the headache of transporting patients.
It can also put residents at ease since the phlebotomist can work in a familiar area or room. You will get fast and reliable blood testing results that will help physicians manage their health conditions and treatments.
Are you ready to get started? Check out our in-home blood testing forms today!