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Understanding Phlebotomy Medical Terminology: A Comprehensive Guide

Mastering phlebotomy medical terminology is essential for anyone pursuing a career in phlebotomy or working in the medical field. This guide is designed to help both students and seasoned professionals familiarize themselves with the most commonly used phlebotomy terms, enhancing their knowledge and efficiency in the workplace.

Phlebotomy terminology can often feel overwhelming due to the sheer volume of terms. However, understanding these terms is crucial for effective communication and practice in the medical field. To make this learning process easier, we have created a dynamic and accessible resource that can be used on any device, whether you’re at home, in class, or on the go.

Key Takeaways
Essential Knowledge: Mastering phlebotomy medical terminology is crucial for effective communication and accurate documentation in the medical field.
Interactive Learning: Our guide offers a dynamic, interactive tool that can be accessed on any device, making it convenient for both students and professionals.
Comprehensive Reference: This guide includes a wide range of commonly used terms, making it a valuable resource for study and reference.
Practical Application: Regularly testing your knowledge using the practice tool will reinforce your memory and enhance your proficiency in phlebotomy terminology.

Why Learn Phlebotomy Medical Terminology?

Memorizing phlebotomy medical terminology can be tedious, but it is a vital part of becoming proficient in phlebotomy. Knowing the correct terms ensures clear communication with colleagues and accurate documentation, which is crucial for patient care and medical procedures. Our guide not only serves as a reference tool but also as an effective study aid for students preparing for exams and professionals needing a quick refresher.

How to Use This Phlebotomy Medical Terminology Guide

To make the most of this guide, follow these steps:

  1. Interactive Study Tool: Use the “Show/Hide All” button to conceal the definitions of phlebotomy terms. Test your knowledge by reciting the meanings, just like with traditional flashcards. Click on the term to reveal its definition and check your accuracy.
  2. Accessible Anywhere: Bookmark this page and access it on your computer, mobile phone, or download it for offline use. Whether you’re in the lab or on a break, this guide is always within reach.
  3. Practice Tests: Regularly test yourself to reinforce your memory. Consistent practice will help solidify your understanding of phlebotomy medical terminology.

Phlebotomy Medical Terminology

Below is an alphabetical list of the most commonly used phlebotomy terms along with their definitions. This list is a valuable resource for both study and reference.

