Phlebotomy is a method of drawing blood by creating a precise incision in a patient’s vein. Phlebotomists are skilled medical professionals who perform this specialized blood extraction procedure. They are also responsible for transporting and preparing samples from one location to the laboratory.
The Bureau of Labor and Employment statistics reported that there will be an increase in the demand for skilled phlebotomists in various health care settings in the next few years. This means that the health care industry is in need of competent phlebotomists to attend to the growing demand for quality health care services.
In order to survive and grow despite economic letdown, people are encouraged to enter the health care industry. There are promising careers that are in store for those who are interested on becoming a member of the allied health care team. For individuals who are already working as medical professionals attending phlebotomy training will be a good way to increase your competency and salary as well. Gaining further knowledge and skill in the field of phlebotomy will certainly open your doors to greater heights and promising job opportunities.
The job of a phlebotomist not only entails the extraction and collection of blood samples. There are other functions and tasks that are being assigned to skilled phlebotomists. They carry important and advanced functions in and around the health care setting to ensure the delivery of high-quality medical service.
Other functions of a phlebotomist are as follows:
Prepare blood samples that are to be administered to patients
Proper labeling of blood samples for diagnosis
Ensure safety handling of blood specimen and related bodily fluids such as plasma
Prepare the tools and equipment needed for blood extraction
Complete related paperwork in the laboratory
Ensure accurate record keeping of venipuncture procedures
Make sure blood specimens are properly disposed
Prevent contamination from blood specimens in the laboratory setting
Safely transport extracted blood specimen to the laboratory
Involve in the diagnosis and processing of blood samples in the laboratory
Ensure correct analysis of blood samples for accurate patient diagnosis
Facilitate safe and proper bloodletting procedures
Phlebotomy Education and Training Requirements
In order to become a licensed and registered phlebotomist an interested individual needs to undergo formal education from an accredited technical school or community college. Schools that offer phlebotomy courses can choose between certificate course or an associate’s degree.
An Associate’s Degree in Phlebotomy is an extensive course that normally takes two years to complete. A certificate course in phlebotomy is the fastest way by which an interested individual can be eligible for a certification exam. There are also programs that enable medical health professionals to undergo phlebotomy training. They are usually shorter in duration since these students already have a solid background in Science and health care.
Phlebotomy courses and training programs offer students the knowledge and skills that are needed to perform basic and advanced functions in the laboratory setting. Training programs also introduce students to various procedures and techniques that phlebotomists normally do once they start working with patients. They are also provided lessons and instructions on how to utilize various tools and equipment that are needed to get their job done. Phlebotomy training also provides lecture on how to go about documentation and record keeping. These are just some of the general concepts that are taught to students before taking the certification exam.
Students who undergo phlebotomy training are also required to undergo a certain number of hours before they are given with a certificate of competency. This certificate is different from that which is given after taking the licensure exam. In order to be eligible for a licensure exam, a student needs to pass course exams and be presented with a certificate of competency first.
The completion of a phlebotomy course or training is not enough to become a part of a health care institution. Most states require phlebotomy graduates to have a license in order to work for health care facilities.
In the pursuit of excellence and provision of high-quality health care services, phlebotomists are required to pass the certification exam given by professional organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology, Association of Phlebotomy Technicians, and National Phlebotomy Association. These organizations conduct different licensure exams to test takers. You may opt to take all three exams, but be sure to prepare for them in order to garner a passing mark.
Licensed phlebotomists are more likely to be accepted in health care facilities than those who are not licensed. In addition, several states do not allow skilled medical technicians like phlebotomists to work without license.
The salary of a phlebotomist varies and is largely based on two factors namely type of health care facility and geographic location. Phlebotomists who work in metropolitan areas are paid more than those who work in rural communities. Consequently, those who work for hospitals are known to earn per hour compared to those who work in private health officers and laboratories. Phlebotomists who are employed by pharmaceutical companies and research laboratories earn more than those who are working in hospitals.
On average, an entry-level phlebotomist earns $10.50 per hour. The rate increases as a phlebotomist undergoes continuing education and training. Long-time phlebotomists who work in private hospitals earn as much $17 per hour. Those who hold supervisory positions earn $19 per hour, that which means an average of $42,000 per annum.