Phlebotomy technicians are employed in almost every healthcare facility because they perform essential duties and work directly with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.
As the healthcare industry expands, the U.S. is experiencing a boom in the phlebotomy technician profession. This growth offers many jobs that skilled phlebotomy technicians can apply for, making this a promising and rewarding career.
In this article, we will discuss what a phlebotomy technician does, and the skills and proficiencies needed to become one.
What is a Phlebotomy Technician?
A phlebotomy technician is a healthcare professional whose primary responsibility is to collect blood samples from the patient for testing and diagnosis at the laboratory. A phlebotomy technician may have additional responsibilities, too. There is no difference between a phlebotomy technician and a phlebotomist—they are different names for the same job description.
“Phlebotomy” involves the use of venipuncture to draw blood for testing, experimentation, or transfusion. Phlebotomists are in high demand across the healthcare industry, including in hospitals, clinics, testing centers, nursing homes, blood donation centers, and other healthcare facilities.
What Does a Phlebotomy Technician Do?
The most common task for a phlebotomy technician is to draw blood from patients. Depending on where they work, phlebotomy technicians may draw blood from dozens of patients within a day. Other responsibilities depend on the phlebotomy technician’s job description and the facility. For instance, phlebotomy technicians might also be responsible for collecting patients’ information before drawing blood. Phlebotomy technicians also must label the specimens correctly and send them to the right lab for testing.
To do their job properly, phlebotomy technicians need to know about various blood tests and the required amount of blood to be drawn for each. Their job also requires compassion and empathy, as they may need to calm and reassure patients who are nervous or scared of needles. Lastly, phlebotomists also must dispose of used needles properly and clean and sanitize medical instruments after drawing blood.
Job Outlook for Phlebotomy Technicians
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were an estimated 132,750 phlebotomy technicians in the U.S. in May 2021, which means that the number of people employed in this profession may have crossed 150,000 by May 2022. The mean annual wage for phlebotomy technicians is $38,450, with the hourly wage around $18.49. The highest-paying industries include:
- Grantmaking Foundations
- Scientific Research Foundations
- Individual and Family Services
- Outpatient Services
- Company and Enterprise Management
The job outlook for phlebotomy technicians is significantly more promising than in other healthcare professions. Their employment is expected to increase by 22% between 2020 and 2030, which is three to four times higher than the average job growth in the U.S. This translates to roughly 28,800 new jobs in the next eight years, even more reason to consider becoming a phlebotomy technician.
How to Become a Phlebotomy Technician
A phlebotomy technician career looks quite promising, and its career trajectory is also encouraging. If you want to pursue this exciting career path, here are the requirements you need to fulfill.
Completing Your High School Diploma or GED
The best thing about a phlebotomy technician career is that you do not need a college degree to get started. Rather, you can start training after receiving your high school diploma or GED. This makes it easier for people to start working with low barriers to entry.
Completing an Accredited Phlebotomy Program
The next step is enrolling in an accredited phlebotomy program, which usually requires you to submit your school transcripts, application form, immunization records, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification, and background check. Program usually takes one year or less to complete, and you can also finish it earlier if you are more proficient at the training and learning materials.
How to Get a Phlebotomy Technician Certification
Lastly, you need to appear for a certification exam, which is mandated by several states. There are several certification agencies nationwide, including the following:
- American Certification Agency (ACA)
- American Education Certification Association (AECA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- National Credentialing Agency (NCA)
The exam usually consists of 300 questions and features both a written examination and a practical section where you must demonstrate the clinical skills you learned during the phlebotomy program.
If you are looking to prepare for your Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) exam, ed2go has the perfect resources for you. You can enroll in our online Certified Phlebotomy Technician course, which provides you with up to six months to complete as you learn at your own pace.
The course also includes an exam voucher and lab training that helps you prepare for the practical session of the exam. Upon successful completion of the course, you will have the skills and knowledge needed to launch your new career!
Ready to take the next step towards your new career? Contact us today!
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