Absorb: To suck up or take in.
Acute: Diseases with a rapid onset or brief course.
Adsorb: To attract and collect stuff from the surface.
Aerobic: Requiring molecular oxygen to grow.
Airborne Precautions: Guidelines by the CDC to reduce airborne transmission of infections.
Albumin: Main protein in human blood.
Allergen: An antigenic substance can cause an immediate-type hypersensitivity, which is an allergy.
Anaerobic: Living or occurring without oxygen.
Anaphylaxis: A serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening.
Anemia: A condition causing a decrease in red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood.
Anesthetic: A drug that causes loss of sensation or consciousness.
Antecubital Fossa: The arm’s part is at the elbow’s bend.
Anterior: Directed toward or in front.
Antibody: A specialized immune protein produced due to the introduction of an antigen into the body, capable of combining with the antigen.
Anticoagulant: It is a substance. It prevents blood from clotting.
Antigen: A substance that stimulates the immune system to create antibodies.
Antihemophilic Factor (Factor VIII): A protein that participates in blood clotting.
Antiseptic: A substance discourages the growth of microorganisms.
Apheresis: A process where blood is temporarily withdrawn from a donor, one or more components are removed, and the rest is reinfused back into the donor.
Arteriole: It is a small branch of an artery. It leads to a capillary.
Artery: Blood vessel carrying oxygen-rich blood away from the heart.
Aseptic: Free from microorganisms.
Aspirate: Draw a substance in with suction.
Autohemolysis: Hemolysis of red blood cells by a person’s own serum.
Bacteremia: Bacteria are in the bloodstream.
Basilic Vein: Large vein on the inner side of the biceps, often used for blood drawings.
Bleeding Time: A test measuring the time it takes for small blood vessels to close and bleeding to stop.
Blind Stick: Performing a blood draw. The vein is not visible or palpable.
Blood: The red liquid circulating in arteries and veins, carrying oxygen to and carbon dioxide from tissues.
Blood-borne Pathogens: Microorganisms present in human blood causing disease.
Blood Cell: Any of the cells found circulating through the blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Blood Clot: A semi-solid mass of blood formed by platelets.
Blood Count: An evaluation of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in blood.
Blood Culture: A test to detect infections in the blood.
Blood Film (Blood Smear): A small sample of blood on a microscope slide.
Blood Group: One of the groups that a person’s blood can be classified as (A, B, AB, O).
Blood Letting: The process removes blood. It is for therapy.
Blood Vessel: A tube carrying blood through the body (artery, vein, or capillary).
Bruise: An injury of soft tissue resulting in breakage of local capillaries and leakage of red blood cells.
Butterfly: A short needle with plastic tabs or wings aiding in stabilizing the needle during insertion.
Cannula: It’s a thin tube. Healthcare providers use it to insert into a vein or body cavity.
Capillary: A small blood vessel connecting the arteriole with the venule.
Catheter: A thin, flexible tube inserted into a body cavity to withdraw or inject fluid.
Central Venous Catheter: A catheter inserted into a vein to end up in the chest portion of the vena cava or the right atrium of the heart.
Cephalic Vein: A large vein in the arm, also known as the antecubital vein.
Circulatory System: The system moving blood through the body.
Coagulate: The process of blood turning to a solid or semi-solid state, creating a clot.
Collateral Circulation: An alternate path for blood through enlargement of secondary vessels after the main path is blocked.
Complete Blood Count (CBC): A blood test evaluating overall health and detecting certain diseases.
Contact Precautions: CDC guidelines for reducing transmission of important microorganisms by direct or indirect contact.
Contagious: Ability to spread from human to human.
Contamination: The proportion of red blood cells to total blood volume is low.
Contusion: A bruise or skin injury where blood capillaries have ruptured.
Cytoplasm: The liquid inside the cell membrane.
Defibrinated Blood: Blood deprived of fibrin.
Dialysis: The process of removing waste from the blood when kidneys aren’t able to.
Differential: A blood cell count assessing the ratio of white blood cells.
Ecchymosis: Discoloration of the skin where a contusion occurs.
Edema: Swelling caused by excess fluid accumulation in tissue.
Embolus: A mass of clotted blood obstructing a blood vessel.
EMLA Cream: A mixture of local anesthetics often used on children for blood draws.
Endothelium: The layer of cells lining the cavities of the heart and blood and lymph vessels.
Epidermis: The outermost layer of the skin.
Epithelium: The layer of cells covering the body’s surfaces, including skin and mucous membranes.
Erythrocyte: A red blood cell.
Fasting: Abstaining from food, often required before a phlebotomy procedure.
Fibrin: A protein necessary for blood clotting, created by fibrinogen and thrombin.
Fistula: An abnormal connection from a vein to an artery changing blood flow.
Gauge: A measurement for the diameter of a needle; larger diameter means smaller gauge.
Glucose: The sugar in blood made from food.
Hematocrit: Red blood cells make up a certain proportion of total blood volume.
Hematoma: Tissue filled with blood due to a break in a blood vessel wall.
Hemoconcentration: Decrease in plasma volume compared to red blood cells.
Hemodialysis: Procedure to remove waste products from blood and restore electrolyte balance.
Hemoglobin: The oxygen-carrying protein of red blood cells.
Hemolysis: The release of hemoglobin from red blood cells into blood plasma.
Hemostasis: Stopping bleeding by vasoconstriction, coagulation, or surgery.
Heparin: A complex organic acid preventing blood clotting, found in lung and liver tissue.
Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver.
Hepatitis A: Liver inflammation caused by the hepatitis A virus.
Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is a liver disease. It is infectious.. The hepatitis B virus causes it.
Hepatitis C: Infection causing liver inflammation, attacked by the hepatitis C virus.
Hyperglycemia: Abnormally high blood sugar.
Hypodermic Needle: A hollow needle attached to a syringe for injecting or withdrawing fluids.
Hypoglycemia: Abnormally low blood sugar.
Lymph: Clear fluid in lymphatic vessels, collected from body tissue and returned to the blood.
Lymphedema: Tissue swelling and fluid retention in lymphatic tissue due to a compromised lymphatic system.
Medial Cubital Vein: The forearm vein is used most for venipuncture.
Monocyte: A white blood cell with a single nucleus and fine cytoplasm granulation, making up 3-8% of white blood cells.
Nosocomial Infection: A hospital-acquired infection.
Order of Draw: The order in which blood samples should be drawn to minimize testing interference or contamination.
Palpate: To feel by hand, such as finding the size and direction of a vein.
Pathogen: An agent or microorganism causing disease.
Peripheral Blood: Healthcare providers take blood from the body’s outer surface.
Phlebitis: Inflammation of a vein.
Phlebotomist: A specialist in phlebotomy.
Phlebotomy: The practice is to open a vein to draw or let blood. People do this for therapy or diagnosis.
Plasma: The fluid portion of blood.
Platelet: A disc-shaped blood element aiding in clotting.
Plateletpheresis: Removing platelets from blood and returning the remaining elements to the donor.
Polymorphonuclear: A white blood cell with a divided nucleus.
Povidone-Iodine: A solution used as a topical antibacterial agent.
Red Blood Cell (RBC): Blood cells containing hemoglobin, allowing them to carry oxygen.
Sclerosis: Hardening of a damaged vein wall.
Serum: The clear fluid separating from blood when it clots.
Syncope: Fainting or temporary loss of consciousness.
Thrombocyte: A platelet, important for blood clotting.
Thrombocytopenia: Decreased number of blood platelets.
Thrombosis: A clot has formed in a blood vessel.
Thrombus: A blood clot in a vessel wall.
Tourniquet: A band wrapped around the arm to stop blood flow to a distal part.
Vascular: Relating to blood vessels.
Vasoconstriction: Narrowing of blood vessels due to muscular wall contraction.
Vein: A tube carrying blood to the heart.
Venesection: Incision of a vein to collect blood.
Venipuncture: Puncture of a vein.
Venous: Relating to veins.
Venule: Small blood vessels merging with veins.
White Blood Cell: A colorless cell in blood with a nucleus and cytoplasm.
Whole Blood: Blood with all elements intact (white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets).
White Blood Cell Count: Number of white blood cells in blood.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best way to memorize phlebotomy medical terminology?

