Phlebotomy is the practice of collecting human blood and other bodily fluids for analysis. Doctors rely on blood analysis results as an important diagnostic tool. Phlebotomists are responsible for collecting blood but do not perform any specimen analysis- they receive extensive phlebotomy training and many are certified. Phlebotomists are knowledgeable of human anatomy and physiology, blood collection and storage techniques, first aid and CPR. These are most of the requirements if you’re looking for phlebotomy jobs.
Phlebotomists without formal training or certification may encounter difficulties when searching for employment; however, certification is not legally required by practicing phlebotomists, except in the states of California and Louisiana. Certification is available through ten nationally recognized certifying agencies. These include the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), the American Phlebotomy Association (APA), and the American Certifying Agency (ACA) for Healthcare Professionals. Phlebotomists that have graduated from accredited training programs and possess certification will quickly find employment. Some employers may also prefer their employees to have graduated from an affiliated training program.
In addition to collecting blood, phlebotomists are responsible for maintaining a safe and sterile collection environment. This means following procedures and protocols set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Phlebotomists work in a variety of settings, often times they work alongside doctors and nurses in hospitals and private healthcare clinics. Phlebotomists also work in laboratories and blood banks and typically work 40 hour weeks. Some phlebotomists employed by hospitals may be asked to work shift hours.
Not all phlebotomists work standard weeks or even in standard environments. As in other careers, phlebotomists may choose to work part time. It is important to recognize that a part time phlebotomist is no less experienced than a full time employee. The duties and responsibilities remain the same, only the hours are reduced. Mobile phlebotomists travel to different locations to collect blood. Hospitals may employ mobile phlebotomists to collect blood samples from patients unable to leave their homes. Blood banks and donation clinics require mobile phlebotomists to collect blood donations from several different locations each week. Mobile phlebotomists provide people with services they may have been unable to access.
Phlebotomy is a well-paying position. The average annual salary of a phlebotomist is $26,710. Exact wages will vary by location, employer, and level of experience. Well-educated and experienced phlebotomists can earn up to $18 an hour. As the population is aging, the healthcare industry is growing. There definitely is a demand for phlebotomists. The United States Bureau of Labor predicts an employment opportunity growth of 14 percent from 2006 to 2016.