What is a phlebotomist?
A phlebotomist is the healthcare professional who, through an accredited training and after gaining a certification, is instructed and educated on how to draw blood from patients in order to make some testing or for clinical purposes. With other words, phlebotomy is described as being the process in which a needle is introduced into a vein to draw blood by making a small incision.
Job description of phlebotomist
The daily main duties of a phlebotomist involve a lot of testing according to the requirements, but it also assumes that the blood that was drawn is put into the right tubes with the additives that are necessary for this operation. By requirement from various other specializations, phlebotomists have to interpret the test, before that they to identify the patients who gave the blood samples.
Another key point into the job of a phlebotomy technician is to possess the skill of communication, because they have to explain the main procedure to each patient. As a phlebotomist, you’ll have to possess the ability to perform the vein puncture.
Those that have gained a higher level of training and education are able to perform other duties, except drawing out blood like injections, or have the ability to administer the IV medications. But their role doesn’t end here, as their responsibility is to help establish the other healthcare specialists to maintain a report with all the patients, but also to help the patients by reducing the stress that they are confronting or any other states of anxiety involving the blood tests.
Usually, phlebotomists report the activities to the doctors, and nurses who are part of the staff. Because the risk is higher, the phlebotomist must fulfill a certain protocol and safety measurements regarding the fact that they are dealing with blood tests, where medical equipment is involved as well as needles that could expose the healthcare practitioner to certain injuries.
In each shift, phlebotomists are required to accomplish among others, one of the main duties to keep their area of work clean and, but also to sterilize the equipment they deal with. This is crucial to avoid spreading diseases.
How to become a phlebotomist?
As a healthcare professional who is working in the area of phlebotomy, you are required to fulfill some educational steps that will grant you the necessary experience to become one. For example, it all starts with the graduation of your high school that will involve obtaining your diploma or your GED certificate (with other words General Educational Development).
Two of the requirements that are to be followed when applying for a phlebotomy training school are the age (you must be at least eighteen years old) and the high school diploma. You also have to know if you are able to work in a medical area, because as a phlebotomist, you’ll have to deal mainly with blood, illnesses and various types of diseases.
The best thing to do when applying for a training school is to make sure it is accredited by one of the institutions that handle accreditation and are accepted, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. But before enrolling, you should check for every option, and this one year of training will go on with a proper education.
Usually, the phlebotomy training school programs can be studied within a period of time comprised of eight months and up to two years. The lab training is really important, not to mention that the hours should be of 115 or even more, depending on every training program.
In each training program, there is a practical part which is gained within the area of work and the classroom training. You’ll have to attend to 1,030 hours that involve the work experience in the phlebotomy settings. In order to finish the practice in your work experience, you’ll be required to get an internship.
According to each state in the United States, you’ll need to gain or not a license for the phlebotomist job, but you should know that in an interview for a job application in phlebotomy the employers will look for a certificate. In the case of certification, there are some organizations that offer the required certification through application and exam, and as well the proof of the phlebotomy training that you’ve completed.
If you want to keep your certification, you should continue your education by education credits that you should follow.
A wise decision would be to apply for a license in your state, where lab technicians are required to pass a license exam. You should also be very well informed to search the license requirements at the Secretary of State.
But the candidate can also be tested to the NCCA or the National Certification Career Association that will check the competency of the candidate. Every level of education will get you with a great career opportunity in the field and you can have a good start in this career path.
Work Environment and schedule
As a phlebotomy technician, you can work in various medical settings that involve drawing blood, test results, donations and many other job duties. You can work in a healthcare office or any other medical office, in the private or public domain.
You have a variety of job openings whether it is in a hospital, medical clinics, or the local blood donor centers. Also, there are industries or businesses like plasma businesses that are in need for phlebotomists who have certification.
You can apply for various laboratories as well or any other settings that perform blood testing of the samples collected from the patients. As a phlebotomist, you will always be in high demand. The schedule of a phlebotomy tech will vary according to each work location as well as the one established by the employer.
The shifts also vary according to the work environment and how demanding it is or not. For example, there are facilities that involve day shifts and hours which are normal or there are facilities that will involve shifts and schedules applied to any hours of the day. Of course that in the outpatient facilities your schedule will be from nine and up to five, while if you are working with twelve-hour shifts and are in the number of three, then it is assumed that you’ve worked thirty six hours and you’ll be paid as if working for forty hours per week.
But there are also the night shifts that for some people are difficult to adjust with, because they can go from seven in the evening and up to seven in the morning, the next day. But these three shifts in a row also have advantages for those who want to have more free days.
