Phlebotomy technicians are people who work in a medical facility and have numerous important roles.
The phlebotomy field involves interacting with a patient as well as working in the laboratory.
Additionally, a phlebotomy technician has several job tasks daily and in our article, we decided to cover what they do on a day-to-day basis, and the training required to become a phlebotomist.
We will also speak about how much future phlebotomists can expect to earn, and what the main difference between a phlebotomy technician and a phlebotomist is.
What Does a Phlebotomy Technician Do?
Due to the increasing demands of the healthcare field, becoming a phlebotomy technician is a career choice for many people.
It is considered attractive as you do not need to have any prior experience in the medical field, so as to become one.
Once you become a phlebotomist, you will perform jobs that deal with patients, and lab work.
Both of these requirements have equal importance and a phlebotomy technician could be saving lives.
A phlebotomist has to be responsible, as people’s general health and well-being are at stake.
Phlebotomy technicians are technically considered to be experts in a laboratory and besides the fact that they obtain blood samples from patients, they are also in charge of properly submitting them to the lab for analysis.
The National Phlebotomy Association made a list of all the duties of a phlebotomy technician or phlebotomist:
- Verify medical records: A phlebotomist is in charge of obtaining records from the patient’s chart and verifying with the patient.
- Conduct patient interviews with the aim to obtain a prior medical history: This is a case when a new patient comes to you. It is necessary that you know his/her previous medical experiences and medications.
- Check vital signs: Blood pressure, pulse, etc.
- Obtain blood samples through venipuncture: Each phlebotomist has to possess a refined skill when venipuncture is in question. Their task is not only finding a vein but making their patient feel more comfortable.
- Prepare blood samples for lab analysis: This involves right labeling, color-coding, etc. A phlebotomist is the one who needs to make sure the samples are accurate.
- Test and analyze blood samples.
Even though some people will consider these simple tasks, they need to be aware of all the responsibilities that come with them.
Working in the medical field is not at all a simple job.
A phlebotomy technician is an entry-level job, which is later on used as a springboard for a long career in medicine.
Some nurses and doctors start out as phlebotomists.
At the beginning of your medical career, the most significant thing to consider is how well you work with people.
This is especially important for phlebotomy technicians whose main duty will be dealing with people of all kinds, and of every age.
The other main duty is obtaining blood samples and analyzing them.
A phlebotomy technician has to be skillful enough to find a vein quickly/easily.
Plus, he/she must find an alternate vein if needed.
All these skills can affect the patient’s overall comfort level, so they will be learned in training.
Training to Become a Phlebotomy Technician
Many people who are interested in any training for the phlebotomy field wonder what the difference between a phlebotomist and a phlebotomy technician is.
We can say that there is essentially no difference, but if you really want to know those tiny details about these two professions, it can be said that a phlebotomy technician is a person who works in the lab, while a phlebotomist is the one who both draws blood and works in the lab.
When the phlebotomy training is in question, these differences are not at all important as your training to become a phlebotomist will also give you the training to become a phlebotomy technician.
Phlebotomy training usually consists of a course that lasts 4-8 months and involves working in a classroom setting or through online courses.
Our suggestion is to try to get hands-on experience as much as possible during this period.
The majority of training programs require that students perform many venipunctures before completing the training.
This is an ideal occasion for new phlebotomists to prepare for the first phlebotomy job once their training is finished.
Some states have set additional rules and regulations when phlebotomy training is in question, so they require more than just basic phlebotomy training so as to find a job.
In those states, you will need to be a certified phlebotomy technician so as to be hired for a job, and this involves one more month of training.
Becoming certified can only be an advantage for you, no matter whether your state requires it or not.
You will be considered a more appropriate candidate among your competition when searching However, you must be careful when selecting the right phlebotomy training school.
Where Qualified Technicians Work
You do not have to be worried about where you can work as a phlebotomy technician, being that these professionals can work in a wide variety of facilities.
When we think of phlebotomists, we believe that they only work in hospitals.
It is a fact that hospitals are the largest employer of phlebotomy technicians, but this is not the only place they can find employment.
About 52% of all technicians work in hospitals, while all the others can be found working in smaller clinics, 24-hours emergency centers, private practices, nursing homes, veteran hospitals, and more.
You can find employment in each place that needs blood drawn for patients on a regular basis.
Qualified phlebotomy technicians sometimes need to start out with a part-time position.
But this can turn into full-time jobs in case you show the right skills and dedication.
Another great way to get started in this career field is to take on an internship or do volunteer work.
This can really be beneficial after you have completed your training, being that you will gain the experience necessary for your future employment.
There are a few ways to go about this:
Volunteer work can be done in the American Red Cross.
This is the organization that always has needs for qualified professionals.
You will be working at blood drives, within their facilities.
Furthermore, some other organizations are also in need of certified employees, so our suggestion is to look out for volunteer opportunities in your area.
Another option is getting an internship as a phlebotomy technician
The internship can help you out in two different ways.
You will definitely gain experience, as you will be working with professionals and you will be able to learn how to deal with patients and perform specific duties from the very best.
This kind of experience should be mentioned on your resume and can bring you an advantage when you apply for employment.
The second advantage of an internship is that you will be given the right kind of experience for a specific location.
Getting an internship at a hospital provides you with a chance to be hired there for an actual staff position.
If this happens, you will already be familiar with the layout of the hospital, the protocol and safety procedures, and even the staff, which will make your job easier.
The best thing that can happen to you is to be hired into a hospital where you have already been interning.
Phlebotomy technicians who are just starting out should not be worried about finding a job, as phlebotomy is a popular career field at the moment.
They should go online and search for hospitals and clinics near their places right after they have completed training and phlebotomy certification.
How Much Does a Phlebotomy Technician Make?
It is normal that those interested in becoming phlebotomy technicians want to know how much they will earn, and we have to mention that this is another great reason why phlebotomy is such a popular entry-level career.
You will get a decent salary as a phlebotomy technician and if we compare this profession to other entry-level jobs in retail, office work, etc., phlebotomy has a great payment standard.
Just like in many other professions, how much you can make as a phlebotomist will highly depend on how often your work.
Actually, it is up to you whether you will, as a phlebotomy technician, have a flexible schedule, or you will accept to work irregular hours but earn higher salaries.
Most on-staff phlebotomy technicians make an average of around $13.50 per hour.
A full-time phlebotomy technician who works in a hospital or other medical facility receives a standing salary which is around $28,000 a year.
Of course, these numbers are for an entry-level position.
However, in case you move up to a supervisory position in phlebotomy, you can make around $42,000 a year.
So, it is always suggested to make attempts to advance in your position with promotions.
The salary of phlebotomy technicians can be even higher due to the high demand for good phlebotomists in large hospitals.
According to a recent study by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), between 2010 and 2020, there could be a need increase of up to 15% for phlebotomy technicians.
And, what is even more promising, the demand is going to be greater.
Becoming a Phlebotomy Technician
If you have decided to become a phlebotomy technician after reading our article, we would like to say that this is a great career choice as it can open the door for many opportunities.
As we have already said, this is a great entry-level job for anyone and can help you if you wish to proceed with your education in the medical field.
Furthermore, it is a rewarding way to help people every day, and it requires only minimal training.
Other advantages are inexpensive tuition and on-the-job experience.
What you need to do now is to look for further information for training centers near your place, and in less than a year, you can become a certified phlebotomy technician.