Phlebotomists play a crucial role in any medical facility – working in doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, or even at blood donor events. The primary responsibility of phlebotomists is to draw blood from patients for testing. Once a blood draw is complete, the samples are sent to labs for these various testing purposes.
In drawing blood, they will generally take from veins, but they may also draw from capillaries too. While blood is the most common bodily fluid worked with, phlebotomists also test urine, sputum, stool, and hair samples.
If you are interested in becoming a phlebotomist, find a phlebotomy school near you today! To learn more about what a phlebotomist’s job and training entails, read further.
More Responsibilities of a Phlebotomist
You may need to determine the correct way to draw blood based on a patient’s unique anatomy or needs. In addition to drawing blood, or other fluid-based samples, phlebotomists hold a lot of responsibility when it comes to ensuring lab work is carried out correctly.
Other responsibilities of phlebotomists include but are not limited to:
- Accurately label samples that will be sent to labs (to prevent any mix-ups)
- Ensuring the sample arrives at the lab
- Centrifuge vial of blood (if needed)
- Follow all procedures and safety protocols when working with these fluids
- Remain respectful, kind, and empathetic on the job (you may encounter scared and/or sick patients)
Much more goes into being a phlebotomist than simply collecting fluid samples. Your exact duties may vary depending on your state and where you work.
How to Become a Phlebotomist and Program Requirements
Before you can enroll in a phlebotomist training program, you will need to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. To become a phlebotomist, you will need to enroll in either a phlebotomy program at a community college, or an accredited phlebotomy certificate program or trade school.
Completing your phlebotomist training at an accredited trade school or technical college can have you career-ready in one year or less. All of our partner schools are 100 percent accredited. It is important to be sure the program or school you enroll in is accredited, so that your certificate will be accepted by future employers and/or any phlebotomist certification agencies.
Classes in certification programs can include, but are not limited to:
- Fundamentals of Phlebotomy, Safety, and Compliance
- CPR and First Aid
- Patient Identification and Routine Blood Collections
- Processing Specimens
- Special Collections
- Phlebotomy Certification Preparation
Courses will also provide a combination of classroom learning, hands-on experience, and lab work to prepare students for working in a clinical setting. You will generally train using hands-on laboratory equipment, learn proper testing procedures, and review proper collection techniques along with preparing slides for examination.
Earning your degree from a community college may take closer to two years to complete. You will take the same courses in a phlebotomist certificate program in addition to some general education courses as well.
Both accredited certificate programs and associate degree programs will prepare you to work as a phlebotomist. The route you choose to take simply depends on your schooling preferences and budget.
Although it is not required for phlebotomists to be certified, more employers are tending to prefer phlebotomists who are.
Once you have graduated from a certificate program or school, you can sit for the National Health Careers Association CPT Exam (Certified Phlebotomy Technician). The exam will cover what you have learned in your schooling.
Once you pass the exam and become certified, you will need to maintain your certification every two years. The exact continuing certification requirements and education may vary depending on your state and/or employer.
Phlebotomist Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, phlebotomists can look forward to an in-demand career path. By 2030, demand for the profession is expected to increase 22 percent, which is much faster than the national average. The BLS also reported that in 2021 phlebotomists made an average of $38,450, with the top 10 percent earning $48,490.
Become a Phlebotomist Today!
If you are someone with an aptitude for medical testing, who is not phased by the sight of blood, and enjoys helping others, you may love being a phlebotomist. With an in-demand career path and a wide array of certification options at your disposal, now is a great time to consider becoming a phlebotomist.
Find a phlebotomy program near you today to get started!
Reference and more reading: