A Phlebotomy technician is the person who collects blood samples for various blood tests. As blood test is one of the vital and pretty significant tests that is performed to diagnose a patient’s condition, the phlebotomy technician plays a vital role as he or she is responsible for this.
Phlebotomy Job Description
The main task involves skillful extraction of blood from a patient as instructed by the physician or a registered nurse, preserving the blood sample, getting the accurate recordings required, and to follow up for the analysis in the laboratory and the right diagnosis are the basic responsibilities of a phlebotomy technician.
This may appear quite simple but the risks that are involved in this job are quite high. Since the atmosphere in which a phlebotomy technician works has complete exposure to blood and fluids, which in turn may contain severe diseases and contaminants, it involves high risk on the behalf of the Phlebotomist especially around the Phlebotomist’s health. At the same time, a Phlebotomist also holds the responsibility of not exposing the other patients or people visiting the clinic while collecting fluid from them. It is his major responsibility to ensure that the instruments used for collection are sterile and to make sure that the used ones are disposed and new ones are used for different patients.
A Phlebotomy technician also should be very careful in labeling the samples of the respective patients correctly without exchanging the samples. He or she is also expected to complete and file the accompanying paperwork to trace the sample work until the results of the tests are received appropriately and the fluids are disposed properly. Even a minute mistake could have severe consequences that could even be fatal at times.
Additional responsibilities of a phlebotomy technician involves transferring sample fluids from the patient’s house to the laboratory in case of home care visits. A phlebotomist has to take care of quality control of the analysis and ensure the safety of the samples to prevent contamination during the analysis.
Phlebotomist Working Hours
Working hours of a phlebotomy technician is normally a general shift from 9 am to 5 pm. They are not expected to work night shifts. Perhaps, the only job in the medical field with such convenient timings!
Phlebotomy Training and Certification
Phlebotomy certification is not mandatory in most of the states. A high school diploma is enough to take the training course on phlebotomy. There are phlebotomy training programs, which offer training for a period of 6 months and there are programs that offer training up to 18 months. One can choose according to their convenience. The training includes the study of anatomy, laboratory methods, ways of drawing blood, and safety. Safety is the most important aspect to be learnt as the job involves direct contact with blood samples with contagious diseases. The training program also provides learning to work with patients to comfort them as they visit the emergency room or hospital.
Certification is demanded by certain employees and certain organizations like American Association of Medical Personal, American Association of Clinical Pathologist, National Credentialing Agency, offer certification.
The salary of a phlebotomy technician ranges from $20,000 to $26000 approximately. The hourly wages range between $8 and $10.30 per hour. Certification does increase the salary. Also the salary varies depending on the experience, hospitals and blood banks settings, and state and area of residence.
Phlebotomy Career Prospects
According to the US Department of Labor Study, increased number of lab technicians are in need in the coming years. The increasing demand in number patients, hospitals and medical services will obviously increase the medical staff in every field of medicine and lab technician is one of the vital roles in a medical field.
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