What Does Phlebotomists Do?
Phlebotomists are responsible for drawing blood that may be used for research, donations, transfusions and tests. These professionals will explain the drawing procedure to new patients and may also assist patients who display adverse reactions to the process. Experienced phlebotomists often train entry-level professionals in company procedures as well as how to comply with accepted medical regulations.
Phlebotomists Skills and Abilities
In this profession, medical support staff will need to develop a series of important skills in order to be successful in the field. Many skills are honed during school and can be learned on the job. Useful capabilities might be:
- Arm-hand steadiness: In this capacity, support staff deal directly with needles and must target small veins as points of entry. Steady hands are imperative to ensure the patient’s comfort and positive experience.
- Service oriented personality: Phlebotomists work directly with patients and may need to calm new comers and children during the procedure. Having a warm and service-oriented personality is helpful in these situations.
- Clear self-expression: This profession requires closely working with other medial staff and patients alike. As such, it is important to express thoughts and procedural explanations in a clear way through oral and written means.
- Social perceptiveness: In order to calm a patient, phlebotomists must first detect the issues. A certain perceptiveness will help these medical service professionals execute their daily tasks more effectively.
On a daily basis, phlebotomists will perform a variety of laboratory functions in addition to working with patients. In a typical workday, these medical support professionals may:
- Monitor donors during and after drawing blood to ensure overall safety, health and comfort.
- Deliver intramuscular or subcutaneous injections as needed.
- Draw blood from veins and arteries using special instruments when necessary.
- Calibrate medical monitoring equipment to ensure peak functionality and accuracy.
- Maintain patient and transfusion records for medical practice, insurance and regulatory purposes.
- Transport sensitive medical or biological materials for transfusions or other medical procedures.
- Administer immunizations or medications.
- Dispose of potentially harmful biomedical waster in accordance to regulatory standards.
- Conduct diagnostic tests including blood alcohol tests, trough drug levels, hemoglobin tests and blood culture.Phlebotomists can work in private practices, hospitals and even on traveling medical centers. As such, exact duties will vary, but these are some of the most common.
Phlebotomists Tools and Technology
In this profession, medical support staff expect to encounter a certain range of medical software and equipment including:
- Word processors
- Blood collection needles
- Donor management systems
- Educational human mannequins
- MEDITECH interfaces
- Capillary tubes
- Phlebotomy trays
- Aliquot tubes
These are just a few of the standard pieces of equipment in this field, but depending on the work environment, professionals may be exposed to even more specialized equipment.
Education and Training for Phlebotomists
For those considering this profession, a college degree is not necessary. Job candidates are expected to complete a phlebotomy instructional program instead. This type of certification is similar to a cosmetology license in that you receive certification outside traditional academia. However, instructional programs must be certified and approved by appropriate governing bodies. No prior work experience related to phlebotomy is required for entry-level positions.
Nationally, phlebotomists can expect to make around $30,700 as a median salary. The bottom ten percent average around $22,200 while the top ten percent make upwards of $43,800. Alaska has the highest median wage for phlebotomists at $38,000 while New York and Maryland are in the $36,000 range.
Phlebotomists Jobs by Geography
While California has the most working professionals, Utah leads the nation with a project 50.4 percent job growth by 2022. Virginia and Arizona aren’t far behind with 44.1 and 34.0 percent project growth each. With a growing job market, this is a great profession for young professionals.