Before choosing a career in phlebotomy, you may have several doubts. You might be wondering if it is the right career option for you. You may also have questions regarding the kind of training you need and the overall career prospects of a phlebotomist.
Don’t worry. This article will answer all of these questions. Phlebotomy is a good career option if you have the required skills, attitude, and expertise. So, let’s see what a career in phlebotomy is all about.
What’s the phlebotomist career outlook?
A phlebotomist is an integral part of the healthcare team. Their primary responsibility is to collect tissue samples and draw blood from their patients for the purpose of laboratory testing. They work with both inpatients and outpatients and usually have a tightly packed schedule. Employing the proper techniques is essential when drawing blood or collecting tissue samples.
This requires some training. A phlebotomist also has to handle the material carefully and ensure that they have no direct contact with the biological material they are collecting. Other aspects of their job involve keeping accurate records of patient specimens and having good knowledge of hospital best practices. Yes, the phlebotomist career outlook is certainly bright.
Working as a phlebotomist can be stressful at times. You have to constantly interact with patients who may be concerned about their situation, answer their questions patiently, and keep them as comfortable as possible while you draw their blood or collect tissue samples. If you do not enjoy interacting with people on a daily basis, this job is not for you.
Phlebotomists also play an important role in ensuring smooth patient care. They have to adhere to the safety guidelines and wear protective equipment while working with patients to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. In other words, there is a lot more to phlebotomy than just drawing blood. The phlebotomist plays a crucial role in providing high-quality medical care to patients. They also ensure that other healthcare professionals on the team are safe from health risks posed by biological material drawn from patients.
In order to be a good phlebotomist, you need interpersonal as well as technical skills. You should also demonstrate an ability to adhere to medical industry regulations and standards.
Education and training requirements
Proper education and training are essential to start working as a phlebotomist. The training program will cover topics such as physiology, anatomy, safety theory, phlebotomy practices, laboratory testing protocols, sample collection techniques, medical terminology, and Federal healthcare and privacy laws.
Before you can get certified as a phlebotomist, you have to successfully complete an accredited program in phlebotomy. Depending on the scope of your job, you may also have to show proof of various qualifications and completion of practical skills assessments.
There are several organizations that offer certification in phlebotomy. The National Phlebotomy Association and the American Society for Clinical Pathology are the most prominent among them. Sometimes, in order to achieve certification, you may have to complete additional coursework and examinations.
Salary and phlebotomist career outlook
Phlebotomists have excellent job prospects. It is estimated that between 2016 and 2026, there will be a 27% increase in the number of jobs available to phlebotomists. This is higher than the average growth rate for other occupations. So, if you are a certified phlebotomist, you will have no difficulty finding a job once you enter the job market.
Salaries are commensurate with educational qualifications and experience. An experienced person will certainly earn more than someone who has just received their certification. In 2021, the average annual salary of phlebotomists was over $34,000. Since the demand for phlebotomists is unlikely to slow down in the near future, it is an ideal career option for those who seek job security and stability.
Pros and cons of the job
The job of a phlebotomist is rewarding, both emotionally and financially. You get to enjoy a decent salary, a stable job, and an opportunity to interact with patients. Your patients can be small children, adults, or seniors, and you have to have good people skills to comfort them and put their minds at ease.
As a phlebotomist, you will work in close association with various medical facilities such as hospitals. This gives you an opportunity to establish relationships with a lot of healthcare professionals and patients. Phlebotomists also get to enjoy a flexible work schedule, and thus they can enjoy a good work-life balance.
A career in phlebotomy is also an opportunity for you to offer some care and comfort to patients concerned about their health. While drawing their blood or collecting their tissue samples, you get to interact with them and address some concerns they may have.
Of course, there are some downsides too. This job requires good technical skills and an ability to pay attention to detail. You have to label the samples correctly and enter accurate information into the patient database.
That means you have to stay alert all the time. If you lose focus for even a few minutes, a mismatch can occur, and this can have disastrous consequences. Also, this job requires good stamina because you will have to be on your feet for hours on end. Oftentimes, the time pressure can be challenging. Moreover, a phlebotomist is exposed to body fluids such as blood.
This increases their risk of catching infections and to reduce those risks, they have to take appropriate safety protocols. Despite these risks, the opportunity to make a difference in patients’ lives is what draws most aspiring medical professionals to a career in phlebotomy.
Is Phlebotomy the right career option for you?
If you want to build a career in the healthcare sector and enjoy interacting with people, you should certainly consider a career in phlebotomy. Of course, this job requires the ability to work under stressful and challenging conditions. You need good physical stamina as well. Other important traits include an ability to pay close attention to detail.
A phlebotomist enjoys job security and good prospects in the long term. If you have the required qualifications and appropriate certification, you will have no difficulty finding a job as a phlebotomist. Better still, this is an opportunity to provide care and assistance to people who need it.
The job of a phlebotomist is not as straightforward as it seems. At times, it can be quite challenging and demanding. Phlebotomists working in a hospital setting will usually have to deal with over a hundred patients a day. All samples should be correctly labeled and accurately added to the database. There is absolutely no room for error, and this requires high levels of attention and focus.
Excellent people skills are a must as the job involves working with patients who may be upset or anxious. Children, for example, can be quite apprehensive about getting their blood drawn. A phlebotomist should be able to talk to them gently and distract them while getting the job done. They should also be detail-oriented. They have to follow instructions correctly and collect the correct sample.
Given the phlebotomist career outlook, what qualifications are required?
If you aspire to be a phlebotomist, you have to complete high school first. Those with a GED certificate are also eligible to do a course in phlebotomy. If you learned science and anatomy at school, it is an added advantage for you. A typical phlebotomy program can be for 4 to 8 months. Once you have finished the course, you can apply for certification. Take care to choose an accredited institution.