The expansion in hospital pathology services and clinical testing has created a sustained demand for phlebotomists. Diagnostic services underpin much of the modern healthcare industry. Advances in contemporary medicine have in large part been driven by and explosion in laboratory testing protocols using bloodwork and leveraging off technical breakthroughs in equipment performance.
The speedy detection and identification of disease not only contributes to a reduction in the risk patient life and health but it also assists in reducing the workload pressure placed on the overall healthcare industry. The diagnostic market is steadily increasing around the world and it is also complimenting the growth and development of the Phlebotomy equipment market. The need for skilled phlebotomists is dramatically high across the system and is in large part driven by the continued expansion of the number of healthcare facilities.
Increased demand in phlebotomy-related staffing and the commensurate growth in the diagnostic equipment market reflect sustained expansion across the healthcare and diagnostic industry. This growth has been sustained and by renewed and more public-friendly policies and supported by a network of public, private partnerships.
What Does A Phlebotomist Do?
Phlebotomists are trained to draw blood from a patient for clinical or medical laboratory testing. They also assist in transfusions, blood donations, and research studies. Phlebotomists’ primary means of collecting blood primarily through venipunctures or fingersticks for smaller quantities of blood.
In medical and diagnostic laboratories, patient interaction is often confined to the phlebotomist so a welcoming and disarming bedside manner is an advantage in a potentially stressful situation for the patient.
As all blood samples look identical, phlebotomists’ duties include identifying and labeling the samples they have drawn and entered its details into a database. Some phlebotomists draw blood for other purposes, such as at blood drives where the public donates blood.
Phlebotomist Duties: Summary
A phlebotomist’ typical duties include:
· Drawing blood from patients and blood donors
· Discussing the procedure with patients and donors to put them at ease, reducing their levels of stress attached to having blood drawn
· Confirm the patient or donor identity
· Ensure blood samples are correctly labeled for testing and analysis
· Enter patient information into a database
· Collate and manage medical equipment, consumables and instruments including needles, sterilizing patches, test tubes, and vials
Phlebotomist employment opportunities are projected to grow 25 percent from 2014 through to 2024. This represents a significantly faster pace than for many, easily outpacing the average growth rates for all occupations. Hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers, and other related locations all require certified phlebotomists to perform bloodwork.
Blood analysis remains an essential function in medical laboratories and hospitals. Demand for phlebotomists is anticipated to remain high as doctors and similar healthcare professionals sustain the increased demand for bloodwork for and its associated analysis and diagnosis.
Phlebotomists are primarily employed by hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers, and doctors’ offices. Phlebotomists who collect blood donations are occasionally charged with establishing and operating temporary mobile donation centers.
Most phlebotomists are employed full time. Many phlebotomists, particularly those working in hospitals and laboratories, may be required for shift work including being rostered on at weekends, nights and over public holidays.
In the United States, phlebotomists held about 112,700 jobs as of 2014. The largest employers of phlebotomists were:
· Hospitals 38%
· Medical and diagnostic laboratories 28%
· Other ambulatory healthcare services: 18%
· Physicians Offices: 9%
How Do You Become A Phlebotomist?
Under the current workplace structures, phlebotomists typically enter the career with a postsecondary non-degree award from a phlebotomy program. Programs are delivered via community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools. These programs lead to a certificate or diploma and usually under one year to complete.
Programs include a combination of classroom sessions and laboratory work and cover instruction in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. Phlebotomists are also taught specific procedures on identifying, labeling, and tracking blood samples.
Many phlebotomists enter the occupation with a high school diploma and undertake on the job training to qualify as a phlebotomist. However, in today’s competitive environment, almost all employers look for phlebotomists who have earned professional certification.
What Certification Is Required To Become A Phlebotomist?
A majority of employers prioritize hiring phlebotomists who have earned professional certification via a postsecondary non-degree course. A number of educational institutions offer phlebotomist certifications including:
· National Healthcare Association (NHA)
· American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the
· American Medical Technologists (AMT)
Do You Need A License To Become A Phlebotomist
Certification testing usually comprises a written exam and selected practical components, including drawing blood. Requirements for certification vary by organization. California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington all require phlebotomists to be certified.
How Much Do Phlebotomist’s Make?
The average annual wage in the United States as of May 2016 for phlebotomists was $32,710. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,330, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,850.
In May 2016, the median annual wages for phlebotomists across the main employer categories were:
· Medical and diagnostic laboratories: $34,420
· Other ambulatory healthcare services: $31,520
· Physicians Offices: $31,520
· Hospitals; state, local, and private: $31,300
Most phlebotomists work full time. Some phlebotomists, particularly those who work in hospitals and labs, may need to work nights, weekends, and holidays.
Job Skills And Competencies
In addition to their professional training and skills, a phlebotomist generally requires the following six core competencies:
1. Compassion: Many patients become stressed by having blood drawn, so phlebotomists must be able to put their patients at ease. Empathy is also required particularly when working closely with patients in pain or recovering from trauma
2. Attention to Detail: Doctors often five very precise directions for work and most databases require blood samples must be labeled following a specific protocol to facilitate accurate tracking of blood vials
3. Dexterity: Phlebotomists work with their hands manipulating needles and syringes to draw blood. A steady hand is critical to using their equipment efficiently
4. Hand–eye coordination. Phlebotomists draw blood from many patients, and they must perform their duties smoothly and without fuss on the first attempt, or their patients will experience discomfort and become anxious.
5. Stamina: Phlebotomists are often on their feet for long hours.
6. Technical Skills: Phlebotomists use complex machinery to test blood.
Phlebotomists perform an essential supporting role in our contemporary healthcare system by collecting blood for either for donation or for laboratory testing and analysis through a clinical laboratory. In much of our modern medical practice, blood tests are the primary means of diagnosing illness, evaluate the effectiveness of medications and determine whether a patient is receiving adequate nutrition. Thus, these diagnostic services underpin much of our modern healthcare industries day-to-day functioning.