Phlebotomy is an in-demand career in the US. The eligibility for entering the career is also convenient. A career in phlebotomy offers good salary, opportunities for growth, professional and social respect, and the satisfaction of helping people in diagnosing their illness and playing a crucial role in treating their illness.
What does a Phlebotomist Do?
The primary task in a phlebotomy technician’s career is to draw blood from the patient’s veins by using a needle and a syringe. Sometimes, vacuum tubes or butterfly venipuncture are also used.
The fluid or tissue samples are then labeled and stored using the suggested procedures. The collected samples may be required to be transported to another location, in which case the phlebotomy technician will use pre-defined process to ensure safety of the samples during transport.
Once the sample has been taken and stored, the phlebotomy technician disposes the used materials. This is done in accordance with the laws, hygiene standards and organizational policies. He cleans and organizes the blood drawing trays organized, and sterilizes the relevant equipment.
The phlebotomy technician enters the information regarding the patient, sample collection, insurance, billing, tests etc. into the computer. For this, the phlebotomy technician uses a word processor and a spreadsheet, such as MS-Office or Star Office. There may also be specific software being used by the institution, and the phlebotomist should be able to use the same for entering relevant data. Some popular software used by health care institutions are Donor Management System, MobiLab, Meditech Blood Bank etc.
Phlebotomy is a medium preparation skill. The phlebotomy technician is required to have a vocational training, in-classroom or on-the-job; but it does not require elaborate degrees or research skills.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Path
The growth path of a career in phlebotomy can be progressive and rewarding. While the core skill is common, there are various different areas in which the phlebotomy technician can work. Some examples are patient care technician or nursing assistant. Experienced phlebotomy technicians can find themselves in administrative and managerial positions where they are supervising junior phlebotomy technicians.
Phlebotomy Technician Employers
The employer pool is also diverse. The phlebotomy technician can look at working with an employer in an area of choice. The list of various employers includes health care facilities such as medical laboratories, physician’s clinics, small and large hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical centers, children’s health centers and elderly care centers. Apart from health care facilities, other employers include blood donation centers, academic institutions and vocational training centers.
Phlebotomy Technician’s Work Environment
The phlebotomist has a front-office job. He faces the patient and the jobrole involves high level of human interaction. The work environment is fast paced and the schedule is usually full. Dealing with sick people and anxious relatives can sometimes lead to irate situations, and the phlebotomy technologist is required to maintain calm and work under such pressure. During medical emergencies, the phlebotomy technician is required to step up and work accurately without being distracted by the environment.
While there may be occasional emergencies or irate patients to manage, usually a phlebotomy technician’s work is more routine. The procedure is almost risk-free and safe.
As most health care institutions work 24×7, there is a possibility of working in shifts with flexible timing options. Some phlebotomy technicians also visit homes for collection of blood samples.