Phlebotomists are expected to be high in demand in the coming years. This medical profession is relatively easy to get into as compared to traditional medicine which can take up to 12 years of education and residencies. In addition to that, the cost of a phlebotomy course is much lower than med school. Add to that a high phlebotomist salary, and you have an ideal occupation for aspiring medical professionals.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
The primary function of a phlebotomist is to draw blood for tests, research, blood donations or transfusions. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, phlebotomists perform the following tasks,
- “Draw blood from patients and blood donors
- Talk with patients and donors to help them feel less nervous about having their blood drawn
- Verify a patient’s or donor’s identity to ensure proper labeling of the blood
- Label the drawn blood for testing or processing
- Enter patient information into a database
- Assemble and maintain medical instruments such as needles, test tubes, and blood vials
- Keep work areas clean and sanitary”
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides detailed information on what a phlebotomist makes. The national median pay for this occupation was $34,480 per year and $16.58 per hour. The lowest ten percent of phlebotomists earned $25,020, while the highest 10 percent made $49,060. Outpatient care centers paid the most to phlebotomists with $39,420 in annual salary, while medical and diagnostic labs came in second with $36,060.
The highest employment level for phlebotomists was in California, with 12,190 persons employed. California is also the top paying state for this occupation, with phlebotomists here earning an annual mean wage of $45,030. The second highest paying state was Alaska, with a salary of $42,290, followed by District of Columbia paying $41,600, New York paying $40,630 and Massachusetts paying $39,970.
The top paying metropolitan area for phlebotomists was San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, with an annual mean wage of $53,840.
How to Become a Phlebotomist Online
If you are looking for a phlebotomy certification online, you need to know that most phlebotomist training programs are either a mix of online and in-class instructions or entirely in class instructions. This is due to the practical requirements you need to fulfill in order to successfully complete a training course. The online component of your phlebotomy course can deal with subjects such as anatomy, medical terminology and physiology.
The practical element would teach you how to draw and store blood, proper labeling of vials, how to carry out transfusions and centrifuging.
In addition to training courses, to be able to practice as a phlebotomist in the US, you will need a license. This requirement is applicable all across the US, since most employers now prefer phlebotomists who have earned a professional certification. Aspiring phlebotomists can get a certification via organizations such as The National Center for Competency Testing, the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the American Medical Technologists. California, Nevada, Washington and Louisiana have made it mandatory for phlebotomists to be certified in order to practice.