Healthcare Careers: Phlebotomy
Exploring a Career in Phlebotomy
If you are interested in a career in healthcare but aren’t ready to commit to a lengthy course of study or student loan debt, consider a career as a phlebotomist. A phlebotomist collects specimens from patients to be send to a laboratory for testing. Most commonly, a phlebotomist draws blood via venipuncture or finger stick from patients. You will find phlebotomist working in a variety of environments, including medical offices, hospitals, laboratories, blood banks and other clinical settings. Oftentimes, the phlebotomist is the first or the only person who has patient contact. That is why in addition to their technical proficiency, phlebotomists must also have good patient communication skills.
The following list provides practices areas where you can use a Phlebotomy Certification from AIAM.
The phlebotomist’s role in a physician’s office is to draw blood samples from patients to be sent to an in-house or outside reference lab for testing. Patients can range from infants to the elderly. Other duties include verifying the patient’s identity for proper labeling of specimens, entering information into a database and maintaining the inventory of supplies, such as needles, vacutainers, forms and specimen cups. If you like working independently and doing the same tasks day-in and day-out, you will always find employment in a medical office.
In a hospital setting, a phlebotomist draws blood samples from patients throughout the hospital, which is a great job it you enjoy interacting with a variety of patients and not being confined to one workspace all day long. One main challenge is that many patients are seriously ill or in an otherwise physical state that makes finding veins and getting a good stick very difficult. This is where the phlebotomist’s technical and people skills come into play. It is also critical to uphold strict infection control protocols. In some states, phlebotomists are permitted to run a centrifuge in the hospital lab.
Blood and Plasma Banks
Phlebotomy technicians in a blood bank operate under the supervision of the medical or laboratory direction. Their primary duties include obtaining samples from donors and properly labeling and storing the blood. They also prepare blood and plasma for donation. Administrative duties may include screening donors, record-keeping and carry out their duties in compliance with OSHA guidelines. Education, certification and scope of practice varies from state to state. If you want a job where you truly are making a difference in the lives of others, then you will find blood bank work highly satisfying.
Like most healthcare careers, the demand for phlebotomists is high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth is projected at 23 percent through 2028, which is much greater than for other professions. Salaries are commensurate with experience, but phlebotomists can advance to supervisory roles. With more education and training, you can become medical technologists or hematology specialists. Your phlebotomy credential can also pave the way towards becoming a medical assistant or a registered nurse. You will be at an advantage over other candidates as many MAs and RNs don’t have phlebotomy skills.
AIAM’s Phlebotomy Certificate Program
The American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM) offers a 60-hour (7.5-week) phlebotomy certification course which will prepare you for an entry-level position as a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician. While no special licenses are required for phlebotomists, the AIAM program will prepare you to be certified by national accreditation organizations. You can find out more about our phlebotomy program and financial aid is available for qualified students.
If you are looking for a new career in the New Year, check out the offerings from AIAM. Our approach to healthcare is unique because we use a holistic approach that treats the patient as a whole being and just not a set of symptoms. Contact us today for more information.