Phlebotomists are trained to take blood samples in a safe, accurate, and timely manner. They may specialize in a particular type of testing, such as drawing blood for a particular test or group of tests. Phlebotomists are also trained to prepare patients for testing, which includes explaining the procedure and preparing the necessary supplies.
Phlebotomists must be able to identify and respond to medical emergencies that occur during blood collection. They must follow established safety procedures to ensure that they and the patient are not harmed. They must also follow the policies and procedures of the laboratory for which they are working.
Phlebotomists typically need a brief period of on-the-job training. Phlebotomists should have good manual dexterity, be in good physical condition, and be able to follow detailed instructions.
Phlebotomist Job Duties
Phlebotomists typically perform the following duties:
- Collecting blood samples from patients and preparing them for analysis
- Recording data about the patient’s medical history, including weight, height, age, and sex
- Selecting the appropriate equipment for drawing blood and completing any necessary paperwork
- Assisting with other procedures involving bodily fluids such as urine or stool samples
- Explaining the procedure to patients before drawing blood
- Providing emotional support to patients during testing
Phlebotomist Salary & Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that, as of May 2020, the median annual wage for phlebotomists is $36,320. The lowest 10% of earners in the profession brought in $26,690 or less, while the top 10% earned over $50,740 per year.
The field is expected to grow 17% between 2019 and 2029, which is much more than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected to be driven by an increase in the number of jobs in the healthcare sector, which will increase the demand for phlebotomists to perform blood tests.
Phlebotomist Job Requirements
Phlebotomist positions typically require the following:
Education: Phlebotomists often receive on-the-job training in a hospital or laboratory setting, which may last a few months to a year. However, many employers prefer to hire applicants who have completed an accredited training program. These programs typically last about 14 weeks and include both classroom and clinical training.
Training: Much of the training takes place while performing the job, and each employer may have different subject matter and training procedures.
Certification: Certification is not required, but is becoming more common. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT) offer certification programs in phlebotomy.
Phlebotomists must have the following skills:
Compassion: Phlebotomists must be able to work with patients who can be ill or injured.
Organizational skills: Phlebotomists must be able to manage large amounts of paperwork and information.
Problem-solving skills: Phlebotomists must be able to handle unexpected problems while working with patients.
Communication skills: Phlebotomists must be able to communicate clearly with doctors, nurses, and other medical staff members.
Physical stamina: The job requires standing for long periods of time while performing repetitive tasks such as phlebotomy procedures.
Phlebotomist Work Environment
Phlebotomists collect blood for testing, transfusions, and donations. They collect samples from patients in a variety of locations, including medical laboratories, hospitals, blood banks, and offices.
This job requires the ability to work independently, as a phlebotomist may spend large amounts of time without direct supervision. It is also a stressful job. Phlebotomists may be exposed to blood and other bodily fluids, and some patients may be ill or in pain.
Phlebotomist Career Advancement
Phlebotomists can advance into a variety of positions in the medical field. Many who have experience in the field may move into a more senior role in a hospital, such as a medical technologist. These professionals work with laboratory technicians and other health care providers to ensure patients get the best care possible.
Some phlebotomists may choose to become a medical assistant or pathologist technician. These positions require formal qualifications and specialized training.
Here are three trends influencing how Phlebotomists work. Phlebotomists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
More Demand for Lateral Movement
As industries evolve and change, there is now more opportunity than ever for lateral movement throughout the healthcare industry—an increasingly sought-after perk by potential new hires. For example, some health systems may be looking for Phlebotomists with expertise specifically related to maternity services; many hospitals will hire for managerial positions, and many private labs are looking to hire for roles where candidates have a strong understanding of laboratory management practices. This trend is only expected to increase as time goes on, so those interested should take advantage of all opportunities available to them now while they can still get ahead of the game.
Increased Importance of Patient Education
In recent years, patients have become increasingly proactive about their health, which has led to increased patient education programs related to blood tests and other procedures. As such, many phlebotomists now spend more time educating patients about their diagnosis and treatment than strictly performing tasks like taking blood samples.
Increasing Collaboration with Other Healthcare Professionals
Due to increased patient complexity, many healthcare professionals are collaborating more than ever before with other healthcare providers like nurses or physicians when they work together with patients.
Phlebotomists have also been integrating with teams from other disciplines; this trend is likely to continue in the coming years as healthcare professionals work together towards a common goal: providing quality care for all patients.
How to Become a Phlebotomist
1. Planning Your Career Path
If you’re interested in the medical field, becoming a phlebotomist may be a good choice for you. It is an entry-level position that will allow you to work in a hospital or clinic and learn the ins and outs of the medical profession. You will learn how to draw blood, prepare patients for tests, and perform a number of other tasks that will prepare you for a long-term career in this field.
Phlebotomists have one of the highest rates of job satisfaction among all medical professionals, with many saying that they enjoy the opportunity to work with people while also learning about the medical field.
2. Writing a Resume
The most effective resumes for phlebotomists should emphasize their knowledge of medical terminology, procedures, and equipment. This will show that you have a strong foundation in the field and can confidently perform phlebotomy tasks.
It’s also important to emphasize your interpersonal skills, which are essential for this job. If you have any experience working with a team, be sure to include it in your resume. Finally, if you have ever taken classes or completed training in the field, be sure to include that information as well.
3. Applying for Jobs
When applying for phlebotomist jobs, the most important thing is to have a good understanding of the position and to be able to articulate how your skills and experiences match up with what the employer is looking for. Remember that this job is about more than just collecting blood — it’s about providing a professional service that will make a difference in people’s lives.
4. Ace the Interview
When you are preparing for an interview as a phlebotomist candidate, make sure you practice the proper way to draw blood. Review some online videos of how to do this and pay attention to the details of how the phlebotomist takes care when doing so. Also, it is important that you are able to properly explain any legal issues or regulations regarding taking blood from patients. If there is a question that comes up about this during your interview, be prepared with an answer.