Phlebotomists are many medical professionals who are tasked with withdrawing blood from patients. They work at hospitals, clinics, and private practices to help diagnose diseases by collecting patients’ blood for testing purposes. Their job is fast-paced since phlebotomists have to deal with large volumes of patients each day. It is also very detail-oriented, requiring strong attention to what they are doing because making mistakes can lead to severe consequences for their clients. Given all these responsibilities, it’s no wonder that there is an incredible demand for qualified phlebotomists right now. This article will provide information about the different requirements you need to get into this career.
1. What Is a Phlebotomist?
Phlebotomists are healthcare professionals who primarily draw blood and take other specimens from patients. They also perform routine tasks such as preparing the needle, labeling tubes and assisting with venipunctures (blood draws).
Phlebotomy is a highly technical profession that requires someone to be skilled at taking blood samples, handling delicate equipment like needles and syringes, and maintaining a sterile environment. It also means being able to work well in stressful situations when you might be dealing with an angry or scared patient.
There’s no formal education required for phlebotomy; however, it does require passing certification exams in order to become certified before practicing this profession. Phlebotomy jobs can range from clinical laboratory technician positions to hospitals to blood donor center positions.
2. What Does a Phlebotomist do?
Phlebotomists collect blood samples from patients and then send them to clinical laboratory scientists for testing. They also perform other procedures such as urine collection, saliva collection, stool collection, etc. This job can be very stressful because you are dealing with people’s personal information, which is why it is very important to be caring and compassionate at all times.
A phlebotomist works in many different places, including hospitals, physician’s offices, clinics, blood centers, etc. But the most common place you will find them is obviously in the clinical lab.
Phlebotomists may work days, nights, weekends, and holidays depending on the needs of their lab and the hours that their lab is open.
3. How to Become a Phlebotomist?
To become a phlebotomist, you will need an Associate’s Degree from an accredited phlebotomy program. Most programs can be completed in just eight months, and some even offer flexible schedules so you can attend school and work at the same time.
To be able to practice phlebotomy, you will need to have a high school diploma or GED. You can pursue clinical laboratory training programs for this position and get the appropriate certification. Credentials could include:
- National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- Certified Phlebotomy Technician,
- Clinical Lab Scientist Associate (CPS(CLSA))
These credentials will allow you to work in just about any setting where blood is taken from patients, including hospitals, physician’s offices, clinics/urgent care centers, etc.
It’s also possible to enter the profession by attending an Occupational School for Phlebotomy Technician. Here are the steps that you need to take:
- 1. Complete a high school course in biology or anatomy and physiology
- 2. Request information about accredited programs from the Board of Nursing
- 3. Apply to an accredited program and complete your training
- 4. Pass the phlebotomy certification exam at a later date to become nationally certified
- 5. Earn certification through the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT) after passing an exam
- 6. Earn certification through the National Centre for Competency Testing (NCCT) after passing an exam
- 7. Gain experience working in a phlebotomy lab, and work towards obtaining professional membership/licenses
- 8. Gain experience working in a lab or clinic, and work towards obtaining professional membership/licenses
4. Phlebotomist Training
After completing the required courses in phlebotomy, you will have to complete a state-approved clinical training program in order to get hands-on experience working with patients. Most programs are two semesters, typically offered through community colleges or technical schools.
The key is finding one of the accredited programs. If you want a career as a phlebotomist, you have to start outright. And getting certified is the first step. Before you enroll in any training program, make sure it has been accredited by either the National Health Career Association (NHA) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Certification as a phlebotomist is voluntary, but it is the first step toward becoming a valuable member of any medical team. Your training should include at least 100 hours of hands-on experience in drawing blood. You should also learn how to prepare patients for venipuncture (informing them about what will happen and getting their consent), make an entry site, use appropriate equipment.
5. Salary for Phlebotomy
A phlebotomist is a medical professional who specializes in drawing blood.
They may also be called venipuncture or a laboratory technician, and they work at hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and other healthcare facilities.
Salary ranges for phlebotomy depend largely on location as well as years of experience and education level attained by the individual worker. In general, salaries can range from $42k annually for those with one year of experience up to $70k per year for those with ten years of experience or more.
