Have you ever envisioned a career in the medical field? Indeed you can have fun while making a decent amount of money and helping people feel better at the same time should you choose to become a phlebotomist – if you think you have to endure six to eight years of medical training, and go $200,000 to $400,000 in debt to make this dream come true, you have another thought coming.
Here is just an example of debt graph:
If you become one, you will be responsible for drawing blood for lab work, blood or plasma donations. Although you wouldn’t make quite as much money as a doctor or nurse, you will play a role in saving someone’s life by drawing someone’s blood and helping a physician diagnose a form of cancer in an early, more treatable phase, for instance.
According to ExploreHealthCareers.org, your job will be to apply a tourniquet to a patient whose blood you’re drawing in order to slow the flow of blood. You will use an alcohol swab to keep the area of the arm from which you took the blood from becoming infected. You will also be responsible for disinfecting your equipment by sanitizing it before and after use. You will be required to pay great attention to detail: You must label all blood samples accurately, and be extremely careful while transporting it. One moment of inattention due to fatigue, lack of sleep, or whatever – could cause an accident that could lead to contamination of the sample, or to a patient’s death.
It doesn’t take much education to become a phlebotomy technician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most phlebotomy programs exist in community colleges, technical or vocational schools. Course work completion usually takes place in less than a year. In fact, some people in this field never go to a post-secondary institution. Some graduate high school and go right into a job site, where the employer trains them. However, keep in mind that most employers don’t want to have to do this. Many will expect you to already be trained and certified. In some states–such as Nevada, Louisiana, or California, certification is the law of the land.
Salary/Growth in Hiring
As a phlebotomist, expect to make over $14 an hour, which would lead to an annual salary of over $29,000, according to the BLS website. The agency also reports that you can expect a 27 percent increase in the amount of hiring in phlebotomy between 2012 and 2022 as more hospitals, donation centers, and doctors’ offices continue to employ professionals trained to draw blood. This rate of growth in hiring is much more rapid than any other career.
Besides the aforementioned strict attention to detail, this career requires a great deal of compassion. You will have to work with patients who have much anxiety about having their blood drawn. Therefore, you must be able to set your patients’ mind at peace. You will often have to talk to such patients, walking them through all the steps involved with taking a frightened individual’s blood, telling them what’s going to happen as well as what’s not. You can best do this by asking them what they’re afraid of and why. While you are doing this, you must be able to do it with a gentle tone of voice and a smile. You must be the kind of person that can still maintain professionalism even if the subject appears to be angry.
In addition, you must exhibit a great amount of manual dexterity and accuracy. You must be the type of worker who is able to execute his job right the first time and quickly. One of the reasons is that having to do the same exercise again because of a mistake you made is inclined to irritate a patient and lead to complaints against you. This, of course, will not help the progression of your career.
Being a phlebotomist is an excellent springboard that will enable you to decide whether you wish to move forward in the medical field. For although you can progress to study to be a doctor or nurse, your experiences as a phlebotomist can help you judge for yourself, if you possess the traits necessary for these higher paying careers, that, indeed, carry more responsibility than merely drawing blood.