Phlebotomists are healthcare professionals who draw blood from patients or blood donors. This blood is then used for analysis or transfusion.
If you’re considering training to become a Phlebotomist, here are some basics you need to know about this healthcare career.
A Phlebotomist’s job duties
Phlebotomists (sometimes called Phlebotomy Technicians) usually draw blood from a vein inside of a person’s elbow, the back of their hand, or, for some blood tests, from an artery. A Phlebotomist may also sometimes use a finger stick for tests that require a very small amount of blood for analysis.
A Phlebotomist may also perform these other common job duties:
- Verifying a person’s identity before drawing blood
- Labeling test tubes
- Centrifuging blood
- Patient or blood donor data entry
- Attending to equipment to prevent infections or other complications.
Skills and Abilities Needed to Work as a Phlebotomist
While phlebotomy training and CPT-1 Certification is essential for a person wanting to start a phlebotomy career, Phlebotomists also need certain skills and abilities if they are to be successful performing their duties.
Top among the list of these skills and abilities are:
- A good bedside manner with the ability to help a person feel at ease when they’re having their blood drawn
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
- Attention to quality control
- Oral and written communication skills
- Proficient computer skills
- Ability to work quickly and efficiently
Where Do Phlebotomists Work?
An experienced CPT-1 Phlebotomist has the opportunity to work in varied healthcare settings, including:
- Emergency clinics
- Nursing homes
- Community health centers
- Blood donations centers
- Drug clinics
- Physician’s offices
A Phlebotomist can also work as a Paramedical Examiner (sometimes called a Mobile Phlebotomist) performing paramedical insurance exams for insurance companies that need to analyze the risk of insuring someone. Rather than working at a fixed healthcare setting, a Paramedical Examiner, employed as an independent contractor, visits people’s home or workplaces to perform the insurance exam.
The Growing Need for Phlebotomists
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that phlebotomy employment is projected to grow 25 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is faster than the average for all occupations.
The US also needs more skilled healthcare workers to take care of its aging population.
Now you know the answer to the question: what does a phlebotomist do? – how does training for a phlebotomy career sound to you?