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Phlebotomist Interview Questions

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  1. In what contexts have you been a phlebotomist in the past? What types of duties did you perform? See answer
  2. What is your experience with labeling samples? What is the importance of this process? See answer
  3. How do you prevent a hematoma when drawing blood, and what advice do you give to donors who get hematomas? See answer
  4. How do you comfort patients who have had negative experiences or who may be afraid to have their blood drawn? See answer
  5. What are some signs of a negative patient reaction when they’re donating blood or plasma?
  6. While drawing blood, a patient starts to appear sweaty and pale and they say they don’t feel well. What is your immediate reaction?
  7. Can you describe the process for preparing and completing a venipuncture procedure?
  8. You can’t find a vein when preparing to take a blood sample. What do you do?
  9. You’re prepared to get a blood sample from a patient, but their blood pressure is too high. How do you help calm them to complete the procedure?
  10. Why do you want to work for our facility as a phlebotomist?
  11. What skills do you possess that make you an eligible candidate for a phlebotomist position?
  12. Can you walk me through the tools and materials you need to complete a blood test?
  13. What was your relationship like with physicians, nurses and other medical professionals at your previous job? What examples can you provide that highlight your communication abilities?
  14. How would you rate your attention to detail as a phlebotomist? What examples do you have?
  15. Which blood drawing procedures, if any, do you wish you had more experience with?
  16. How did your last employer instruct you to organize, label and store blood samples in the lab?
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6 Phlebotomist Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

In what contexts have you been a phlebotomist in the past? What types of duties did you perform?

A:

Professional phlebotomists practice in several different contexts, which may determine the type and level of experience your candidate will bring to the job. There are a few reasons that blood might be collected, for instance, a person could draw blood for Red Cross, but they might also provide services at a plasma center, each of which requires knowledge of different types of technical equipment and interaction with diverse clientele. Phlebotomists also collect blood for testing at hospitals, which means they draw from different demographics, such as newborns. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with similar patients or donors
  • Knowledge of your equipment
  • Understanding of your professional setting

Example:

“I’ve been a phlebotomist at donation centers and hospitals, working with a range of ages. At a plasma center, I worked with centrifuge machines, too.”

Q:

What are some of the signs of a negative patient reaction when they’re donating blood or plasma?

A:

There are several reasons that might cause someone to have an adverse reaction when they’re donating blood or plasma. An applicant should be aware of some of the most common factors that contribute to a negative experience. For instance, a donor might feel nauseous or even pass out during the donation process because of a drop in blood pressure or dehydration. Professionally qualified phlebotomists are familiar with these situations and confident in explaining how they should be handled. What to look for in an answer:

  • Awareness of factors leading to adverse reactions
  • Understanding of symptoms
  • Knowledge of techniques to prevent and treat common reactions

Example:

“Donors faint for a number of reasons, but they might have a reaction to the saline. Dizziness and a racing heart are other symptoms.”

Q:

What is your experience with labeling samples? What is the importance of this process?

A:

One of the job duties of a phlebotomist is to label blood samples and donations. They need understanding and respect for the process and must be willing to follow policies and procedures. Part of this also includes identifying patients and donors. While each hospital or donation center has a different set of requirements and methods, candidates for your position should have a general understanding of the steps that must be taken to ensure samples are properly identified. What to look for in an answer:

  • Awareness of consequences of switched samples
  • General idea of processes used to label vials
  • A desire to be accurate and follow regulations

Example:

“Labeling and transporting blood and plasma is just as important as drawing it. Every hospital is different, so I listen during training for procedures and make sure to follow them to the letter.”

Q:

How do you prevent a hematoma when drawing blood, and what advice do you give to donors who get hematomas?

A:

A hematoma, while not life-threatening, is painful for patients and donors. It can also cause a deferral for plasma donors until it heals. Phlebotomists can use several techniques to reduce the likelihood of a hematoma forming. Candidates should know how to avoid piercing through the far vein wall, and they should know that they should remove the cuff or tourniquet before removing the needle after drawing blood. Experience levels and training quality varies widely in the industry, so this question can make sure your phlebotomist has a sufficient level of knowledge for your needs. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of the consequences of a poor venipuncture
  • Knowledge of how to treat a hematoma
  • Concern for comfort of patients

Example:

“Even if we are very busy, I always take my time when finding a vein to puncture, and I remove the cuff before removing the needle in donors to prevent hematomas.”

Q:

How do you comfort patients who have had negative experiences or who may be afraid to have their blood drawn?

A:

It’s common for people to have a fear of needles, especially children and people who have had a prior negative experience. It’s easier for phlebotomists in a hospital setting to draw blood if the patient is calm. A candidate needs to have ideas on how to create a pleasant experience for people so that they’re comfortable. The strategies they use can depend on the type of patient. What to look for in an answer:

  • A concern for patients’ feelings
  • Candidate should have a calm demeanor
  • Strategies for reassuring adults and children

Example:

“With adults, I listen to their concerns and distract them with conversation. Parents can distract fearful children, and it’s useful to have a couple of toys available.”

Q:

While drawing blood, a patient starts to appear sweaty and pale and they say they don't feel well. What is your immediate reaction?

A:

Phlebotomists are responsible for monitoring patients before, during and after blood draw procedures to ensure their health. For patients who are nervous or haven't eaten, getting their blood drawn can cause them to become ill or faint. This question allows interviewers to determine a candidate's ability to take action when a patient becomes unwell.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Medical expertise
  • Attention to detail
  • Previous professional experience

Here is an example of a quality candidate answer:

Example:

"The first thing I'd do is remove the needle and wrap the area. If they're sitting, I'd instruct the patient to lean over placing their head in their knees. If they're lying down, I'd elevate their knees or tilt back their bed to help increase blood flow to the head. Then I'd monitor their pulse rate, and communicate with medical professionals to get them water, juice or possibly something to eat once they felt better."

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