If you've ever donated blood, or had blood taken for tests, chances are you've seen a phlebotomist at work.

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Job Tasks:

  • Match laboratory requisition forms to specimen tubes.

  • Draw blood from veins by vacuum tube, syringe, or butterfly venipuncture methods.

  • Dispose of blood or other biohazard fluids or tissue, in accordance with applicable laws, standards or policies.

  • Draw blood from capillaries by dermal puncture, such as heel or finger stick methods.

  • Dispose of contaminated sharps in accordance with applicable laws, standards or policies.

  • Organize or clean blood-drawing trays ensuring that all instruments are sterile, and all needles, syringes, or related items are of first-time use.

Skills and Abilities Needed to Perform Job:

 

Knowledge of:

 

  • Medical software (MEDITECH; Medical procedure coding software)

  • Use of Microsoft programs (Word, Excel, Office and Outlook)

  • Principles and processes for providing customer and personal services.

  • Administrative and clerical procedures and systems.

  • The structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules, composition and grammar.

  • Near Vision – Ability to see details at close range.

  • Arm-Hand Steadiness – Ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

  • Deductive Reasoning – Ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

  • Problem Sensitivity – Ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.

Desired Work Style Attributes:

  • Attention to details

  • Integrity – Honest and ethical

  • Dependability – Reliable and responsible

  • Cooperation – Pleasant with others

  • Stress Tolerance – Accepting criticism and dealing calmly in stressful situations

  • Self-Control – Maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check

  • Concern for Others – Sensitive to needs of others

Education Requirements:

There is no set path to become a phlebotomist, but you will need a high school diploma, as well as training in phlebotomy. There are two ways to get this training. You can complete a formal program or if it is available, you can get on-the-job experience at a health facility if you are employed in a job that provides patient care and want to advance in the technical career pathway.

Certificate and diploma programs in phlebotomy are offered by two-year colleges and vocational schools. They range in length from about three months to a year. You will take courses in phlebotomy techniques and anatomy and physiology. You will also take medical terminology, first aid and safety courses. Some programs include internships where you can practice venipuncture methods in a supervised setting.

If you are an incumbent worker in a hospital or other health facility that offers on-the-job training in phlebotomy, the training can last from several weeks to a year. You may not need prior phlebotomy training to get into these programs, but you may need computer skills and first aid training. It also helps to know medical terminology.

Certification is offered through several organizations. To be certified, you usually need to complete a formal training program in phlebotomy. Or, you can fulfill a work experience requirement ranging from six months to one year. You will also need to pass an exam.

Even though certification is not always required, it is usually preferred and can increase your chances of finding a job as a phlebotomist.