Phlebotomist Job Description
What is phlebotomy? Is this the right career for me?
A phlebotomist is responsible for collecting blood specimens for laboratory analysis by medical technologists. Precision and accuracy are extremely important, as the results are relied upon by the physician to diagnose, treat, and monitor a patient. Safety is also of the utmost importance to prevent the spreading of disease, so high standards and training are equally imperative. Phlebotomists work in hospitals, public health facilities, health clinics, and veterans’ hospitals.
In phlebotomy training, you will learn how to safely and properly draw blood while observing safety protocols and causing the least amount of pain. If you’ve ever have blood drawn, you know that it can be painful, but can also sometimes be virtually painless. Much depends on the skill and practice of the phlebotomist. Additionally, phlebotomy students in training will also learn how to communicate with and comfort patients and how to safely handle biohazardous materials such as the used needles and blood samples.
Become a Phlebotomist
- Career Plan: How to Become a Phlebotomist
What type of education and training do I need?
In order to become a phlebotomist, you will need a minimum of a high school diploma. You will also need to pursue a short training program which will usually result in a professional certification. Check with your state’s requirements for phlebotomists. Certification is not universally required, nor standardized for phlebotomy, but many academic training programs offer certification and many employers will require certification from an accredited institution. Accreditation is approved by the National Phlebotomy Association (NPA). Certification assures potential employers that your skills and knowledge are current and on par with national standards. Maintaining certification will also force you to keep abreast of any changes or developments in the field, so it benefits you as well. Often, CPR training is also required for phlebotomist positions.
The National Phlebotomy Association is the premier professional organization to turn to for information regarding educating and certifying as a phlebotomist. You can also utilize professional organizations like this for job hunting, networking, as well as continuing education options and general information regarding any changes in the industry. Once you complete a program, you will be proficient in safe, accurate blood collection by venipuncture or skin puncture. Like many health care careers, this job will continue to grow and offer security and opportunities for growth.
If you haven’t decided if this is the right career choice for you, take some time to explore additional careers in health care.