Phlebotomy is one of the most sought-after careers in the healthcare industry.
Read below and know more about the real definition of phlebotomy, the training process, certification and licensing requirements, salary of phlebotomists, and a sample of phlebotomy jobs on the market today.
What is Phlebotomy?
According to Wikipedia, the term Phlebotomy is a word generated from the Greek words phlebo- and -tomia. The former denotes “pertaining to a blood vessel” while the latter means “cutting off.”
In a nutshell, this word defines the procedure used by health care professionals to use a needle to make a cut in your vein. The process used to create an incision is called venipuncture.
What does a phlebotomist do?
A phlebotomist is the individual who carries out the phlebotomy. However, this definition appears confusing.
That is because, in many countries, portions of phlebotomy processes are done by health care experts such as medical laboratory scientists, nurses, and doctors
Thus, a phlebotomist is a person trained in health care services, particularly to draw blood from the veins of a patient for medical or clinical testing, research, donations, or transfusions.
For that reason, it becomes clear that the primary goal of a phlebotomist in collecting blood is to carry out venipuncture.
This act strives to gather minute quantities of a patient’s blood finger sticks. A heel stick may be used by these professionals to draw blood from infants.
A heel stick may be used by these professionals to draw blood from infants. During the procedure of phlebotomy, the phlebotomist inserts a needle into your arm vein and draws close to 17 fl oz. (500 ml) of blood.
The process of removing blood lasts for approximately 30 minutes and does not require the patient to make special preparations or fast before the procedure.
Training in phlebotomy is not a difficult adventure. These are some of the known activities and institutions involved in this event:
The Minimum Requirements for Course Admission
To enroll for this program, you must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. You are also required to excel in the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam.
Phlebotomy graduates are qualified to register for the exam for the Phlebotomy Technician Certification.
For instance, in the United States, the institution tasked with this mandate is the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) also offers the National Phlebotomy Technician Certification Exam.
Upon passing these exams, the graduates earn the NCPT (NCCT) or CPT (NHA) credentials solely determined by independent organizations, NCCT and NHA.
These certificates are, however, subject to change as needs arise.
After graduating, the graduates can work in pathology labs, research labs, nursing homes, hospitals, and private clinics among other health care settings.
Phlebotomy Technician Program needs a couple of classes including the following:
- Physiology and Anatomy
- First Aid and CPR
- Processing and centrifuging
You can learn many health care skills during the phlebotomy courses. You will be taught, among others, stick skills.
This entails acquiring knowledge on how to draw blood. On completion of this classroom education program, you can acquire much knowledge of your fellow students, staff, and the faculty on how to practice sticking skills.
Thereafter, you will gain the much-needed confidence and preparation to start your externship.
To earn a certificate in Phlebotomy across higher institutions of learning, you need as little as 80 clock hours of classroom training.
However, for those interested in attending both the evening and day classes, about one month would be enough to earn you a certificate in this program.
Alternatively, you can enroll in the weekend program which can last for close to 3 months to complete.
By the time you are done with the certificate program of a Phlebotomy Technician, your skills in phlebotomy will be enough to earn you a place in a healthcare setting.
As a certified phlebotomist, you will be required to drain blood from the patients and prepare the same for testing in the lab.
Through the externship program, the instructors should be able to guide in this area and any other relevant practice. And, there you are, a qualified phlebotomy technician!
Institutions Offering Phlebotomy Training
There many places you can learn phlebotomy. Some of the famous higher institutions offering this course include PMI, AIMS Education Center, and Pima among others.
At PMI, you can get your phlebotomy certification in not more than three months.
Upon graduating, you can easily secure employment in the medical healthcare setting and enjoy practicing the learned skills in the real-world environment.
AIMS Education, on the other hand, has several campuses. However, if you are interested in this course, its main campus and the Edison branch are the right places to go.
The main campus is situated at 4500 New Brunswick Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854.
The number to call is (908) 222-0002.
You can also get a certificate as a Phlebotomy Technician at Pima. Their certificate program offers teachings in obtaining blood specimens by micro-collection and venipuncture techniques.
