Phlebotomy is an in-demand career in the health care field. If you are looking for a rewarding job that requires skill and compassion, consider becoming a phlebotomist. Below are some frequently asked questions about a career in phlebotomy.

What do phlebotomists do?

A Phlebotomists primary responsibility is to obtain blood samples from patients through venipuncture, which is the puncturing of a vein with a needle for medical procedures. Phlebotomists also keep patients’ records up to date, take patients’ vital signs, prepare stains and reagents, clean equipment and conduct interviews with patients.

Where do phlebotomists work?

Phlebotomists work in a variety of healthcare-related locations, including hospitals, labs, blood banks, private physicians’ offices and nursing homes.

Why are phlebotomists important?

Blood samples give doctors valuable information that allow them to properly treat patients. In addition, blood is indispensable for injured and sick individuals who need transfusions. Phlebotomists ensure that the blood collection process is conducted safely, which is vital given the potential spread of disease. In addition, phlebotomists often are called upon to calm nervous patients who may be frightened to have their blood drawn. By being calm, efficient and quick, phlebotomists can make venipuncture a more relaxed procedure for all involved.

What are the requirements to become a phlebotomist?

California and Louisiana are the only states in which phlebotomists are legally required to have a certification. In all states, however, it is difficult to get a phlebotomy job without one. There are three major certifying organizations for phlebotomists: the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the Association of Phlebotomy Technicians and the National Phlebotomy Association. Each organization has different requirements to obtain a certification, however, they all require a high school diploma or G.E.D., coursework and hands-on training. The coursework typically covers anatomy, blood sampling procedures, safety and CPR. Some phlebotomist programs require students to pass a national certification test.

What skills should phlebotomists have?

In addition to training, phlebotomists should have certain abilities. They need to be able to work well under pressure, communicate with patients effectively and follow proper safety procedures. Given the nature of the work, phlebotomists also need to have strong stomachs that allow them to work with needles and bodily fluids without difficulty. Finally, phlebotomists need good fine motor skills and dexterity in order to use medical equipment with precision.

How much do phlebotomists get paid?

According to a survey by the American Society for Clinical Pathology, staff phlebotomists had a median wage of $13.00 per hour in 2010 for an annual salary of $27,040. A phlebotomy supervisor earned a median wage of $18.14 per hour for an annual salary of $37,814. Phlebotomists in the Northeast region of the country made more than those in other regions.

What are phlebotomists’ career prospects?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 330,600 people were employed as medical technicians in 2010, and there will be 42,900 new such jobs before 2020. This is a growth rate of about 13 percent, which is consistent with the average growth rate across all jobs in the country.

As demand for for competent health care professionals grows, facilities across the country will be looking for skilled phlebotomists. Seize the opportunity today and begin your journey to a satisfying, worthwhile career.

Jeremy Chesterfield writes on health, education, nutritional science, medical science, surgery, the nursing profession and other related topics; to learn more about phlebotomy view the resources at phlebotomytraining-classes.com.