Pros and cons of being a Phlebotomist
The job of a Phlebotomist, many times involves a direct interaction with the patients. The common daily duties will allow you to take blood samples from various people due to performing tests to detect diseases. These samples are then collected, and other professionals will use them to detect and establish an accurate diagnostic. This will allow the doctors to establish and choose a clear treatment plan.
To take the best decision regarding your career, you should start by weighing the pros and cons of this job. The job of a Phlebotomist assumes many times some risks and a clear exposure to diseases. Since your purpose as one of these professionals is to aid in giving the best diagnosis, you’ll never know exactly to what you are exposing yourself until it might be too late. This can surely be the con of this job.
Another con refers to the salary that one is earning. The hourly wage for a phlebotomist is much lower compared with other related fields. For instance, regardless of the working type of employer the hourly wage in this field will vary, but the basic payment is estimated at $12.52 or even higher.
You’ll have direct contact with your patients, this involving both advantages and disadvantages. You’ll get out of the daily routine of a lab, and you’ll be there to make a difference in the people lives. The main drawback is that there are many patients that confront themselves with a fear of needles. The phlebotomist will have then the responsibility to make sure that the patient stays calm and all the process is going as planned.
The pro that accompanies this job is that you have the great reward of providing answers through blood samples in cases where confusion is present, that way many lives can be saved or improved. The other fact is that you’re doing what is best for you, and you’re doing something that you like and you enjoy.
There are plenty of career advancements, even though, the competition is pretty tough, and the education that you have to follow can be many times time-consuming and quite expensive. In the end, everything is worth. You’ll get yourself a flexible schedule, and you have the opportunity to work in two settings. For instance, you can work three days in a hospital and then other two in a clinic.
Phlebotomist Job Growth
The employment of phlebotomists for the next ten years is estimated at an average of 26% due to the number of demanding. For instance, many locations such as hospitals, blood donor centers, and many other will need these professionals to do blood work. With other words this job is a very important link for the medical technician industry.
This employment outlook for phlebotomists is also driven by some combined factors such as the growing population, the improved and new medical testing and the huge availability of medical services. These factors show very clearly that a shortage in this career field is less probably to happen.
Working as a phlebotomist has the great advantage of demand and preference. Each type of work will offer you work opportunities, and you just have to find the opportunity that will fit you the most and the one that you agree with.
For instance, there are the on-site blood testing agencies that will grant you with the job opportunity to travel when you are practicing. Clinics will offer a flexible work schedule, as well as the great opportunity to improve and gather up experience while the hospitals are in high demand for technicians. The main issue if you’ll want to work in a hospital is the fact that you’ll have to be really skilled at what you are doing since there is a lot of competition among those who apply.
Still the job growth is provided as well based on the job employment opportunities that are plenty, and you have the great opportunity to be able to choose from.
Like in every job field, the salary may vary according to numerous factors that have an influential point in the work of professionals. In the case of the phlebotomists, their annual salary in average reaches at $30,120. While the lowest paid professionals can earn an income of $21,220, the best percent of the professionals in the field of phlebotomy can earn a salary that reaches to $42,550 per year.
The phlebotomist salary varies also according to the location and the area in which he is working. Those, who are working in the area of hospitals, earn below the usual average that is estimated to be reaching to a granted income of $29,730 yearly.
While the ones who are working in the fields of diagnostic laboratories gain an average phlebotomy tech salary of $32,290 per year, other positions that offer a good salary in the field of phlebotomy can be found in the industries which are quoted as top paid, reaching to an annual salary of $41,320.
The salaries in the field of phlebotomy are different from state to state, according to the economic fluctuation, the current market demand, but also the area which can be an urban or metropolitan area. In Alaska, an average annual salary of the phlebotomist being quoted at $38,790 per year can be seen, this being in the areas of the highest paying.
Working as a phlebotomist means that the salary varies according to the work and the experience that you have. In various jobs the payment also varies due not only the factors mentioned earlier, but also according to your level of preparation like training programs, certification, and even license.
Also, according to the geographical locations in which you are, there are states that pay higher. For example, there are the states that provide phlebotomists with a high salary and can be found in California, Alaska (already mentioned earlier), Arizona and so on. Also, there are the states located on the East Coast like Rhode Island, New York or Connecticut and so on that have an annual average with a good payment, while the lowest payment by hour can be found in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and so on.
A phlebotomy technician salary also includes a lot of other benefits such as health insurance, holidays or vacations leave, retirement pensions and so on. Because (just like in any other jobs) there are level where you can advance in your career, you should know that the starting level in working as a phlebotomist doesn’t grant in the beginning the opportunity to have any kind of bonuses or benefits.
