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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

MDLB 1515: Phlebotomy Workshop

This practical course allows students to develop and demonstrate the skills learned in MDLB 1321 and to further explore the roles and professional responsibilities of a Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA), and to gain experience in performing venipuncture under the guidance of experienced MLA's.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Clarify the role of the medical laboratory assistant.
  • Identify and explain clearly the procedures of normal and special blood collection.
  • Describe the need for professionalism and confidentiality in the hospital / lab setting.
  • Describe the need for clear and calming communication with patients.
  • Describe the procedures and situations requiring different types of phlebotomy, including single tubes, multiple tubes, and butterfly and syringe collections.
  • Perform an average of 40 venipunctures on artificial arms (including butterfly collections).
  • Perform at least six venipunctures on volunteer arms and two on hand veins, displaying sound judgement when evaluating alternative procedures.
  • Maintain composure while performing venipuncture.
  • Follow instructions accurately, and clearly articulate questions when required.
  • Perform an ECG on a volunteer patient using an ECG machine.
  • Demonstrate good listening skills in the lab with co-participants and volunteers.
  • Demonstrate a pleasant and empathetic approach to "patients", communicating clearly to identify the "patient", explain procedures and to alleviate any fears.
  • Demonstrate a professional appearance in dress, manner, and speech.

Course topics

The following topics will be covered in this course:

  • Professionalism, Communication, Safety and Confidentiality
  • Customer Service in the lab and hospital setting
  • What is your worst fear about taking blood?"
  • Collection Equipment-Safety regulations and hazards
  • Tourniquets
  • How to Take Blood-Procedure review
  • Practice Venipuncture-Artificial arms
  • Actual Venipuncture-Student-to-student and volunteer
  • Perform ECG Procedure
  • Tour of Medical Laboratory
  • Demonstrate/practice Butterfly Technique and Capillary Collection
  • Resolve "Worst Fears"
  • Blood Collection-Butterfly technique


Grading: Complete (COM) or Did Not Complete (DNC)

There is no formal test for this workshop. A Complete grade will be awarded to all students who meet the course objectives successfully as listed above, demonstrating a willingness to participate and learn the skill of phlebotomy. A "Did Not Complete" grade would occur in cases where the student did not demonstrate the required skills and attitudes that are required for a MLA. The following items could be considered in the case where a DNC grade would apply: inability to follow through with successful venipunctures, minimal participation which limited the facilitators' ability to help the student meet the objectives, constant use of communication skills that are inappropriate to the lab environment, and/or consistent lack of receptiveness to feedback.

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