What is Phlebotomy?
Phlebotomy is a difficult word to say and an even harder word to spell! But all of us have met a phlebotomist at the doctor’s office or hospital at some point in our lives. Phlebotomy is the act of drawing blood for diagnostics and therapy1 and is a valuable skill that could be the start to a rewarding career in the medical field.
A simple blood test can tell a lot about you and your health. It’s often the first step taken to properly diagnose and treat a patient and is a vital part of all medical practices. It can measure your red and white blood cells to determine if you’re anemic or whether you might be fighting an infection. It can tell doctors about the function of organs like your heart, kidney and liver. It can determine your cholesterol, calcium and electrolyte levels. It can even help detect serious conditions such as hepatitis C, sickle cell anemia, HIV, and some cancers.
What Is a Phlebotomist?
If you’ve ever considered a career in healthcare, but thought it would take years of school and preparation, think again. Phlebotomists work directly with patients, are important and respected members of medical teams, and can be trained for the profession in as little as seven months.
Your training as a phlebotomist will teach you how to take vital signs and conduct patient interviews. You’ll learn how to perform basic phlebotomy procedures, while adhering to the highest safety standards to maintain a sterile environment. You’ll also learn about healthcare law and ethics and the importance of patient respect and privacy.
What Does a Phlebotomist Do?
- handle blood draws and transfusions with patients
- maintain and track patient blood samples
- provide guidance to patients before and after blood draws
- explain blood draw procedure to patients
- assist physicians and other medical professionals
Job Outlook for Phlebotomists
Once you’re a trained professional, you’ll be able to use your skills across the medical industry in such settings as hospitals, laboratories, healthcare facilities and doctors’ offices. Phlebotomists are expected to be in high demand through 2022.2
What Certifications Does a Phlebotomist Need?
Most employers require you to complete a phlebotomy program like American National University's Phlebotomy diploma program. You'll attain hands-on experiences as a phlebotomist assistant in a real clinical environment.
The diploma program also prepares you for the National Certified Phlebotomy Technician exam. Many employers seek candidates who passed the NCPT certification.