Students practicing phlebotomy
Phlebotomy ("to cut a vein" in Greek) is the process of making an incision in a vein. It is associated with venipuncture, the practice of collecting venous blood samples, and bloodletting, the ancient medical practice. A person who performs phlebotomy is termed a phlebotomist.
Phlebotomists are people trained to draw blood from a live person or animal for tests, transfusions, donations, or research. Phlebotomist are trained in a certification program; this program can be online, but must also include a certain number of hours of practical training in drawing blood. Phlebotomists collect blood primarily by performing venipuncture and, for collection of minute quantities of blood, fingersticks. Blood may be collected from infants by means of a heel stick.
Some countries and districts/states require phlebotomy personnel to be licensed or registered:
In Australia, there are a number of courses in Phlebotomy offered by educational institutions, but training is typically provided on the job. The minimum primary qualification for Phlebotomists in Australia is a Certificate III in Pathology HLT 32607 or a Certificate IV in Pathology HLT41807 (from an approved educational institution), current senior first aid certification must be included.
United Kingdom 
In the UK there is no requirement for holding a formal qualification or certification prior to becoming a phlebotomist as training is usually provided on the job. The NHS offers training with formal certification upon completion.
United States 
Certification in the United States is done by examination from the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians and other societies. To qualify for an examination you must usually take a course or class that is there to give you the required hours of training that you need to qualify for a test.
Early Phlebotomists used techniques such as leeches to extract blood from the body. It was used as a healing process, thought to remove toxins from the blood stream.
See also 
- Jeon BR, Seo M, Lee YW, Shin HB, Lee SH, Lee YK (2011). "Improving the blood collection process using the active-phlebotomist phlebotomy system". Clinical Laboratory 57 (1-2): 21–7. PMID 21391461.
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