Phlebotomy Certification and Licensing
In some districts, states, or countries, phlebotomy personnel is required to be registered or licensed. Here are some of the basic qualifications you need to be licensed as a certified phlebotomist across the countries:
Registry Exam Eligibility/Certification
In the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics, one can be certified as a qualified phlebotomist if he or she can effectively work in all places where blood work is done.
They include blood donor centers, diagnostic centers, and hospitals.
The graduate must also adhere to the provisions and requirements of the 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Department of Labor on Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians.
In Australia, things are different. Despite the fact that many higher institutions of learning offer this course, on-the-job training is seriously considered.
In this country, you qualify to practice as a phlebotomist if you have a Certificate IV in Pathology HLT41807 or a Certificate III in Pathology HLT 32607 from certified higher institutions of learning.
Additionally, you must have a current senior first aid certification.
In the United Kingdom (UK), you don’t need to have a certification or formal qualification to become a practicing phlebotomist.
That is because training is typically offered on the job by the NHS. They provide a formal certificate after completing the training.
How to Acquire a Practicing License as a Phlebotomist
Given the fact that, of late, the demand for phlebotomists has been on the increase worldwide, the applicants for phlebotomy jobs are on the rise than before. It is true that this is an entry-level job.
However, the requirements for one to have a practicing might more than what meets the eye.
For instance, you need to complete the relevant training courses and certification. This leaves many people desiring to be phlebotomists to wonder how they can become one.
To start off, you only need a little experience. You will be surprised that the kind of training needed to have the license can easily lead you to a better healthcare career when compared to the requirements in other courses.
Therefore, to get the license, you must know the requirements of the state in which you want to practice.
Overall, it will be upon you to either go for your certification after completing the training program or go for the ‘extra mile.’ However, this may vary as per each state.
Remember that there various levels of phlebotomy certification from as low as that of a Limited Phlebotomy Technician, all through the Phlebotomy Technician to the Phlebotomy Technician II.
Each level has its requirements for one to get a practicing certificate.
Jobs in Phlebotomy
The phlebotomists’ future is very promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth for all medical lab work across countries.
The average career opportunities for phlebotomy technicians are projected to increase for the period between 2015 and 2025.
This is so because of the systematic advancement of blood test techniques. Traditionally, phlebotomists used methods such as incision and leeches to draw blood.
They used prophylaxis as well as a therapeutic process of bloodletting to get rid of toxins from the body. This approach was also used to balance the senses of humor.
This was the domain of barber-surgeons, who were tasked with the provision of healthcare services for most people in the early modern and the medieval.
In addition, due to the increasing demand for this service, it is expected the job of phlebotomists is on the increase also.
Job Description for a Phlebotomist
A phlebotomist is tasked with many responsibilities including:
- Identifying the patient properly,
- Interpreting the tests upon a requisition, and
- Using the correct additives to drain blood into the right tubes.
They are also responsible for:
- Making patients understand the procedure,
- Organizing patients as required,
- Performing the expected forms of sepsis, and
- Working towards universal precautions.
Phlebotomy Jobs Samples
In the state of Albany, New York, there are vacancies for Veterans Affairs and Veterans Health Administration jobs.
The average salary scale for patient care technicians is about $13 per hour and $14 for Phlebotomists. Laboratory technicians, on the other hand, earn an average of $25 per hour while medical technologists get $41 per hour.
The Woodlands’ Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. in Texas is also in demand for the phlebotomist to work for a total of 40 hours a week.
They will be tasked with offering expertise in specimen preparation and blood draws.
The Phlebotomist’s average hourly salary is roughly $13.97. This is the average salary scale across the state in the United States.
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT is looking for a phlebotomist to earn between $12 and $20. This is a health sciences organization that is patient-focused.
The successful candidate will be responsible for undertaking cheek swap specified functions.
What is a phlebotomy salary? How much do phlebotomists make?
The American Society for Clinical Pathology reports that phlebotomists make between $13.00 and $20.16 hourly wages. This is based on where the phlebotomist is working.
The salary scale differs across the private clinics, in a hospital, a lab, or a doctor’s office.
Overall, phlebotomy technicians earn an average salary of about $13 to $42 per hour for Patient Care Technician and for Medical Technologist respectively.
References on Phlebotomy Careers
- 1: WebMD (2019) – What is Phlebotomy: History, Risks & Side Effects