Live Blog: Phlebotomy 2016

Welcome to Our Live Blog

On April 14–15, we will be live blogging from Phlebotomy 2016 in Rochester, Minnesota. Follow along to read presentation summaries, view photos from the two-day conference, and watch our Facebook Live broadcasts.

April 15, 3 p.m.

Thank You!

Phlebotomy 2016  has officially come to an end, and we want to thank all of our attendees, facility, exhibitors, and education staff for making this year's conference an overwhelming success. We hope you enjoyed the educational and interactive presentations as well as the opportunity to mingle with colleagues and friends.

April 15 at 2 p.m.

Change Management Workshop

Amy Seegmiller Renner and Deb Hagen-Moe discussed how the methodology of ADKAR can be used in any work environment.

Change management is often referred to as the “people side of change.” Deb Hagen-Moe and Amy Seegmiller Renner reviewed the ADKAR model—which stands for awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement—and described it as a methodology to use to gain staff acceptance of any change that may occur in our lives.

The duo asked attendees to work through a hypothetical situation using ADKAR and discover that people resist change when:

  • There is lack of communication.
  • They are not properly trained.
  • Their transition has been ignored.

April 15 at 1 p.m.

Lessons in Safety and Preparedness

Pat Hlavka, Safety Coordinator, passed the microphone around the room to collect possible "emergency situation" examples.

Pat Hlavka, Safety Coordinator, started her presentation by asking attendees, “How prepared is your work unit in the case of an emergency?” Ms. Hlavka interacted with the room by compiling attendee examples of potential "emergencies" that could arise in our work environments. During her presentation, Ms. Hlavka:

  • Addressed ways to identify stages in an emergency.
  • Provided suggestions to prepare for an emergency situation that may arise.
  • Advised how to know your threats and create a plan of action in the case of an emergency.
  • After the plan is created, explained how to train staff members on the plan and practice it by creating drills to replicate what the situation might look like.

Finally, Ms. Hlavka advised to follow up with observation and discussion after any event to learn from your mistakes to find continued areas of improvement with the ultimate goal of  keeping your staff members and clients safe.

April 15 at 12 p.m.

Top Gun Phlebotomy

Brad Karon, M.D., Ph.D., asked the group during his "Top Gun Phlebotomy" presentation, "How important is it is to not use the brachial artery for lab draws and look for a good vein before poking?"

The last presentation of the morning came from Brad Karon, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Consultant, Clinical Core Laboratory Service Division. Key points from the presentation included:

  • Complications of arterial puncture and venipuncture.
  • Statistics of further complications related to arterial puncture and venipuncture.
  • Capillary vs. arterial K blood samples.

Dr. Karon finished his presentation by reviewing a study that was conducted regarding extra tubes drawn in the Emergency Department.

April 15 at 11 a.m.

Phlebotomy Assessment

Laurie Griesmann shows examples of phlebotomy assessments and encouraged the attendees to use them in their work units.

Laurie Griesmann, Quality Specialist, discussed the importance of creating a competency assessment for phlebotomists. Ms. Griesman shared the responsibilities of the employees, managers, and assessors when implementing a competency policy. She concluded her presentation by sharing examples of what a competency assessment form could look like.

April 15 at 9 a.m.

Follow Us on Facebook

Join us live on Facebook at 11:30 a.m. to view interviews with Deb Hagen-Moe and Randy Gruhlke. Send us your questions and comments to have them answered live on the air.

April 15 at 8 a.m.

Stress: Balancing the Storms of Life

Mark Hyde started day two of the conference by sharing ways we can better balance the challenges, or "storms," in our lives.
Mark Hyde started day two of the conference by sharing ways we can better balance the challenges, or "storms," in our lives.

Day two opened with a presentation by Mark Hyde about the many “storms of life” that we face. He discussed ways that we can balance these storms to manage the stress in our lives. Mr. Hyde addressed a few of the common storms such as medical issues, school, relationships, and finances, and provided insight into finding our inner “drivers” to live a purposeful life.

April 14 at 4:30 p.m.

Distraction Techniques to Improve the Lab Draw Experience

"Not Your Average Joe" gets the crowd on their feet to create their own magic. Poof!
"Not Your Average Joe" gets attendees on their feet to create their own magic. Poof!

What better way to finish up day one than with a little magic? Heather Abbott, CPT(NHA), and Joe Swicklik, R.T. (R)(CT)—a.k.a., "Not Your Average Joe"—presented a fun and inspiring presentation, which shared unique ways to make blood draws less frightening for children. Ms. Abbot taught techniques to swaddle and hold children to make them feel safe and secure. Mr. Swicklik then shared a few easy magic tricks that can be performed in the blood draw rooms to help distract little ones and create a positive experience. He got the crowd members on their feet to interact and create their own magic too. Who says that magic is only for kids?

April 14 at 1:30 p.m.

Employee Training Using Job Instruction

Mike Baisch plays a short video during the session to demonstrate job instruction best practices.
Mike Baisch plays a short video during the session to demonstrate job instruction best practices.

Randy Gruhlke and Mike Baisch discussed the importance of consistency when educating staff members. The duo explained the method of job instruction and how the four-step process to train staff can be used in any work unit. Job instruction training provides hands-on instruction and focuses on improving the quality and standard work in any work environment. The four main goals of production using job instruction are quality, safety, productivity, and cost.

April 14 at 11 a.m.

The Basics of Blood Culture Collection

Audrey Schuetz, M.D., presented about blood infection prevention and tips for phlebotomists to prevent sepsis.

The next presentation came from Audrey Schuetz, M.D., Consultant in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory. Dr. Schuetz discussed the severity of blood stream infections and the precautions that phlebotomists can take to avoid infection.

Dr. Schuetz noted key indicators to look for if a blood infection is suspected and also ways to avoid complications such as sepsis. She noted the single most important factor in blood cultures is the volume collected because more microorganisms can be recovered. The suggested volume for adults is 20–30 mL per set and for young children, no more than 1% of patient’s total blood volume.


April 14 at 8:50 a.m.

Life/Work Balance: Solutions that Work

Edward Creagan, M.D., discussed the importance of maintaining a life/work balance.

Edward Creagan, M.D., Medical Oncology Consultant, was the first presenter at this year’s Phlebotomy conference and discussed the importance of maintaining a life/work balance. Dr. Creagan reminded the group of the importance of learning how to respectfully say, “no thank you.”

Dr. Creagan provided suggestions to improve your life/work balance and noted the common theme of physical and emotional exhaustion due to stress from working under difficult or demanding conditions commonly seen in the workforce. Simple steps such as sleep, knowing your boundaries, and self-care can improve your mental and physical health.

April 13 at 4:51 p.m.

Facebook Live Broadcast Schedule

live-reactions-androidWe are going LIVE on Facebook from our Phlebotomy 2016 conference, and we want you to join us! Join our LIVE session, and bring your comments and questions! Go to our Facebook timeline at the times below to watch and submit your questions and comments.

The broadcast schedule is:


Andy Tofilon (@andytofilon)

Andy Tofilon

Andy Tofilon is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories.