Phlebotomists draw and prepare blood for medical testing, transfusions or donation. Phlebotomists are trained to collect blood via venipuncture, finger pricks, or in the case of infants, heel pricks. Phlebotomists typically work in hospitals, clinics, outpatient care facilities, diagnostic laboratories and blood donation centers.
What Does a Phlebotomist Do?
Phlebotomists play a vital role in the administration and management of blood draws for diagnosis, transfusion and research purposes.
On any given day, a Phlebotomist may be asked to:
- Prepare patients for blood draws
- Verify patient identities and ensure proper labeling of collection vials
- Explain blood draw or transfusion process to patients
- Guide nervous patients through blood draws
- Conduct blood draws and transfusions
- Assist patients who experience adverse reactions following a blood draw or transfusion
- Follow directions of supervising physicians
- Identify, label and track blood samples
- Gather, inventory, and maintain blood draw instruments and supplies
Above all, Phlebotomists must care for patients and take steps to prevent tainting or degradation of samples, such as Hemolysis, which may impact the accuracy of tests.
What Certifications or Degrees Do I Need to Become a Phlebotomist?
Many employers require candidates for Phlebotomist positions to hold a non-degree diploma or certificate from an accredited college, university, technical school or vocational school. Phlebotomy programs typically last less than a year, and include classroom instruction and hands-on training.
An employer may also require candidates to obtain and maintain certification from a certifying organization, including the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), National Healthcareer Association (NHA), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Maintaining certification with any of these organizations may require continuing education credits or additional training.
Four states—California, Washington, Nevada and Louisiana—require Phlebotomists to acquire special state certification.
What Is the Employment Outlook for a Phlebotomist?
According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for phlebotomists was $32,710 in May 2016.
A 2014 study of employment within the medical field revealed that 112,700 Phlebotomists were employed throughout the United States. The same survey projects the number of Phlebotomist positions to increase by as much as 25 percent, or 28,100 jobs, by 2024.
Become a Phlebotomist. Apply Today.
A career in Phlebotomy offers many benefits, including rewarding work and a competitive income. Apply for our Phlebotomy Technician Certification program today.