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Go With The Phle[botomy]

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in Adult Education, Centura College, Health, Phlebotomy

Go With The Phle[botomy]

By Jul DeGeus

What is Phlebotomy?

Phlebotomy is “the drawing of blood (as by venipuncture ) for transfusion, apheresis, diagnostic testing, or experimental procedures.” (1) What was once used as the go-to cure for almost any illness, phlebotomy’s most common purpose today is to help doctors diagnose patients through testing. Now a days, the only time it is used as a primary care treatment is limited to rare diseases like hemochromatosis, a metabolism disorder, or polycythemia vera, the increase in blood volume.


When did Phlebotomy begin?

Phlebotomy, or “bloodletting,” has been around for quite a while.  Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations are some examples of ancient cultures that preformed phlebotomy. It was thought that most medical illnesses could be cured through bloodletting. However, the practice of drawing blood in previous eras was based less on scientific reasoning, and more so on superstitious belief.  A majority of bloodlettings occurred to rid people of their “evil vices” or let out the “demons” that resided inside of them. Phlebotomy eventually made its way over to the United States in the 18th century with the pilgrims. (2)


Then Vs. Now

Bloodletting was an extremely dangerous practice that often wound up killing the victim before the disease the phlebotomy was “treating” could. In 1163, the church banned any of the clergymen from preforming the procedure and passed the job onto barbers. It only made sense, since the profession required the artisan to be skilled with a razor. A “normal” blood draining session would stop when the patient informed the vampire that they felt woozy, and would produce one to four pints of blood. On average, the human body has ten pints of blood and loosing this much blood in such a short amount of time, would ultimately prove fatal for the patient. (2)

Today, phlebotomy technicians are required to go through schooling to learn about sterilization, technique and the proper volume of blood to sample for testing or donating. So no more bloodlettings of four pints or till the patient passes out, the limit is capped to approximately one pint every 56-112 days. (3) Thanks to the wondrous advances in science, technology and medicine, we are no longer relying on barbers to draw blood. That is, of course, aside from the occasional nick while shaving.



  1. Phlebotomy. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phlebotomy
  2. Phlebotomy. (2015, July 30). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/Pa-St/Phlebotomy.html
  3. The Red Cross. (n.d.). Blood Facts and Statistics. Retrieved April 13, 2017, from http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-facts-and-statistics
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Newport News Celebrates First Phlebotomy Graduates

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Adult Education, Centura College, Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy


On December 7th, 2015, the Peninsula campus launched their first phlebotomy course. A six week course fast paced, with a load of information. Everyone was excited. The phlebotomy students endured the rigorous course, persevered, and finally completed the main objective, which was to pass their certification. When test time came, everyone was nervous and anxious. They closed their eyes while the computer tallied their scores, and upon opening their eyes to view their scores, everyone was filled with delight, as they all had passed. They rejoiced as if they had won the Super Bowl! It may not have been the Super Bowl but this was a memorable time that made them all feel like winners. They can all proudly say, “I am a Certified Phlebotomist Technician”. Here at CPEN, we are all proud of their accomplishment.

You might be asking,

So what does a Phlebotomy graduate do?

Few people probably know the term phlebotomist, but it’s the health care professional who draws blood and ensures the proper amount is taken and that all blood is properly labeled and stored. Whether you have been a patient or a blood donor, you have seen a phlebotomist. Anyone who chooses this field has to be comfortable with blood, needles, databases, test tubes and blood vials. You will draw blood, verify the patient’s or blood donor’s identity, label the blood and enter patient information into a database. You’ll assemble and maintain equipment as well to prevent infections or other complications. Phlebotomists also tend to reassure nervous patients who don’t like needles, and some of them will explain what they are doing for patients who are interested.

Phlebotomy technicians are becoming very high in demand, and that oppertunity is increasingly steadily. This is partly because of locations (such as hospitals which are open 24 hours) require three shifts of phlebotomists on staff. That means that if you are flexible about the hours you work, you will probably find even more opportunity in this field.


Click here to start your Career in Phlebotomy today!


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