The best way to memorize phlebotomy medical terminology is through regular practice and repetition. Using interactive tools like flashcards, quizzes, and the “Show/Hide All” feature in this guide can make the process more engaging and effective. Consistent study sessions and practical application in real-life scenarios will also help reinforce your memory.

How often should I review the phlebotomy medical terminology?

Reviewing the terminology regularly is essential for retention. Aim to review the terms at least once a week, and more frequently if you are a student preparing for exams. For professionals, periodic reviews can help keep the knowledge fresh and up-to-date.

Can I access this phlebotomy medical terminology guide offline?

Yes, you can download this guide for offline use. This feature ensures you can study and reference the terminology even when you don’t have internet access, making it convenient to learn anywhere.

Is this guide suitable for both beginners and experienced professionals?

Absolutely. This guide is designed to be a valuable resource for both beginners who are just starting to learn phlebotomy medical terminology and experienced professionals who need a quick reference or refresher.

What should I do if I find a term missing from the guide?

If you find a term that is missing from this guide or have suggestions for additional terms, please feel free to contact us. We continuously strive to improve our resources and appreciate any feedback to make this guide more comprehensive.

Why is understanding phlebotomy medical terminology important?

Understanding phlebotomy medical terminology is crucial for clear communication with colleagues, accurate documentation, and providing high-quality patient care. It ensures that everyone in the medical team is on the same page and helps prevent misunderstandings and errors.

Are there any additional resources for learning phlebotomy medical terminology?

Yes, there are various resources available for learning phlebotomy medical terminology, including textbooks, online courses, and professional training programs. Combining these resources with this guide will provide a well-rounded understanding and mastery of the terminology.


This phlebotomy medical terminology guide is designed to support your learning and professional practice. By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you will enhance your ability to communicate effectively and perform your duties with greater confidence and precision.

Bookmark this page and return to it as often as needed to ensure you remain proficient in the essential language of phlebotomy. If you find any terms missing or have suggestions, please feel free to contact us.

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