A phlebotomist is somebody who draws blood from patients to test for deficiencies, diseases, or other problems. At times, phlebotomists take blood for investigation or donations also. In general, however, blood samples are drawn to be sent off to the laboratories for testing. Phlebotomists collect blood primarily by performing venipunctures. It’s important for phlebotomists to have great people skills because people from whom blood has to be taken might not always be calm and relaxed
If you want to become a phlebotomist, you need to make sure you’re not afraid of needles and your hand-eye coordination is good. Phlebotomists are working at health care places such as:
- Blood banks
- Physician offices
- Education and Training institutions
How to Become a Phlebotomist in Steps
To become a phlebotomist, you will have to go through the following steps.
Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma
The lowest educational prerequisite for phlebotomists is a high school diploma. When you are in school, you can prepare for a profession in this field by taking a lot of science classes. Developing ability to multitask, prepare reports, and organize and sort are all skills that could be developed from a young age that will help you as a phlebotomist.
Step 2: Gain Training in the Field
Finishing a postgraduate education course is not compulsory for employment in the field. However, gaining one might open up more and better employment avenues for you. A phlebotomy certificate program might cover subjects in phlebotomy methods, CPR and first aid, phlebotomy concepts, and associated health.
While those who register in a certificate program might have the chance to participate in a job, others might get phlebotomy training in a medical setting. Some formal training would be required for employment and certification. Both practical and internship programs will take place in a simulated setting, equipping the students with the right skills and knowledge required to start working in the field
Step 3: Follow Certification for Career Advancement:
Professional certification is favored by most employers, and phlebotomists who have the certification can easily get better job opportunities, increased job security, and can advance faster in their careers.
Phlebotomy certification can be obtained from a number of institutions, such as the American Society for Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT), American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP), as well as American Medical Technologists (AMT).
All those institutions need applicants to have a high school diploma and they must have finished specific training in the field, either through work experience or through practical training in an educational program. Phlebotomists also need to pass a certification exam to guarantee that they know phlebotomy procedures and techniques, medical terminology, safety measures, infection control, and specimen collection.
Step 4: Gain experience
Much of the training that comes from a phlebotomy platform is going to be technical. This means that as an applicant you would be working with test subjects at first, who you will require to perform the procedures on, under supervision, to ensure that you are ready for on-ground job. After you get a few training sessions, you’ll begin working with real patients. Most of the time, this training is administered by a chief phlebotomist.
[Also Read: How to Become a Neonatal Nurse?]
Phlebotomist Job Description
Since you will need to take out blood from patients, you’ll have a lot of duties.
Some of them will include:
- Drawing blood samples from patients
- Use correct documentation methods, particularly if you work in a hospital
- Labeling vials of samples
- Transferring blood, urine, and fecal samples to the lab for testing
- Having the capability to check veins and making use of best methods to acquire blood from the patient
- Using sanitary approaches so that no cross-contamination happens.
A phlebotomy specialist is a significant member of a medical team. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage was $13.09 in 2016. That mean yearly wage was $23,312 for the same year. If you’re beginning your career, you can get anywhere between $12.46 and $13.27 hourly which translates to $24,132 and $27,412 yearly.
However, with the correct certification in hand and sufficient experience, you can be paid under the 80% percentile, which is $19.65 hourly and $32,160 yearly. Besides, decent income and a relaxed work environment, a phlebotomist is also eligible for retirement plans, health insurance, and reimbursement of expenses
The job outlook for qualified phlebotomists is projected to be on the increase for the next nine years. Information shows that this occupation is in great demand and is likely to increase around 30 percent by 2025.
Blood samples are the most significant pieces of information for medical professionals and doctors to diagnose patients. This means the demand for phlebotomists will not fall. People who work in hospitals and larger laboratories will have higher career growth as there will be additional patients and many samples to do.(1)
Determining to work a career path as a phlebotomist is an amazing choice and best start for anybody who selects to join a medical faculty and get a good phlebotomist salary.