Phlebotomists working in the field of medical and laboratory diagnostics can expect to earn salaries at the higher end of the pay scale, with top earners bringing home as much as $78k annually. The average annual salary for a phlebotomist was $41,710 in 2002.
6. Phlebotomist Career Paths
Entry-level positions for individuals with little work experience and typically no formal education beyond high school might include:
* Assistant/trainee technician: usually a high school graduate with some phlebotomy training who assists or learns to perform venipuncture procedures.
* Phlebotomist: performs patient-drawing procedures under the supervision of an attending physician, registered nurse, or other healthcare professional.
It is possible to move up within this field in terms of job titles and responsibilities.
For example, a phlebotomist may advance to:
* Lead/head technician: manages and oversees the work of other phlebotomists.
* Supervisor: coordinates patient counts and lab procedures.
* Technician: performs blood drawing in addition to such tasks as preparing specimens for laboratory testing or taking inventory.
* Clinical lab specialist: works with physicians, other healthcare professionals, and laboratory technicians to complete necessary testing.
* Medical or clinical laboratory technologist: performs moderate to highly complex tests under the supervision of a pathologist.
Although some positions may require more extensive education than others, generally speaking, phlebotomists are not required to attend college. However, some may choose to do so in order to gain a competitive edge over others in the field.
7. Phlebotomist Career Outlook
The job outlook for phlebotomists is expected to grow by 22 percent through the year 2018. This rate of growth is much faster than average and will result in approximately 48 thousand new jobs being added to the economy. Opportunities are expected to be best for those who have an associate degree in phlebotomy, so formal education will be of benefit when it comes time to start looking for employment.
Phlebotomists interested in improving their chances of being hired should become familiar with institutions offering programs leading to a degree or certificate in this field. Such programs may be found at community colleges, vocational schools, and hospitals.
8. Is phlebotomist a Good Career Choice?
The phlebotomist is a job that involves drawing blood and taking samples from the body. The phlebotomist profession often requires a degree or certificate in medical technology, clinical laboratory science, or other related fields. A career as a phlebotomist can be demanding and stressful at times because of the nature of this job. However, if you enjoy working with people and want to help them stay healthy, then this could be just right for you!
9. Best Colleges to Study Phlebotomy
Phlebotomists are in high demand, and the field is growing quickly. More than ever before, people realize that there is a great need for professionals who can draw blood samples. It’s not just lab technicians anymore; phlebotomists are needed to take care of patients in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and even at home when necessary.
If you want to become a successful phlebotomist, it’s important to study at one of the best colleges for Phlebotomy programs in order to get the education you need in this fast-growing profession. All across America, there are institutions that offer quality instruction on how to collect blood samples with skill and safety. The following list has been prepared for you to reference when looking into getting a phlebotomy degree.
- 1. Located in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota has a certificate program in phlebotomy.
- 2. Located in Vermont, Champlain College has a certificate program in phlebotomy technology.
- 3. Located in Phoenix, Scottsdale Community College offers an associate degree in clinical laboratory sciences with a concentration on drawing blood samples.
- 4. Located in New York City, Erie Community College offers a certificate program in phlebotomy.
- 5. Located in Chicago, Joliet Junior College offers an associate degree in phlebotomy.
- 6. Located in Los Angeles, West Los Angeles College has a certificate program in clinical laboratory science with a concentration on drawing blood samples.
- 7. Located just outside of Pittsburgh, YTI Career Institute offers a program in phlebotomy.
- 8. Located in Dallas, El Centro College has a certificate program in phlebotomy training with a concentration on drawing blood samples.
- 9. Located in Boston, Roxbury Community College has a certificate program in phlebotomy technology.
- 10. Located just outside of Philadelphia, Hussian College has a certificate program in phlebotomy.
With a phlebotomist, you’ll be responsible for drawing blood from patients in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Some people may find this job to be stressful because it involves dealing with bodily fluids. The good news is that many employers offer on-the-job training as well as continuing education courses so that they can stay up to date on the latest advances in their field of work. Phlebotomy technicians earn a considerable amount of salary per year, which might not seem like much, but when you think about the fact that most jobs only require a high school diploma or equivalent degree, we believe we have found one worth considering!