September 2, 2021

Healthy Driven Staff Spotlight – Phlebotomist

Staff Spotlight

It takes more than the doctors and nurses to care for the hospital’s more than 300+ patients at any given time.   In this new segment, brought to you in partnership with Edward-Elmhurst Health, we introduce you to different staff members at Edward Hospital and spotlight their various departments.

Phlebotomist Fulfillment

Megan Sutton loves interacting with patients while working at Edward Hospital.

“Sometimes these patients tell me the most amazing stories,” said Sutton.  “It’s a job I will forever love.”

As a phlebotomist, she plays a critical role in diagnosing a patient.  Her job is to draw blood with a needle in order to test a person’s sodium, cholesterol, and iron levels, among other key metrics.  Blood samples can also be checked for infections or to make sure a patient is not anemic.

“Our blood tests help to determine what a person has, when a person can be discharged, how a patient can be treated,” said John Ott, Lab Supervisor at Edward Hospital.  “Basically without the lab, [doctors] are kind of just guessing.”

Sutton draws six to eight patients per hour for several hours during the early morning shift.  The samples are sent in tubes to a laboratory in the hospital’s basement, where technicians run the various tests so doctors can have the results as soon as they begin their shifts.

Practicing Empathy

It also just so happens that Sutton is deaf and she says some of the hospital’s patients are as well, making it easier to relate and to communicate via American Sign Language (ASL).  For that reason, such patients often request her in particular to do their blood draws.

“That just makes me feel proud of myself,” she said.

But no matter who the patient is and whether they are deaf or not, Sutton tries to make every patient feel at ease.

“Even though it’s just a really small needle, some of them are so sick one little poke can make it a big deal for them,” she said.  “I try to do it as quick and as painless as possible.”

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