What Is A Phlebotomist?

"I would like to do some kind of work in a clinic or a hospital. I know that’s where most of the jobs are at these days, and I am tired of worrying about where my next paycheck is coming from. I can’t spend much on a degree, though. I just want something where I can maybe get a quick certificate and jump right in. I heard that a phlebotomy technician is one of those types of jobs, but I can’t make heads or tails of that name. Is it the same thing as someone who draws blood, or is it something else? It’s not like an X-ray technician, is it?"

asked by Tristan from Stowe, VT

A phlebotomy technician is a medical laboratory technician who collects blood samples from patients using micro techniques or venipuncture. This is the technical name for a technician who draws blood from patients, labels and stores the blood samples, and analyzes the results to make recommendations for treatment or further testing. The technician may also interview the patient about symptoms and may reassure the patient if the patient is frightened of the procedure.

Despite the “technical” sound of the job title, a phlebotomy technician does not operate technical equipment like an X-ray. You were right the first time. A phlebotomy technician is a medical worker who is responsible for collecting blood samples from patients. Usually this is done by using venipuncture, and sometimes other micro-techniques.

This position may be attractive to you if you are interested in working in the medical field, but do not have a lot of time or money to invest on your education. The entry requirements are very basic. This is reflected in the hourly wage for the position, which is not very high. Demand, however, is, which makes this a good field to get into if you require reliable employment.

There are a number of different steps to phlebotomy, and the technician is involved with all of them. A Phlebotomy Technician will sterilize the site of the venipuncture and the equipment so that procedure can be safely performed on the patient.

They also reassure the patient if the patient is nervous. Needles and blood are both common apprehensions among patients, especially children. You might also ask the patient for more information about his or her symptoms and prepare that information for the doctor or nurse who will be working with the patient to form a diagnosis.

After the procedure is complete, the phlebotomy technician needs to properly label and store the blood samples gathered for further analysis. You may also analyze the results of the blood test and make recommendations to the doctor or nurse who is taking on the patient’s case.

If you become a phlebotomy technician, you will work in a medical setting. That might be a hospital or a clinic, or it could be a blood bank or a laboratory. You will be using medical equipment throughout the day and analyzing results. Phlebotomy technicians are needed in hospitals, clinics, blood banks and laboratories. Job demand for technicians in this field is increasing, and many hospitals have several shifts of technicians throughout the day and night, since technicians are needed at all hours. The wage for the job is not particularly high, since you will only need to undergo minimal training to do this job.

To become a phlebotomy technician, you will need to take courses in CPR, first aid, venipuncture, urinalysis, and other medical techniques. You may then apply for certification and start looking for jobs in the field of phlebotomy.

The highest wages are available for technicians who work in specialty positions and in medical and diagnostic laboratories. This is something to keep in mind when you are receiving your education and also when you begin applying for jobs. You may also want to consider beginning work as a phlebotomy technician and using that as a springboard for medical experience. You may find another position with a higher wage that you are interested in training for in the future. Since the wage is not very high for this position, you may want to simply consider it as a step along your career journey—a position you can hold while you train to earn a license to become a nurse, physician assistant, or other medical professional.

As with many other careers in the field of medical care, the role of phlebotomy technician is one where demand is increasing steadily and substantially. Many hospitals require as many as three shifts of phlebotomy technicians, which means there are numerous job opportunities. You may have your pick of hours, including overnight hours and weekends if you are interested in that.

You do not need a degree to become a phlebotomy technician, but you do need to enroll in a training program. In your courses, you will learn CPR, first aid, anatomy, venipuncture, urinalysis, centrifuging and processing, and other skills which are essential for a phlebotomy technician. Once you have completed your program, you will be qualified to apply for jobs at clinics, hospitals and private practices which are seeking a phlebotomy technician.

Career Spotlight: Phlebotomist



Phlebotomists are healthcare professionals who are trained to draw blood. They work in hospitals, health care centers, blood banks and more. A phlebotomist is an important part of a medical laboratory[...]

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