The starting phlebotomist salary is of $17,600 per month, but the chances of growing and reaching to another level in this field are high due to the number of population that is always in a search for blood testing and different kinds of analysis that will give them a clear diagnostic on what they are dealing with or not.
Compared to a person working as a phlebotomist in a small city or any other clinic or laboratory in that area, you can easily see that the economic response would be that in a large city where the businesses are developed much better and the number of patients are increasing, the job is much well paid. This happens because the settings influence the change in someone’s salary a lot, especially if we are talking about a person who works as a phlebotomist.
The area of phlebotomy is vast, so you could easily advance in this career path if you choose to follow it, and the salary will increase in time due to the already developed skills that you’ve acquired in the field where you’ve enrolled to work.
Salary of a Phlebotomist in 2015
The phlebotomist salaries in 2015 are mainly influenced by the experience in this field, the qualifications that one has and the geographical location. The average salary in this profession is estimated at about $30,020 per year with chances to increase it.
A phlebotomist salary is well paid in California, this involving the fact that a professional working there will have to possess a license to practice and some months of training in this field. The lowest point of a salary can be found in states like Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Texas.
People are continually in need for these professionals, so the job opportunities are always existent and out there for those whose dreams are to become phlebotomists.
Phlebotomist Salary in 2016
The income of a phlebotomist in the United States, throughout the year 2016 is influenced by several factors that affect the economic cost of living in that particular area. The main factors that influence this career and that have a major impact are based on the experience, location, or even certification where required as well as the type of facility in which one individual has found work.
For instance, when it comes to location, the job of a phlebotomist in an urban area is well paid then the job of one of these professionals in a rural area. Or another interesting fact related to the same factor that affects one’s career is an actual relocation. As a phlebotomist, if you will relocate from Idaho to New York then your income will be different reaching from a salary of $22,010 per year up to a salary of $41,010 per year.
If we were to take a glimpse of the years of experience, we would see that for one individual that is operating with less than 1 year in this field the income is with $2,010 or $2,310 lower than for those that are in this career with 4 years. The differences in the income somebody earns will be noticed only after they have 10 years of experience in the field.
The median phlebotomist salary in 2016 that is usually shown has an average that gets around $28,020 per year. This income is also influenced by the same variable factors that affect a phlebotomist salary. For the year 2016, in the US in this career field like in the early years it seems that the men in this profession are gaining more than the women.
For instance, a man’s income is estimated to be between $21,448 per year and up to $49,843 per year while a woman’s income is comprised between $20,778 per year and up to $40,751 per year.
Phlebotomist salary in Canada, Australia and United Kingdom
The phlebotomist salaries vary not only according to each state, but also according to the countries and mainly to the experience that you gain in the field of phlebotomy.
- For example, in Canada, the average phlebotomist salary reaches at $32,150 CAD per year.
- Those who work in Australia as phlebotomists will have an annual salary of AU$37,100 and will reach up to AU$49,670.
- For those who live and work in the UK (United Kingdom) as phlebotomists, they will have a salary of about £16,050 and converted in US dollars they will have an annual average phlebotomy salary of about $25,050.
Also, to increase the way to a better salary, you may want to search for a job in the private offices or any other medical laboratories that will pay up better. You can also relocate within an area in which the salary is higher in this field, because the private field is better paid compared to the public domain, this of course taken by the geographical locations. For example if you take Australia, then you can choose one of the cities with a large area of phlebotomy jobs, like Perth or Melbourne.
Don’t forget that the steps of education and continuous training will help you get to an improved level of increase in your salary as a phlebotomist.
Conclusion on phlebotomist tech salary
In conclusion, the phlebotomist salary is not only influenced by the number of various factors such as geographic location, education, experience, number of cases within the population that intervene to the economic status, but you are also provided with a number of great career opportunities in the field of phlebotomy in various settings like hospitals, private offices, clinics and so on. The average salary of a phlebotomist in the US can be estimated at $30,120 annually, while in other countries like Canada, Australia and UK the phlebotomist salary is a little different than it is in the United States.
This article is about the job description of a phlebotomist, and what exactly a phlebotomist is and the article also offers specific information on how to become one, and which the educational steps are to follow for a great career opportunity. It also discusses the topics of work environment, like the public and private institutions and offices that can provide you with work in this field. It also involves the schedule, the day hours and the shifts as well as the night shifts and hours that can be found within the phlebotomist job.
A description of the phlebotomist salary in the US is mentioned and the factors that influence you as a person working in the field of phlebotomy, as well as the salaries that are gained in Canada, Australia and the UK. As an ending, we have a short conclusion about the phlebotomist salary.
- First Published Date: 9 May, 2014
- Last Updated Date: 7 June, 2016