Within the booming healthcare industry are literally hundreds of career opportunities. One “mid-level” career you may wish to investigate is the phlebotomist; this is the person that draws blood from patients but in reality, there is actually much more to this position. This article will provide a general overview of work performed by this professional, but also details of phlebotomist training. That way, anyone thinking about a career in healthcare can add this job to the list of possibilities.
How much does this career pay? And is there an increased demand for it – is it worth training to become a phlebotomist?
Your salary will depend largely on for whom you are working for (i.e., government, hospital, or private physician) and where you are working (i.e., which particular city or area – this relates to supply and demand. For example, if you happen to be working where there is great demand for this service but few technicians to fulfill the need, you can expect top be paid more. The converse is also true).
That said, The U.S Bureau Of Labor reports 2010′s median wage was $14.56/hour, or $30,280 annual income. It also projects faster than average job growth for this job in the period between 2008-2018, with 56,000 new jobs expected.
Duties of a Phlebotomist
The primary role of a phlebotomist is to draw blood from patients or people donating blood to be used for medical testing or donor purposes. However, this medical professional is also be responsible for preparing and processing tests accordingly. As most people know, there are distinct risks associated with handling blood, due to blood borne diseases (such as hepatitis B & C as well as HIV).
For this reason quality phlebotomist training is imperative, not only to draw blood in the most efficient and least painful manner but also to learn how handle blood and the needles used to extract it in a safe way.
As a phlebotomist, you will perform a combination of clinical and administrative jobs…
- Advise patients of upcoming procedures or tests.
- Update and maintain the appropriate records.
- Prepare stains and reagents.
- Clean and sterilize any equipment or tools used for the job.
- In addition, the phlebotomist may be involved in taking patients’ vital signs to include pulse, blood pressure, and respiration rate, as well as get samples of fecal matter and urine to the laboratory for testing.
Phlebotomist Training Requirements
Phlebotomist training includes the acquiring of the necessary knowledge, expertise, and hands-on experience you will need to complete the phlebotomy course and become a properly accredited professional. Upon completion, you will be completely prepared to handle every responsibility of the job but also to handle emergencies in the correct manner and understand different procedures connected to laboratory testing. That way, issues of infection, contamination, or cross-contamination would be prevented.
As part of the educational and phlebotomist training journey, specific courses are taken with examples to include those listed below:
- Blood/Cell Composition
- Blood Sampling Procedures
- Laboratory Safety
The most important thing a person needs to do when it comes to finding a school for phlebotomist training and education is choosing the right educational institution. For one thing, this would ensure the person is given the latest information regarding phlebotomy, making it possible for that individual to be safer and more effective in the job, thus having a long and stable career. In addition, having completed phlebotomist training and education from a reputable school would look great on a person’s resume, thereby becoming a stronger candidate for jobs.
Benefits of Phlebotomist Training and Certification
An individual is not mandated to have certification to work in this type of job (with the exception of states of Louisiana and California where it is required for anyone who is not a licensed doctor, registered nurse, or clinical lab scientist) but completing the right phlebotomist training and education is imperative. Some people will get started in this career and eventually go back to become certified while others prefer to go through the certification process at the start. Again, certification is not necessary to work as a phlebotomist but it certainly provides benefits.
Remember, any company or medical facility looking to hire will likely give someone with phlebotomy certification more consideration than someone without, even if the two people had completed the same phlebotomist training and education. To potential employers, having certification makes a person appear more serious and dedicated to the job, which is the exact type of employee wanted.
Another huge benefit that comes from certification once phlebotomist training and education is complete is that the companies and medical facilities doing the hiring have confidence that this potential new employee meets all the requirements established by governing bodies or medical experts in the field.