Have you ever had your blood sample taken? If yes, you have interacted with a phlebotomist. Phlebotomists are basically highly trained medical practitioners who perform the task of collecting blood as well as other fluid samples from adult and children patients. Phlebotomy is a critical part of the ultra-modern health care industry and professionals in this field have a wide range of specialized skills.
They are usually required to explain the procedure to their patients before taking the patient’s pulse, blood pressure and respiration rate. After taking the blood or urine sample, phlebotomist then labels the collection tubes and keeps them ready for transfer to the lab for analysis purposes. Additionally, they must ensure to keep an updated record of the patient.
Training in Phlebotomy
Different states across the United States have different regulations for phlebotomy training requirements. According to PhlebotomyScout.com, one common feature is that a phlebotomist should finish a formal phlebotomy education program that typically lasts between four to eight months.
There are some states that require lab personnel to be licensed or registered. Again, requirements usually vary depending on state and specialty. However, licensure of technologists in many instances demand that a person be a holder of the relevant bachelor’s degree and pass an exam. When employed, phlebotomists usually work under direct supervision of a medical lab scientist, lead phlebotomy technician or even a physician in a hospital, blood donation center, clinic or even medical office.
Growth strategy of phlebotomists
The entry level salary of these professionals is generally competitive and worthwhile. According to the American society of clinical pathologists, the average annual salary of phlebotomist in the supervisory level is estimated at $35,000. On the other hand, ordinary phlebotomists usually earn an estimated average salary of $24,350 based on the same surveys. A good number of phlebotomists usually seek additional training and later on become lab and EKG technicians, some become lab supervisors and others take up administrative roles. The US bureau of labor statistics predicts a faster growth of opportunities in the field of medical technology from 2006 to 2016 than the average for all other occupations. On the same note, BLS predicts that job opportunities in this field will be excellent since the number of job openings (confirmed by HuffPost) is will exceed that of job seekers.
In this regard, if you are in the process of finding a dynamic career that has real growth potential, becoming a phlebotomy should be top on the list. To take up higher roles as a phlebotomist, you can advance your education to an associate degree which takes one to two years or even a bachelor’s degree which lasts three to four years. Depending on the medical institution you work for, higher certification means salary increase which is a good indicator of significant progress in your career. Another way of advancing in your career is taking more responsibilities in the unit you work for which will help you increase your pay.
A good number of phlebotomists even become supervisors or instructors sharing the knowledge they have acquired with others which even pays far much better. Other see phlebotomist jobs as a great stepping stone to pursue careers in other health related areas such as nursing, doctors, practitioners or specialized medical technicians. Other people choose to pursue medical or hospital administration.