Certified Phlebotomy Technicians collect blood safely from people for various purposes such as diagnosing health problems, transfusions, research, or blood donations. They use different techniques while drawing blood like finger-stick method to collect specimens, puncturing a vein with the needle etc. Their other duties include preparing the equipments used for blood- collection, keeping and transporting the blood samples safely, following different procedures within the lab, putting blood samples in accurately marked containers, adding required stains to the blood samples for specific tests, assisting patients during their adverse reaction etc. In some cases, they may be assigned clerical tasks, such as data entry or record keeping.
Certified Phlebotomy Technicians work in a variety of settings such as government and private hospitals, clinics, outpatient facilities, physician’s offices, pathology labs, blood banks, educational institutions, research centers etc.
To become a Certified Phlebotomy Technician, the aspiring candidates must be a high school graduate and required to complete a training program from an accredited college. The training program normally takes 10-12 months to complete.
Certified Phlebotomy Technicians study phlebotomy procedures, venipuncture, arterial puncture, mathematics, medical terminology, safety rules, computer operating, lab procedures etc. Classroom studies as well as clinical practice are crucial parts of a Certified Phlebotomy Technician’s education.
Certification and Licensure
Since most states of USA require a Certified Phlebotomy Technician to be licensed, the aspiring candidates need to earn an exam-based License. The American Medical Technologists, the American Society for Phlebotomy Technicians and the American Society for Clinical Pathology offer certification for these professionals.
Apart from acquiring a formal training, a Certified Phlebotomy Technician possesses a wide range of traits such as tremendous attention to detail, high level of patience and compassion, ability to work with small needles and other devices precisely, understanding of detailed procedures for specimen collecting or medical testing, ability to perform duties with accuracy, maintaining privacy and confidentiality, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, computer operating skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Certified Phlebotomy Technician remains excellent across the USA. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise by 30% from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Certified Phlebotomy Technician was $30,910 in May 2012.