How to Become A Phlebotomist: What You Need to Know

What is a phlebotomist?

  • A phlebotomist is a healthcare professional who draws blood from patients for various purposes, such as testing, transfusion, or donation.
  • A phlebotomist uses venipuncture, which is the process of inserting a needle into a vein, to collect blood samples
  • A phlebotomist also prepares, labels, and stores the blood samples, and follows safety and infection control protocols.
  • A phlebotomist works with patients of different ages, backgrounds, and health conditions, and provides them with information and comfort during the procedure.
  • A phlebotomist collaborates with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians, who use the blood samples for diagnosis, treatment, or research.

Why become a phlebotomist?

  • Becoming a phlebotomist can be a rewarding career choice for several reasons:
    • You can make a positive impact on people’s health and well-being by providing them with quality blood collection services.
    • You can enjoy a flexible and diverse work environment, as you can work in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, blood banks, or mobile units.
    • You can enter the healthcare field quickly and easily, as the education and training requirements for phlebotomy are relatively short and affordable.
    • You can have a stable and secure job outlook, as the demand for phlebotomists is expected to grow by 17% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
    • You can earn a competitive salary, as the median annual wage for phlebotomists was $36,320 in May 2020, and the highest 10% earned more than $51,330.

How to become a phlebotomist?

  • To become a phlebotomist, you need to follow these steps:
    • Complete a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED1. This is the minimum educational requirement for most phlebotomy programs and employers.
    • Enroll in an accredited phlebotomy program, which can be offered by community colleges, vocational schools, or online institutions. These programs typically last from a few weeks to a few months and include both classroom and clinical instruction on topics such as anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, venipuncture techniques, safety and infection control, and patient communication.
    • Obtain a phlebotomy certification, which is optional but highly recommended for employment and career advancement. Several national organizations offer phlebotomy certification exams, such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Center for Competency Testing, and the American Medical Technologists. To be eligible for certification, you need to meet certain criteria, such as completing a phlebotomy program, having a certain amount of work experience, and passing a written and practical exam.
    • Apply for phlebotomy jobs, which can be found in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, blood banks, or mobile units. You need to have a resume and a cover letter that highlight your education, certification, skills, and experience in phlebotomy. You also need to prepare for the interview, where you may be asked questions about your knowledge, abilities, and personality as a phlebotomist.
    • Maintain and update your phlebotomy skills and credentials, which are essential for providing quality care and staying competitive in the field. You need to follow the latest trends and developments in phlebotomy, such as new equipment, techniques, or regulations. You also need to renew your certification every few years, which may require completing continuing education courses or taking a recertification exam.

Conclusion

  • Phlebotomy is a rewarding and challenging career that involves drawing blood from patients for various purposes.
  • Phlebotomy offers many benefits, such as making a positive impact, enjoying a flexible and diverse work environment, entering the healthcare field quickly and easily, having a stable and secure job outlook, and earning a competitive salary.
  • Phlebotomy requires completing a high school diploma or equivalent, enrolling in an accredited phlebotomy program, obtaining a phlebotomy certification, applying for phlebotomy jobs, and maintaining and updating your phlebotomy skills and credentials.
  • Phlebotomy is a great career choice for anyone interested in working with people, has good communication and interpersonal skills, is detail-oriented and organized, and has a passion for health care1.