Amanda Fleenor is no stranger to blood. That’s because she’s the lead phlebotomist for Hancock Health. From taking blood draws to training new associates, Amanda does a lot in her role.
We sat down with Amanda and got all the details on what it’s like, and how she makes health possible for her patients every day.
Q: Okay Amanda, tell us a bit about yourself!
A: Sure! I’m a lead phlebotomist at Hancock Health, and I’ll be celebrating my three-year anniversary at Hancock Health this October.
A: Thanks, it’s been a great place to work. There are so many different things that are part of my job. The variety is really nice.
Q: On that same subject, tell me about being the lead phlebotomist and lab tech. What do you do in your role?
A: As lead phlebotomist, I oversee the staff, perform phlebotomy, process samples, and train new associates. The lab tech assistants participate in the processing and distribution of specimen samples, load analyzers, prepare and send out specimens for our reference lab, and perform basic point-of-care testing.
We also collect labs from patients, from either our off-site locations or within the hospital itself. We register and order specimens coming from those locations. Some of our patients come to pick up stool or urine test kits. We also test water samples within the lab, and we can give a resident of the community or a business the correct supplies to do this.
Q: Wow, that’s quite a few responsibilities.
A: Yes! We also do general office duties such as checking orders for accuracy, ordering supplies, participating in patient satisfaction scores, maintaining specimen recollections, reviewing procedures from year to year and updating as needed, and so much more.
Q: So, what would you say is your favorite part of your job?
A: Oh, I love interacting with the patients. Getting out of the lab and talking to patients is such a joy.
Q: Do you have a favorite interaction with a patient?
A: Absolutely. I once had a little girl in the ER who I was drawing labs for. She did fantastically with the whole process, staying very still like a statue and breathing evenly throughout. I noticed when I entered the room, she already had a lot of stickers given to her, but I gave her even more since she was doing such a good job. Before I left, she gave me one of her stickers and told me to wear it. I wore that sticker all day long and to this day, it’s still in my car.
Q: Aw, that’s so sweet! Do you use stickers to help comfort kids when they’re nervous?
A: Yes, and this little girl just did an amazing job. When I encounter a patient who is nervous or scared during blood draws, I explain everything that I am doing: Placing the tourniquet, feeling for the vein, cleaning off the arm, etc. Once the patient is ready, I ask them to take a deep breath and once I stick the needle, I have them blow their breath out. I do this again when it’s time to take the needle out. I believe this helps them focus on the breath rather than a needle going into their arm. With kids, it’s nice to talk about their favorite cartoon or Disney character, too.
Thanks for chatting with us, Amanda!