PhlebotomistsPhlebotomists draw and process blood in clinical settings. They typically conduct their work under the direction of medical laboratory scientists. Once phlebotomists draw blood, they examine it under microscopes to check for disease, and if there are no problems, they process it for transfusions. Since they handle blood, they must abide by strict laboratory procedures to avoid being exposed to any blood-borne diseases. Successful phlebotomists have excellent interpersonal skills, work effectively during stressful situations, are detail-oriented, and have great hand-eye coordination. They must also be able to put people at ease since many feel uncomfortable around needles. To do this, this must be attentive listeners and great communicators. Because of technological improvements, phlebotomists must now possess computer and other technical skills. Experienced medical assistants and certified nurse assistants frequently complete jobsite training to qualify for phlebotomist positions.
Phlebotomists draw blood at hospitals, medical laboratories, doctors’ clinics, community health centers, home healthcare companies, and blood banks.
Formal phlebotomy training programs usually take 4-8 months to complete. Many phlebotomists bypass formal programs and complete jobsite training. Jobsite training is usually completed when there is need for phlebotomists at specific hospitals or medical clinics. If you currently work at a hospital or medical clinic and this field interests you, inquire with human resources about potential phlebotomy training opportunities. Multiple national credentialing organizations offer professional phlebotomist certification programs. Entry-level phlebotomy jobs can be acquired without formal training, but earning a degree in medical technology will enhance your job opportunities and earning potential. During these programs, students will be required to complete courses in phlebotomy.
Job opportunities for phlebotomists are projected to be high through the near future. In fact, growth is estimated to increase by 10 to 20 percent during the next 10 years. Growth will also be spurred by aging populations requiring more medical laboratory work to diagnose disease and age-related health problems. Job growth will be highest at private medical laboratories since many hospitals and medical clinics outsource their blood testing to these facilities.
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