A phlebotomist is a person who is trained to draw the blood samples from a patient in safe and sanitary ways. He/she may draw the blood samples either for the purpose of testing, donating blood, transfusions or research. Few of the phlebotomists might explain their work to the patients. They would provide assistance if any of the patients is having any adverse reactions after the blood is drawn. A formal training along with education, certification/licensure is essential in order to become a phlebotomist.
A phlebotomist will have to do the following tasks:
Must be able to draw blood from the patients as well as blood donors.
Must be able to converse with the patients and donors, so that they are less nervous about the process of having their blood drawn.
Must be able to verify the identity of patients and donors in order to ensure the proper labeling.
Must be able to enter the patients’ information into an onsite database.
Must be able to assemble as well as maintain the medical instruments such as: Needles, Test Tubes, Blood Vials
Must be able to keep the work area and the instruments clean and sanitary in order to present infections or complications of any kind.
How to become a Phlebotomist?
Most typically, a phlebotomist would enter the occupation with his/her post-secondary non-degree award from any of the phlebotomy program. You can take the phlebotomy program from community colleges, vocational schools or technical schools. And, you must be 18 years or above in order to enter a phlebotomy program. A phlebotomy program would usually take less than one year to complete which would lead to a certificate or diploma. Almost all the phlebotomy programs will have both classroom and laboratory portions which would include instructions in the following arena:
Some of the other phlebotomists might enter the occupation with a high school diploma who will be trained to be a phlebotomist on the job.
Certification and Training:
It is to be noted that almost all the employers would prefer to hire the phlebotomists who have earned the professional certification. There are several organizations which are offering certifications for the phlebotomists. Few of the leading organizations which offer Phlebotomy Technician certifications are:
National Center for Competency Testing
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Medical Technologists
These candidates would require some classroom education along with some clinical experience before being certified. The certification testing would include an exam and practical components. And, remember that requirements might vary with certifying organizations.
Most of the phlebotomists would get their on-job training in their workplaces in order to learn specific procedures on how the blood is being collected and tracked by their employers.
Job Outlook and Opportunities:
The job market for phlebotomist has been projected to grow by 27% from 2012 to 2022. This is due to the known fact that all the hospitals, diagnostic centers and blood donation centers will require phlebotomists in order to perform blood work.
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual pay for a phlebotomist is $29,730 which equals to $14.29 per hour.