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Phlebotomist Job Requirements

Updated on April 2, 2015
Guide to becoming a phlebotomist.
Guide to becoming a phlebotomist. | Source

Have you ever considered becoming a phlebotomist? If the sight of blood doesn't gross you out, this may be a good career path to consider!

As long as you possess good people skills, patience, and have steady hands, you can do well in this field. If you want to know more about phlebotomy or about how to become a phlebotomist, read on and take it all in.

What is Phlebotomy?

The textbook definition of phlebotomy is the practice of drawing blood from the circulatory system by way of puncturing a vein in order to obtain samples for testing and analysis. The term “phlebotomy” comes from greek words: “phleb” means to “pertaining to a vessel” and “otomy” means “to make an incision.” Sounds interesting, right?

How to Take Blood

What Does a Phlebotomist Do?

When you go to a hospital, more often than not, the person who takes your blood is a phlebotomist and this is what they do all day or all night long.

Though taking blood specimens is the largest part of their job, it is not all that they have to do.

Phlebotomists also have to:

  • Verify patient information prior to sticking them

  • Keep good records of the blood drawn (time, date, etc)

  • Maintain daily records of how many draws were performed

  • Test patient glucose levels

  • Remain in compliance with legal regulations and procedures

  • Act as a liaison between the lab and physician if questions arise in regards to unusual test orders

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Training Requirements for Phlebotomists

When curious about how to become a phlebotomist, it is important that you learn about the training requirements. In order to obtain the certification through a qualified program, you must generally meet the following requirements:

  • 40 classroom instruction hours

  • 100 clinical training hours

  • 100 successful blood draws, unaided

Check with your state licensing board to find out your state’s specific requirements as it may differ from state-to-state.

Also, check with your local community colleges and American Red Cross chapters for course availability. There are plenty of places that offer programs in phlebotomy and the course generally lasts one to two semesters and is rather inexpensive in comparison to other programs.

Careers in Phlebotomy

When you think of a phlebotomist, you may automatically think of a hospital or emergency room. Sure, you could sink a job in a hospital environment, but you may also want to consider smaller clinics, doctors offices, blood donation services, and specimen testing laboratories.

There are many places that have a demand for phlebotomists. Checking the classifieds in your local newspaper is normally a great starting point once you are ready to get out into the workforce.

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Phlebotomist Salary

The average pay for a phlebotomist is decent, ranging from approximately $28,000 to $40,000.

You may make more or less depending on where you work, the shift you work, if you have any extra duties assigned to you and so on. The pay is definitely worth the small price paid to get the certification.

When checking into certification programs, call around to a few different places and compare prices, check if books are included in the prices, and if they aren’t, find out the additional cost of the books.

If you feel you cannot afford to pay for the program out of pocket, ask about financial assistance that may be available to you. You may be able to obtain grants or be able to make payments throughout the semester, depending on the school or program.

Could You be a Phlebotomist?

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Become a Phlebotomist

This career path is not for the squeamish, so if you were the one who was always terrified at the sight of blood or needles, you may want to look in a different direction, or rather the complete opposite direction.

Otherwise, the starting point of how to become a phlebotomist would be to poke around different schools, find out the start dates of their programs and go on from there.

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