Adding a Travel Phlebotomist to Your Senior Living Team
Throughout the United States, there are 28,900 assisted living communities. They are currently providing care to almost a million seniors, the people who raised us and deserve the very best of care. If you currently own or manage one of these facilities, you know that it’s a labor of love as well as a logistical challenge.
Taking care of the varied health needs of tens of seniors is not easy. They need regular visits from the doctor and that means lots of bloodwork. A travel phlebotomist can simplify that process.
There are many other benefits to hiring a traveling phlebotomist besides simplicity. Let’s dig into why adding one to your senior living team is such a great idea.
What Is a Travel Phlebotomist?
A travel phlebotomist is employed by a lab. They visit patients at doctors’ offices, in their homes, or at senior living facilities to draw blood.
Phlebotomists are skilled professionals who specialize in drawing blood and accurately labeling samples. Because they focus on this one task, they become very good at it. They are able to draw blood even when a patient’s medical conditions make it challenging.
Part of a phlebotomist’s role is putting patients at ease. Nobody likes getting blood drawn but a good phlebotomist can make the process as painless as possible. They can help people who suffer from a fear of needles to be able to get the blood tests they need.
A traveling phlebotomist will not be a permanent staff member of your organization. They’ll continue to work for the laboratory but will come according to a schedule that you agree with the lab.
The Importance of Blood Tests for Seniors
Blood tests are vital for seniors to monitor their general level of health. Even if they are not currently on any medications and do not have any medical conditions, an annual blood test forms an important part of their yearly physical.
Monitoring Medication and Long-Term Conditions
Of course, most seniors do have medical conditions and take medication on a daily basis. Many medications need to be monitored to ensure that they’re not causing unintended side effects. These could potentially include electrolyte imbalances, which would show up on a basic metabolic panel.
Long-term conditions, such as diabetes also require regular blood tests. Senior living blood testing ensures that these vital checks are not missed and that doctors can make prompt changes to medication as needed.
Diagnosing Confusion and Delirium
Around one-third of people aged 85 or older suffer from some form of dementia. But that means that two-thirds of seniors do not. If people who don’t have dementia become confused or delirious, doctors rely on blood testing to get to the bottom of what’s going on.
Many conditions other than dementia can cause delirium. These include:
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Kidneys not functioning correctly
Blood work can show up what’s going on and leads to prompt treatment. When seniors are confused or delirious, it’s better if they can have on-site blood testing rather than travel to the doctor’s office or hospital.
Having a traveling phlebotomist working with your organization can streamline that process. It can lead to faster and more targeted treatment for your residents.
Benefits of On-Site Blood Testing
There are many benefits of on-site blood testing, and it’s not just limited to convenience. It can also have a beneficial impact on seniors’ health.
Improve Outcomes for Patients
Bloodwork gives doctors an insight into a patient’s health in a way that few other forms of testing can. Results often come quickly. But if there is a long delay between the doctor ordering a blood test and the blood being drawn, the patient’s condition can deteriorate.
On-site blood testing reduces or eliminates any delays in drawing blood.
Traveling phlebotomists have a lot of experience in drawing blood from older patients. Thinner skin, collapsed veins, and their diet all have an impact on how easy it is to draw blood. But these skills professionals have the equipment and knowledge to gently take the sample they need.
Assisted living blood testing can reduce stress and discomfort for your residents.
If they are suffering from conditions such as severe arthritis or have mobility issues after a stroke or due to advanced age, there is no need for them to travel. This reduces the risk of trips, slips, and falls occurring outside of their home.
Your patients will also feel more relaxed having a blood test right where they are, in the comfort of their own home.
Avoid Complicated Logistics
The average assisted living community has 33 beds. Organizing blood testing out of your facility for all of these seniors is a logistical challenge, to say the least. It means scheduling appointments, then arranging transport and staff to accompany them.
Then they will need to wait their turn to be seen. There is also the challenge of using unfamiliar restroom facilities away from home, which can be very confusing for people with dementia.
Having a traveling phlebotomist as part of your staff removes that challenge. Residents can be seen wherever they are most comfortable, be that in their room or in a common room.
If you’re in charge of recruitment for a senior living facility, you’ve got a diverse range of roles to fill. From care staff to chefs, you need to monitor a lot of different types of work. Phlebotomist recruiting is potentially another headache that it would be great to avoid.
Employ a traveling phlebotomist and it’s one less load off your mind.
The travel phlebotomist will continue to be employed by the lab. They will ensure that they are trained, certified, and licensed in states that require it. There’s no need to worry about payroll, health insurance, or vacation time – the lab will take care of it all.
Is It Time to Hire a Travel Phlebotomist?
If you’re currently finding it a challenge to organize blood testing for all of your residents, a travel phlebotomist is the way to go.
At Precision Labs, our traveling phlebotomists come to you according to your schedule. They are qualified and experienced. They can help to improve outcomes for senior residents under your care.
Click here to learn more about our blood testing services today!