Finding a good job with good pay is important, and there’s no question that the health care field offers some of the very best opportunities that are out there today. But not everyone wants to invest years of their life on entering the field. Finding a quicker route into health care is important, and for many the prospect of becoming a phlebotomist is one that should be considered at length.
Becoming a phlebotomist takes less time than other health professions and still allows you to know that you’re helping others while making decent money and enjoying good job stability. If you want to know more about the job and what it involves, read on.
What Is a Phlebotomist?
A phlebotomist is someone who has been trained to collect blood samples from patients, label it properly, and store it. Their primary goal is to complete smooth, quick blood draws from patients using various tools and techniques. Once the blood is removed they will help in other aspects of it including cataloging and storing. It’s a job that is fairly straightforward but that still has lots of challenge and reward. There are numerous job duties that are associated with the position, including the following.
- Draw blood from patients quickly and without any serious issues
- Ensure all equipment is sanitized and safe to use
- Observe all safety protocols completely
- Label, store, transport, and catalog all samples properly
- Assist in minor lab work operations from time to time
Phlebotomists are a vital part of any medical establishment, and their accuracy in drawing, labeling, and cataloging blood samples is important. Even a minor mistake in labeling could have major consequences, so it’s important that they are highly trained and that they understand every aspect of their job.
There are a few personal traits that will help you thrive as a phlebotomist, and having strength in these areas is very important.
- Communication – Telling patients what you’ll be doing and communicating with your colleagues is important for being a good phlebotomist.
- Friendly Nature – Nobody likes having blood drawn, and having a good personality can help you set a patient at ease during the procedure.
- Eye for Detail – As mentioned above, a tiny labeling mistake can have huge ramifications. It’s important that you have a good eye for detail.
- Patience – Sometimes patients can be difficult, especially younger children. As such, having patience with them is an important trait for a phlebotomist.
Nature of the Work
An average day for a phlebotomist is spent visiting patients in exam rooms or hospital rooms and drawing blood, then labeling that blood accurately and returning it to the lab for testing. As such, you’ll spend most of your day on your feet going from patient to patient. Very little office work is associated with the job, and it’s also fairly rare to spend much time in a lab setting since your primary duty will be just getting the blood to the lab. In many instances, only one phlebotomist works for a particular department on a shift to reduce errors, but this may not always be the case.
Phlebotomists can work in nearly any health care facility out there including private practices, nursing homes, research centers, hospitals, and more. They also play a role in blood drives and other similar events, and as such these professionals will always be in demand.
Education and Training
While a phlebotomist doesn’t have to undergo the kind of extended training that some others in the medical profession will, education is still important. Usually, a basic training program and certification available from a local college will be enough to qualify you for entry into the profession. Community colleges and vocational training centers regularly offer phlebotomy programs. The program will teach subjects including blood collection, blood sample storage, safety precautions, and more. Gaining certification will require 200 hours of training including real life clinical experience. It’s also required that regular continuing education be completed on a periodic basis.
Those who become phlebotomists will earn a solid average wage, and roughly $13.00 hourly is the median wage of all phlebotomists in the nation, and about $25,000 to $30,000 annually. The specific pay you earn will depend on numerous factors including specific location, experience, employer, and more.