What does a Phlebotomist do?
A phlebotomist has the duty of drawing blood from patients for research, testing, transfusions, or donation. He or she may need to give assistance to a patient in the case of an unexpected adverse reaction during the procedure of drawing blood.
A patient may be nervous about having their blood drawn and so a phlebotomist will usually explain what to expect to them so they will be calmer and more comfortable.
How to become a Phlebotomist
A postsecondary non-degree award from a phlebotomy program from a technical school, community college, or vocational school is usually how one enters this career field. The programs from these schools typically last for less than one year and then award the student with a diploma or certificate.
Schools provide instruction in laboratory work, anatomy, medical terminology, and physiology. Part of the training for a phlebotomist is learning procedures on how to track, identify, and label blood samples.
Sometimes an aspirant enters this occupation with a high school diploma and are provided with on the job training. However, employers usually prefer to hire a person that carries a professional certification. This certification usually means the potential employee has some clinical experience and training in the classroom and were required to pass an exam and proof of competence in drawing blood. Some states require this certification.
Job Description of a Phlebotomist
A phlebotomist's primary job is the drawing of blood from a blood donor or patient, so that medical laboratory testing can be performed. Because a patient that is in a medical setting or laboratory may not see anyone other than the phlebotomist it is important for the professional to explain their procedure to the patient. This helps a patient or blood donor to be more relaxed and less nervous.
A phlebotomist must be accurate in verifying the identity of the donor or patient and label the blood vials carefully. He or she then enters the information into a database. They are responsible for the medical instruments, such as blood vials, needles, and test tubes and to ensure they are kept clean and sanitary.
Some phlebotomist work at centers for blood drives and in the same way, keep instruments sterilized to avoid complications or infections. Compassion is important for a phlebotomist in addition to dexterity and hand-eye coordination. He or she should also be detail oriented in this occupation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth rate for this career field is 25 percent in 2014-2024 which is much faster than the national average for all occupations.