Dragana Meachen
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Dragana Meachen

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​What is your name and what is your
official designation within the Ministry for Health?
My name is Dragana Meachen and I am a Senior Phlebotomist

Where do you work and what do your duties 
entail?
I currently work in a Community Clinic in Pietà where we perform blood letting for the patients of the respective district.

How long have you been working with the 
Public Service?
I have been working as a Phlebotomist for the past 11 years of which 10 I had spent at Mater Dei Hospital and for the past year I’ve been working at Primary Health Care.
Are there any specific qualifications required for your post?
Yes, the minimum requirement is an MQF Level 3 qualification relevant to the area of work. However, we encourage our colleagues to further their education and training by attending courses available to be able to expand our services and learn more about other techniques.

What attracted you to take up your profession and to the health service?
Working with patients and being a part of the team that makes a difference in the world and touches peoples lives has always been my passion, regardless of the title or job description. Phlebotomy allows us to work hand in hand with doctors and nurses and to experience the dynamic of the ward set up.

What motivates you most?
Definitely the skill. For me it is all about getting the experience and the knowledge on how to perform vein ​​​puncture technique as best as I can, because seeing patients that already experience discomfort and pain and being able to make that one needle prick as painless as it can be, makes a lot of difference to them.

What about the teamwork between different professions/roles involved in relation to patient care?
As simple as it may sound, a blood test involves many different professionals from the multidisciplinary team. Starting from the doctors order, to the phlebotomists taking the blood sample, to the allied health professional and finally to the laboratory scientist, we are all involved in providing patients with a correct blood result. Therefore, team work is the key to providing the patients with efficiency.

Can you give us one challenge and one success story?
​Challenge
I would say, the biggest challenge was the recognition of Phlebotomy in Malta. Being introduced only 11 years ago, it took some time for the rest of the hospital staff to accept that we will be in the wards most hours, using their equipment and supplies but thanks to their patience and understanding, we now feel at  home in every part of the hospital.
 
Success
Regarding the success story, I simply can’t think of just one. The turnover of the patients each day is rather big and unfortunately we don’t spend a  very long time with each patient, but the gratitude that each one that used to be afraid of the needle or had difficult veins, shows us because we wouldn’t hurt him/her or simply because we reassured them that it will be as painless and as quick as possible, is enough success for us.

What advice would you give to young students considering taking up this profession?
This job will get you tired…it will get you emotional…You will have the good and the bad days...
But you should always try to do that one step more than what is expected of you because it means a lot to the patients and to your team. Go for it! You will be proud of yourself!

What are the benefits of working with the public service?
Amongst many, I must mention some that are the most important in my opinion and they are the job security, family measures and the study leave. The opportunity to pursue your dreams academically, to be able to do what you love and to also raise a family at the same time is the greatest benefit of all.