Are you interested in pursuing a career as a phlebotomist? Have you hesitated in making this decision for definite due to your lack of knowledge on this career path? Keep reading so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this is an ideal profession for you. A phlebotomist is a medical laboratory technician who takes a patient’s blood in order to check for cholesterol, bacterial growth, diseases, or any health problems. In this profession it is common for you to work under the supervision of a pathologist or a physician. In your daily work as a phlebotomist you can expect to obtain blood samples from patients through a finger prick or by using a needle to get blood directly from the vein. You will be responsible for prepping the equipment that you will be using to obtain the blood sample, verifying the information in the patient’s chart, storing the blood samples, and getting them to the lab for testing.
In order to be qualified to work as a phlebotomist you will at least need to complete a certificate program. Completion of an accredited certificate program should make you eligible to sit for your state’s licensing examination. Within your specific coursework you can expect to learn about disease control, how to use specific medical equipment, human anatomy, and patient care. You will be taught how to comfort nervous patients, how to recognize if a patient is about to faint, proper needle insertion, how to determine which needle is appropriate to use, and how to treat puncture wounds.
It is common for certificate programs to take about one year to complete and to be offered at hospitals or technical schools. Should you decide to pursue an associate’s degree program you can expect to be required to complete a practicum prior to graduation. Generally speaking, the course requirements from each of these programs will be very similar. However, it typically requires about two years of coursework to complete an associate’s degree program in phlebotomy. Take a few minutes and check out the schools shown on our site. If you see any that interest you, feel free to request that they send you a complimentary information packet detailing their educational programs.
As a phlebotomist with some degree of formal training you will be able to work within a medical laboratory, in a doctor’s privately owned office, or in a hospital. Should you decide to advance your level of education it may be possible for you to pursue a position as a laboratory technologist. Of course, you will need relevant experience before you will be considered eligible for this type of promotion.