Almost all careers in the medical field are in high demand, not excluding phlebotomy, one of the latest branches in medicine. A phlebotomist is a health professional who is properly trained to draw blood from patients for screening, transfusion, diagnostic testing, etc. There are plenty of phlebotomy jobs in most states, and these job opportunities are expected to increase as time goes by. Most of the phlebotomy jobs are in medical laboratories and hospitals. However, there are other potential employers, including colleges and universities, professional schools, urgent care centers, clinics, NGO’s and home based health care agencies.
Phlebotomist technicians are trained in blood collection techniques including venipuncture – a technique involving inserting a small needle into a vein directly. Besides that, there are the heel sticks and finger sticks techniques that are mostly used to draw blood from small children. There are also some exceptional cases when blood can be drawn from the wrist, arteries, inside the elbow or the radial. Clinical laboratory tested blood, body fluids and other tissues are extremely vital for detecting, diagnosing and treating diseases of all types.
Therefore, a phlebotomist acts as an assistant to doctors by collecting blood samples and analyzing them. In addition to drawing blood, phlebotomy jobs require an individual to adhere carefully to the set down procedures and practices for tasks. These include tasks such as, identification and labeling of specimens. Others include maintaining hygiene and sanitary standards to prevent the transmission of blood borne diseases. In relation to this, a phlebotomist is expected to wear medical gloves, head caps, face masks, gowns, etc, and use clean needles that have not come into contact with any material before use.
Moreover, phlebotomy jobs require an individual to be able to handle patients gently and with understanding, especially those who are anxious or scared of needles. This profession requires the phlebotomist to be capable of choosing and implementing proper collection techniques for the various age groups. He or she should also ensure that the collected samples are properly prepared for analysis, and that they are sent to the correct testing location, in addition to, updating patients’ records.
First-class candidates for phlebotomy jobs possess excellent patient handling skills, especially for stressed or fearful patients. The job also requires them to have remarkable hand and eye coordination and be able to follow specific procedures and guidelines. Moreover, a phlebotomist is not expected to be squeamish about handling blood. Besides that, sometimes phlebotomists are responsible for clerical jobs such as handling phone calls, scheduling appointments and data entry.
Phlebotomist jobs follow a regular work schedule and a technician can work for about 40 hours per week. Their salary varies from around $20,000 to $35,000 per year depending on the place of employment and the state. To become a phlebotomist, you must have relevant academic qualifications in the field, a certification and, at times applied training on the job. You should note that it is not a must for a phlebotomist to sit for a certification exam, depending on the state, but most employers prefer certified professionals to those that are not certified.