Phlebotomy is a medical practice in which patients undergo venipuncture (blood draws) for clinical laboratory testing, revealing their health and wellness. Phlebotomy technicians, also known as phlebotomists, are the medical professionals who specialize in this field.
The most common task for a phlebotomy technician is to draw blood from patients. Other responsibilities that phlebotomists have are predominantly detail-oriented. For example, before a blood draw, they must ask their patients for their name, date of birth, and other identifying or demographic information, which is inputted into the medical facility’s patient database. After a blood draw, they need to label the tubes properly and transport them to the appropriate lab for testing.
Phlebotomists must understand each blood test to conduct its procedure and assess the amount of blood necessary for testing. Like any healthcare profession, phlebotomy technicians play an important role in soothing their patients when they are nervous or concerned. For instance, some people do not like needles, and it is the phlebotomist’s job to show empathy, ease their nerves, and explain any questions if they arise.
Phlebotomists typically work in a variety of healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, and laboratories. However, some phlebotomy technicians can conduct their work on the road. Mobile phlebotomists, also known as traveling phlebotomists, travel to their patients for blood work. Anyone can utilize mobile phlebotomy technicians. However, their work is used mostly by patients who may experience difficulty getting to the hospital, such as people in nursing homes or people with disabilities.
Phlebotomists often work full time. Similar to doctors and nurses, they can work nights, weekends, and holidays. Not every phlebotomist technician works full time, however. Some companies offer part-time and volunteer positions.
The median salary for full-time phlebotomists is $35,510, increasing or decreasing depending on the years and quality of previous experience. On average, phlebotomists earn slightly over $18 an hour, but it varies by city and state. The following cities are the top five cities with the highest hourly pay for phlebotomy technicians, all above $18 an hour:
- Atlanta, GA
- Neward, DE
- Brooklyn, NY
- San Diego, CA
- New York, NY
Along with the salary, most companies offer their full-time employees competitive benefits, including health, vision, and dental insurance and paid time off.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, phlebotomy technicians are projected to have a 17.2% employment growth between 2019 and 2029. This statistic suggests that up to 22,800 phlebotomist positions will open up across the nation.
Being a phlebotomy technician is a good job, especially if you want to pursue other medical professions and gain practical experience. Phlebotomists develop experience in physical examinations, patient and customer service, working in a clinical laboratory, and venipuncture, which will translate into physician, nurse, or doctor roles.
Aside from these technical skills, phlebotomy technicians gain invaluable interpersonal skills that people will need in any medical career, such as attention to detail, active listening, empathy, and communication with patients and their healthcare peers.
If you want to be in the medical profession and participate in rewarding work, yes, being a phlebotomy technician is a great job. Not only are phlebotomists engaged in important work within the healthcare field, but they get to work closely with people and make meaningful patient connections. Phlebotomists also possess job mobility, in which they can continue to be a phlebotomist or choose other medical careers.
Becoming a phlebotomist is inexpensive and straightforward. Most medical careers require several years of schooling, such as doctors and physicians who need an MD to practice medicine. Phlebotomists, on the other hand, only need a high school diploma or GED. Many phlebotomy technicians attend phlebotomy schools, such as PhlebotomyU. While obtaining the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) license is not a federal requirement for phlebotomists, some states may require the CPT to practice phlebotomy. Despite state requirements, earning the CPT will set you apart from other phlebotomy technicians when applying for jobs. You will have advanced knowledge of venipuncture procedures, medical terminology, equipment, and sample preparation and testing.
The PhlebotomyU CPT1 course provides our students the necessary experience and knowledge to be successful as phlebotomy technicians. Through our CPT1 course, we offer students hands-on experience through externships with local hospitals to begin their phlebotomy careers.
Contact PhlebotomyU to learn more about becoming a phlebotomy technician.