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What A Phlebotomist Does

You’ll be an integral part of the medical team, drawing blood samples from patients. These samples are sent to a lab to check for any health issues the patient may have. Your training and duties may vary by state, but here is a list of your primary job duties:

  • Collect blood samples from patients.
  • Accurately label samples to identify the patient (to prevent any lab mix-ups).
  • Determine the best way to draw blood from the patient.
  • Take the blood to the lab.
  • If allowed/required, centrifuge the vial of blood.
  • Be friendly and empathetic. You may be working with sick or scared patients.
  • Stay organized, and follow safety protocols. You’re working with blood, which has the potential to carry risks.

You’ll usually find a job in a hospital, doctor’s office, blood donor center, or clinic. Most of your peers work full time, and very often on holidays and weekends, depending on where employed.

How To Become A Phlebotomist

There are a few requirements that need to be fulfilled before you can start your work as a phlebotomist. Phlebotomy is an entry-level job within the medical field, but it sets the groundwork for become a registered nurse or beyond!

Find a local phlebotomy school now.

  • You’ll need your high school diploma or GED.
  • You have to be at least 18 years old.
  • Enroll and complete an accredited phlebotomy training program through a community college or trade school.
  • Your training will take less than a year to complete and will include both classroom and hands-on experience.
  • In some instances, you can find on-the-job training.
  • Get your license and certification so you’re more desirable to employers.
  • Otherwise, licensing and certification requirements vary by where you’ll work.
  • Find a job as a phlebotomist at a medical practice, hospital, clinic, or medical lab.

California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington require certification, and licensing is required.

One of the greatest soft skills you’ll need to be a successful phlebotomist is compassion. After that, hand-eye coordination and dexterity are both important skills.

Certifications are available through the National Center for Competency Testing, National Healthcareer Association, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Phlebotomy Association, and the American Medical Technologists. There are going to be moments throughout your day that you’ll be exceptionally busy and on your feet, especially during any type of health emergency.

Phlebotomy Programs

A phlebotomy course will prepare you to sit for the National Health Careers Association Certified Phlebotomy Technician Examination (CPT). During your program you'll cover a variety of important topics like:

  • Learn about the role of a Phlebotomist in the lab, hospital or clinic
  • Train on the laboratory equipment you'll use, and learn about the proper way to use and maintain it
  • Develop skills in patient preparation, site selection, and pre-testing requirements.
  • Learn about collection techniques and slide preparation for microscopic examination

Classes in your phlebotomy course may include ones like these:

  • CPR and First Aid
  • Phlebotomy Fundamentals, Safety, and Compliance
  • Patient Identification and Routine Blood Collections
  • Special Collections
  • Processing Specimens
  • Phlebotomy Certification Preparation

Salary And Job Outlook

In 2022, medical assistants earned an average annual salary of $40,580. he top 10 percent made closer to $51,610 (bls.gov). 

The top paying industries for phlebotomy are scientific research and development services, outpatient care centers, and state government. 

Phlebotomy is a career that's projected to grow 10% between now and 2031; that's around 13,900 new positions, and occupational growth is projected to be faster than the national average. Your job prospects will increase if you’ve received certification through an accredited program.