If you are looking for a way to jump into the health care industry or even wondering if this is the right field for you, then a job as a Phlebotomist might be something you would be interested in. A Phlebotomist is an individual who draws blood from people for various purposes such as tests, transfusions, donations or research. The job is not overly demanding or complicated but does take the right person.
To start working as a Phlebotomist you must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. There are only a few states that require certification to begin working as a Phlebotomy Technician while others only require a training course to begin. It's recommended that you check with your state Health Department to confirm any necessary educational requirements as well as specific certifications that may be required. In addition your employer may have additional requirements you must meet in order to qualify for a position at their facility.
Often a post-secondary degree or certification from an accredited Phlebotomy program will be enough to get your foot in the door. These programs are generally available through local community colleges, vocational, trade and technical schools. A certification program can take anywhere from 4 months to 2 years to complete depending on the certification being offered and the program you are enrolled in. The programs will often include classroom learning on topics including medical terminology, anatomy, biology and physiology. Hands on learning of how to correctly do a vein puncture should also be included in your learning process. To obtain your certification you should expect to complete a written test and possibly accrue clinical experience in the practice of drawing blood. As with any career there are benefits to obtaining a college degree in the medical sciences and completing certification programs that complement your job role. So don't sell yourself short and take the time to get the necessary education to help further your own career.
When working as a Phlebotomist you will be responsible for drawing blood but will also need a firm understanding of how to properly label, track and identify blood samples. You will need to understand proper handling of blood samples to avoid contamination or degradation. In addition, an understanding of safety procedures to dispose of sharp objects and precautionary measures to avoid personal contact of blood being drawn.
Estimates show that occupations as a Phlebotomy Technician are expected to continue to grow at a faster than normal rate over the next several years compared to other jobs. Salary range for this field of work can average between $25,000 to $40,000 per year. Salaries will vary depending on your location and the facilities in which you are employed. Phlebotomist jobs can be found at hospitals, medical clinics and blood donation centers to name a few.
As a Phlebotomy Technician you will deal with people of all ages and various health conditions. A few important skills that will help make your career more successful include being a detail oriented person, having good hand-eye coordination, good physical dexterity and stamina. Other important traits to bring to the job are care and compassion. You may be assisting individuals with serious medical conditions or others that simply don't handle blood being drawn very well. A good positive attitude and the ability to calm others will be beneficial for you and the patient.
Working as a Phlebotomy Technician has many benefits and can be a rewarding career or a stepping stone into other jobs in the medical field. To find an accredited Phlebotomist program you can start by researching the following organizations to see if they meet your needs to begin your career.