Phlebotomy is an important career in the medical field. Phlebotomists draw blood for donations, blood tests, research, analysis, and transfusions. These medical professionals work primarily in doctor’s offices, hospitals, donation centers, and medical laboratories. Some phlebotomists discuss the procedure with patients and offer assistance when adverse reactions occur.
Although there are exceptions to rule, phlebotomists normally enter the field with a post-secondary award from a certified program. There are various ways to become a phlebotomist in Delaware. Phlebotomists typically receive certifications, on-the-job training, or a post-secondary non-degree award.
Training and certification are relevant aspects of becoming a phlebotomist. However, there are several relevant qualities a certified phlebotomist should posses. Hand-eye coordination is an important quality that helps phlebotomists draw blood effectively. This skill helps phlebotomists draw blood on the first attempt and prevents discomfort. Dexterity is also an important quality for a phlebotomist to posses. Phlebotomy requires working with the hands and using small instruments properly.
Phlebotomy also requires a close attention to detail. Phlebotomists must be detail minded and oriented. This skill helps phlebotomists draw blood correctly for specific tests. This skill also allows the phlebotomist to enter data into a database. In most cases, attention to detail is required to ensure specimens are not misplaced or lost.
A career in phlebotomy requires a post-secondary, non-degree award. This award is generally earned from a phlebotomy program. In the state of Delaware, phlebotomy programs are available in various technical schools, community colleges, and vocational schools. Potential phlebotomists in Delaware can receive training from The Dawn Career Institute, Delaware Technical Community College, and CDM Institute. Phlebotomist programs require less than 1 year and result in an award or certificate. Most phlebotomy programs provide extensive laboratory and classroom instruction. Classroom instruction includes medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology.
In some cases, phlebotomists can enter the field with a high school diploma. These phlebotomists generally receive on-the-job training to be a phlebotomist.
Licenses and Certifications
Employers prefer phlebotomists with a professional certificate. There are several organizations that provide certifications for phlebotomists. These organizations include the American Society for Clinical Pathology and The National Center for Competency Testing.
For the most part, in order to receive a professional certification, phlebotomists need some form of classroom education, laboratory training, and clinical experience. Certification testing requires passing an exam and can incorporate several practical components such as physically drawing blood.
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of phlebotomists can vary depending on the organization; however, phlebotomists typically do the following:
• Assemble medical instruments that include vials, test tubes, and needles
• Draw blood from donors or patients
• Communicate with donors or patients to ease anxiety
• Guarantee proper labeling by verifying donor or patient information
• Place appropriate labels on drawn blood for processing
• Enter patient or donor information into database
Phlebotomists are needed to draw blood that is used for various types of medical testing. In most diagnostic and medical laboratories, the patient primarily interacts with the phlebotomist. The phlebotomist must accurately label and identify drawn blood to enter the specimen into a database. There are many phlebotomists that draw blood for other reasons. These purposes include donation centers and blood drives.
Salary and Job Outlook
In 2012, the average annual salary for phlebotomists was $29,730. The lower 10 percent of phlebotomy professionals earned less than $21,300, while the top 10 percent earned more than $42,650. Most phlebotomists work in medical laboratories, donation centers, and hospitals. These phlebotomists generally work full time and are expected to work on holidays, nights, and weekends.
The current job outlook for phlebotomist shows potential. Projected employment for phlebotomists is expected to grow more than 25 percent from 2012 to 2022. This growth rate is slightly faster than the average for other industry related occupations. As donation centers, medical laboratories, and hospitals continue to draw blood, the demand for phlebotomists will continue to grow. Healthcare professionals and doctors will require blood work in order to diagnose and treat diseases.
There is currently federal health legislation that will increase the amount of patients who have health insurance. This legislation also expands the number of patients that have access to healthcare. As these numbers continue to increase, the staffing needs for many hospitals and medical laboratories will also increase. As a result, the demand for phlebotomist will increase.
Overall, a career as a phlebotomist offers a rewarding and stable career. Although phlebotomy does not require a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, there is extensive training and classroom training required. In the state of Delaware, there are several phlebotomist programs. Programs at the CDM Institute, Delaware Technical Community College, and the Dawn Career Institute offer entry into the field of phlebotomy.