Phlebotomy literally means vein cutting for blood collection. Phlebotomist (Phlebotomy Technician) is a person, who is trained to perform this procedure, as well to prepare the blood for analysis, to perform analysis and to report the results. This profession is very significant in the sphere of healthcare and for the last years, the demand for qualified specialists increases. Many new technologies are applied Phlebotomy to become more and more safe and sterile, to decrease the risks. Phlebotomy schools offer acquisition of required skills and experience to make Phlebotomy maximally painless for the patient.
Graduated Phlebotomist (Phlebotomy Technician) can practice in various Hospital Institutions, laboratories and blood centers, mobile blood procurement stations and diagnostic centers. The Phlebotomy Technician’s duties include:
- actualization of patient profiles;
- preparation of blood samples for analysis;
- sterilization and equipment maintenance;
- information analysis;
- samples dispatch to the laboratories;
- preparation of required instruments and materials for procedure accomplishment;
- disinfection with spirit of the place, from where the blood samples are to be taken;
- Phlebotomy accomplishment;
- making compresses after a procedure accomplishment;
- information analysis;
- tracking of life indicators, etc.
The specification of obligations depends on the place, where the Phlebotomist works – whether it is a doctor’s office, laboratory or a blood center.
In order to start working as a Phlebotomist, a person has to graduate at a Phlebotomy school. As in other healthcare professions, a secondary education diploma or GED is required for Phlebotomy too. The training fee in Phlebotomy schools is different, but the most schools offer financial help and accreditation (which guarantees the required skills acquisition and successful career).
The studied subjects in Phlebotomy schools during the Phlebotomy Training are Anatomy, Heart and Circulatory System, Phlebotomy Theory, Infection Protection, legal and moral norms, techniques for vein or arteries detection, training in butterfly and syringe venipuncture in collecting blood, syringe volume, blood composition, quality control, building patient trust (this is very important, because some patients have phobias about blood-taking, while others fear of a hypodermic needle), protection of labour. During the Phlebotomy Training skin construction, waste collection in biocontainers, blood transportation and preservation, etc. are also studied. In Phlebotomy schools, a large number of practical lessons are allocated, because the experience is very important for the future Phlebotomist. Training usually lasts for 2 years; for Bachelor degree, it is 4 years. However, except for the Phlebotomy schools, it is possible to complete a program in taking blood for some hospital institution or blood center, which continues for about a year. Besides the opportunity to choose some of the well-known schools and colleges, which offer Phlebotomy Training, it is possible to complete a course offered by many online schools (good online schools provide an opportunity for subject practice or cooperate for practice realization in a health institution). Another option of Phlebotomy schools is a Red Cross Phlebotomy Training, where the preparation is analogical and a diploma is given at the end.
After completion of Phlebotomy Training in some of the Phlebotomy schools, the future Phlebotomist can take a written exam to receive his Phlebotomy Certificate. Some schools work with agencies for certification and after the course completion and taking an exam, a certification is given and it is possible to start job as Certified Phlebotomy Technician. If the course is not attended in any of these schools, an additional exam has to be taken with additional requirements and fees that could reach up to $200. The most famous organizations, which can give certificates in the USA, are The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, National Phlebotomy Association, American Phlebotomy Association
Certification is obligatory in only two states of America and it is not permitted to start job as a Phlebotomist without it. However, it is desirable everywhere to take an examination for certification, because it presupposes finding a job easier and higher Phlebotomy Salary. Without a certification presenting, it is difficult for the candidate to prove to employer that he possesses required knowledge and experience. There are differences concerning requirements to start a job as a Phlebotomist in each state and it is required to check them in local level. Requirements for receiving a certificate are also different, but usually the Phlebotomist should have at least half-year practice on full-time job or one year on a part-time job. Organizations, before which a Phlebotomy Technician could go in for an examination for taking a certification, have a lifetime fee; require annually taking an examination for certification renewal and a membership fee). In spite of additional raising the cost, certification-receiving investment is worth it, as the Certified Phlebotomy Technician takes higher salary.
The factors that form a Phlebotomy Salary are several, and the experience is very significant. Graduated Phlebotomist (Phlebotomy Technician) can earn good monthly income (average salary varies between $17000- $32000), and a Phlebotomist with an experience of more than 20 years earns an average salary of $8000 annually more than his colleague with 3 years practice. The Phlebotomy Technician salary is higher in big cities (an average annual salary in New York is over $40000). It is easier to find job in big cities; Phlebotomy Technician works for an average of 40 hours a week for more than $15 per hour. Personal qualities are also taken into account for salary determination. The salary can vary as well depending on workplace, working time and requirements. For more clarity, the following table describes the Phlebotomist salary on the most important criteria.
Except for good wages, Phlebotomist has the right to use paid holidays and full-pay sick leave, better health and pension insurance, additional bonuses in the form of courses and qualification programs.
No matter which of the schools offering Phlebotomist classes a prospective Phlebotomist choose to attend, after successful training completion, the certified Phlebotomy Technician will have a morally and financially rewarding career.