Pros: stable employer, great co-workers, supporting a struggling community
Cons: 10-hour shift with no breaks, often working with sub-par equipment
As the only overnight phlebotomist in this 255 bed facility, my shift was always fast-paced, I covered 3 buildings, each with multiple floors, as well as responding to all 'conditions'. (codes)
I learned quickly to budget my time very carefully, and to never make assumptions regarding patient interactions. In rare times when no blood tests were scheduled, – more... I served as the only overnight Specimen Processor for the hospital's laboratory, where I had the opportunity to work closely with the Lab Technicians.
Working overnights, you become self-supervising very quickly, as seeing any member of management required either staying a couple of hours after the end of shift, or returning to work when you should be sleeping. My managers were very supportive and understanding, and we worked together, using alternate forms of communication to minimize any hardship my schedule created.
Night Shift in a hospital requires very close relationships that are based on dependability and trust, and are often formed in near silence. My co-workers comprised the entire night shift of the hospital, as my position required me to travel to every part of the facility. Out of respect for the patients, conversation is kept to an absolute minimum, so you learn to always smile, and wave at floor nurses, interns and residents.
The hardest part of any job in healthcare is the death of a patient. Often, the sickest patients are those who will expire, but they are also the patients we come to know. There is no solution to the situation, death is the natural end of life. The best that we can take away from the death of a patient is knowing that we always treated them with dignity and kindness.
The greatest part of phlebotomy is a patient looking you square in the eye and saying, "You're done already? Why, I didn't even feel the needle!" – less