Drawing and testing blood is one of the primary methods for diagnosing diseases, especially in the early stages. Because of this, Phlebotomists are constantly in demand, and becoming one is easier than you might think.
Also referred to as “venipuncture”, this medical career entails making a small surgical perforation into a vein in order to draw blood from the patient.
While drawing blood may seem simple, the task is far from it. Phlebotomy training and jobs are always present because of the growing needs in the medical field. Blood that is drawn from patients by a qualified phlebotomist is studied and tested for health problems or early warnings of disease. Blood can also be drawn for life saving transfusions.
Even if you’re looking to become a nurse, tech, or doctor, many of these people began their career working as a phlebotomist. The training for this is vital for any aspiring people in the medical industry. This training is the cornerstone for a successful medical career.
Phlebotomist Job Description
In this capacity, your main responsibility will be drawing blood from patients. This process starts by verifying the patient’s information. This is very important for several reasons, not the least of which is knowing their blood type and allergies. When drawing blood, a phlebotomist will always wear gloves to prevent the transmission of any blood borne diseases.
The patient will lay their arm out on a flat surface, at which point the phlebotomist will apply a tourniquet and find a adequate vein to draw from. The patient will be instructed to clench their fist and hold it while the site is cleaned using an alcohol pad. After insertion, the patient will relax their arm and the tourniquet will be removed.
Once the proper blood samples have been extracted, the patient is given gauze and a band-aid to seal the small wound. Proper disposal of all needles and contaminated objects is a major priority, as is the proper handling of the blood samples. Finally, a major skill one should have in this position is the ability to comfort and reassure patients who are nervous or young.
In the course of a medical career as a phlebotomist, you will encounter children and adults who are adverse to needles or the sight of blood. You will also come across people with heart conditions or weight problems. These types of patients must be given special care to these patients. One should always show compassion and concern, but with someone who is already distressed, the importance is even more so.
As one of many certified phlebotomists, you will play a vital role in finding and treating life threatening diseases. Your work and your attention to detail and patient’s feelings will provide the perfect atmosphere to keep them safe, and to make them feel better.
How To Get Your Phlebotomy License
To become a phlebotomist, you will need a few credentials under your belt. Luckily, this is one of the few medical jobs that doesn’t require a major degree. You will however need to have certification and clinical laboratory training. The first step is to find a training program at an accredited school
It is important the program you choose is at a medically accredited institution. This is because training from other schools or programs will not be recognized by many hospitals and medical facilities. You don’t want to waste your time and money, so take this important step when choosing an institution to complete your training.
Find the right school for you depends on a certain number of factors. Depending on your location, you may find there are plenty of colleges or campuses nearby that offer a phlebotomy training program. There are also online courses which bear the seal of approval, giving you flexibility around your lifestyle.
A good way to ensure that you are pursuing training from a qualified school is to check the U.S Department of Education’s website or a regional accreditation agency. Either of this options will provide you with an official list of schools where you can receive recognized training as a phlebotomist.
When you complete your training, you will then need to pass the phlebotomy certification exam. This may sound frightening, but there are plenty of resources available to help you pass beyond the training you receive. Here are a few tips that will help you study for the exam:
- Purchase an exam book, which will give you example questions and practice tests. Some good authors to look for are Kathleen Becan-McBride and Cathee M Tankersley.
- Research online for free exam materials, and practice tests. You can also engage in public forums and have your questions answered by the greater community.
- Look for someone you may know who has finished the exam, or befriend someone who has. You can also find a certified phlebotomist and ask them for advice on passing the test.
With these helpful tips and diligent studying throughout your educational program, you will have no problems become a certified phlebotomist!
What is The Average Phlebotomy Salary?
Salary is always a complicated subject, mostly because it varies based on a large number of factors. An entry-level certified phlebotomist without work experience can earn around $7/hour. That being said, even this prospect is subject to location, and the type of facility you are working in.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for a certified phlebotomist is $29,730. Experience as always though, is going to be a huge factor in deciding how much you can truly make.
Are Phlebotomy Jobs on The Rise?
Jobs in healthcare have been on the rise over the last few years. In some states, jobs are projected to increase by as much as 30% over the coming years. Health is always going to be a major focus for society so wherever you live, you can easily find phlebotomy training and jobs to choose from.
Remember to attain your certification from an accredited school, and keep in mind that the sky is truly the limit.
As a phlebotomist, you have a strong foundation to build your career to exciting heights.