Welcome to How to become a Phlebotomist; phlebotomists are the clinical support workers, who specialize in collecting blood samples from the patients and provides phlebotomy services. These blood samples are then sent to the clinical laboratories for testing, analysis and deriving important information regarding the health issues of the patients.
They are trained to deal with patients in different age groups and nursing condition, like babies, expecting mother, adults and elderly. So the phlebotomist ensures that the blood samples are collected in an appropriate way, label them correctly and the collected blood samples are stored properly. Later the samples are transported to the laboratories for further investigation and the lab assistants prepare a detailed test result that is used by the doctor for providing a quality medical treatment.
Phlebotomists may consider working solely either working part or full time. Or phlebotomy could be a part of their job as healthcare assistants or Clinical Support worker.
How to Become a Phlebotomist Education and Career:
If one is thinking about how to become a Phlebotomist, some basic educational qualifications are definitely required though there are no specific educational needs.
Though GCSCs (in English, Science and Maths) or equivalent qualification would be advantageous, but A levels or higher education would be highly beneficial and can improve the chances of one getting into this profession and fetching the role as trainee. A certification in the First Aid is also beneficial.
Training for this role is provided on-the-job but with higher qualifications and previous learning experiences, it certainly becomes easy for the candidates to learn things quicker and better.
How to Become a Phlebotomist in 60 Seconds:
Other ways of Getting Trained:
There are training agencies some providing paid short courses to the candidates aspiring to take up Phlebotomy as profession. Candidates from all walks of life like school leavers, those looking for part-time work, professionals returning to work, can take up the training courses outside the hospital setup. The information obtained from such courses can increase the confidence and update the phlebotomists returning to work after a long gap.
At the end of the course, the candidates are awarded Nationally Accredited Certificates enabling them to take up a job in the hospitals.
Personal Attributes Needed:
As a part of the job, Phlebotomist meet different people everyday. Some with minor ailments and others with severe medical conditions. Its important that they have a very friendly as well as sympathetic attitude. Its vital that they have good communication skills and are also able to put the patient at ease before the test begins. They must be able to understand the concern and answer the queries from the patients.
This job also needs the professional to be completely responsible and reliable, since the process also involves dealing with the sensitive data of the patients and the information received must be treated confidentially.
The candidates must enjoy working as a part of the team and support other clinical staffs. An awareness and interest in health and safety issues is important. Ability to stay calm and be able to reassure others is also vital for this job role.
Like other professions, this job also involves sets of processes and methodologies that are to be adhered every time the samples are collected. And above all the candidates must have interest in the medical science.
Those meeting all the above attributes can opt for profession as Phlebotomist.
Phlebotomy On-The-Job Training:
The candidates opting for phlebotomy as profession undertakes on-the-job training and learn there all about it. They are then awarded with a competence certificate which enables them to start working under close supervision in the same hospital and after gaining experience they can also take up work in other hospitals.
These on-the-job trainings are important since they learn the following aspects of blood collection:
1. About pathology department and the role that it plays in the hospital.
2. Importance of phlebotomy in the pathology department.
3. Ways to deal with the patients across all walks of life.
4. Methods of blood collection.
5. Importance of correct blood collection, labelling and transferring procedures. How to store the blood sample so that they are not contaminated.
6. The set of rules and protocols that the department adheres to.
7. Learning the human anatomy.
8. How to identify the sites appropriate for venepuncture.
9. Use of equipment for blood collection and importance of sterilizing.
There are many other areas that the trainees are trained on before they are qualified as professionals.
Job Opportunities for Phlebotomists:
The Phlebotomists would mostly find the jobs in NHS (National Health Services), but opportunities are also available in the Private sector.
Those looking for job opportunities can look for the job advertisements in Jobcentre Plus and NHS website. One can also find the opportunities in the local and national newspapers. We’ve built a free printable phlebotomy resume for you.
Phlebotomy professionals may have different interest in the way their career progresses. Some get comfortable in their own area of phlebotomy services and progresses further as instructors or supervisors and may train the new joiners sharing their past experiences.
Others may consider the Phlebotomy as a stepping stone to career in health services and later may move to other areas of medicine by acquiring more skills by training.
The skill sets are also transferrable and can be applied to other areas with some training like blood donation campaigns, donor care and work with NHS Blood and Transplant Services.
Its important to gain necessary qualifications and confidence while working as phlebotomists. But gaining a certification and continuing to work is not enough.
Its recommended to undergo further educational qualifications and short courses with the National Association of Phlebotomists, where they provide specific courses. For example Adult Phlebotomists might consider taking a Paediatric Phlebotomy Training to be able to work with the infants and young children.
The professionals may also consider undergoing workshops for setting up Phlebotomy clinics.
Getting into health services with phlebotomy is relatively easy and also provides a job security. With basic educational qualifications and interest towards serving the community, one can join as trainee phlebotomist and later become a Phlebotomy professional.
While working as phlebotomy professional and gaining experience in the department, its recommended to undertake further training courses to keep oneself abreast of the latest information and updates. And considering further educational qualifications, the professionals can also look for career progression.