Phlebotomists are trained medical professionals who work alongside doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals and are an integral part of the medical community. They mainly draw blood from patients so that diagnostic tests may be performed, but they also have many other tasks to tackle. For one thing, they perform bedside glucose tests for patients who have diabetes to monitor their sugar levels and ensure these won't go above or below the normal levels. They also do bleeding-time tests, which are helpful for patients who have bleeding disorders as well as those who are taking blood thinners and/or are due to have surgery.
Phlebotomists must have excellent people skills and know how to communicate well since they will be interacting with numerous patients all day. Many of these patients are nervous about the blood tests they are about to undergo, so phlebotomists must have unlimited stores of patience and know how to calm down patients and make them feel at ease. This is particularly true if they need to collect blood samples from little kids, who mostly are afraid of syringes and needles and are likely to thrash around when they get near these items.
Phlebotomists must also use caution in their job since they work around blood and are always at risk of contracting blood-borne illnesses. With these in mind, they need to stick to the proper health and safety practices and wear gloves, goggles, face masks, and other equipment that can protect them from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. They should also be up to date on the latest procedures that they should follow to keep themselves and their patients safe.
Despite the risks that come with their job, phlebotomists are fortunate enough to be in an industry that offers career growth. For one thing, they can work in various settings like hospitals, doctor's offices, laboratories, and blood banks, which means they're not tied down to just one kind of workplace and they have a wide range of career options to choose from. Add this to the fact that the healthcare industry is expected to see an increase in jobs through 2016 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), and it's easy to see that phlebotomists are on the right career path.
Phlebotomist careers have a very promising outlook. So, if you want to work in the healthcare industry and have access to many career opportunities, becoming a phlebotomist should definitely be one of the things that you'd look into.
Phlebotomy Job Titles
Phlebotomists are usually called just that, but they also have many other job titles. These might sound different from each other, but the tasks and responsibilities that come with them are often similar. Knowing these alternative titles is important especially if you're ready to start looking for jobs, since different employers and job websites call phlebotomists by different names. Some of these titles are:
- Phlebotomy Technician
- Venipuncture Technician
- Medical Lab Assistant
- Clinical Lab Assistant
- Mobile Phlebotomist
- Clinical Lab Assistant
Where to Look for Phlebotomy Jobs – Who Employs Phlebotomists?
Once you've finished your phlebotomy course and clinical training and have obtained your certification of completion, it's time to look for a job. There are lots of ways to find employment opportunities, and you can start by visiting your local hospitals, clinics, and laboratories and finding out if they have any vacancies for phlebotomists. If they do, ask how you can apply for the job and send your application ASAP.
Aside from this, you can also check your local newspaper to see if any healthcare institutions have advertised their vacancies. Don't forget to use the power of the internet, too. You can check online job boards like Indeed.com, where you can browse through job listings and find positions that match your qualifications. You can also also work with online recruitment agencies that can help you search for the right position. Remember that you can also use social networking sites to find the right job; LinkedIn, for instance, lets you connect with potential employers as well as with industry experts who can be your mentors or at least a source of helpful tips and updates.
How to Land a Phlebotomy Job
There are two main ways to become a phlebotomist. The first option is to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy program and get a certificate, and the second option is to gain experience on the job. Since every state has different rules and regulations regarding the educational requirements for phlebotomists, it's necessary to check the requirements of your state and find out what you should do to become a phlebotomy technician.