A phlebotomist works within the healthcare industry and is trained to draw blood from patients in a sanitary and safe manner. Phlebotomists generally draw blood samples for medical testing or sometimes for blood donations. It’s important that phlebotomists have an easygoing nature, are completely comfortable around people, and don’t mind working with needles. Regularly working with blood requires a keen understanding of how certain safety protocols work in order to protect both the patient and themselves from any infectious diseases that are typically found in blood.
Here are some of the primary tasks that phlebotomy technicians perform on a regular basis:
• Gathers the required tools and equipment for the procedure, which involves needles, bandages, gauze, alcohol, tourniquet, and blood collection devices. These are usually pre-assembled on a nearby work tray based on the patient’s needs.
• Ensures that the patient is comfortable and at ease to gain their trust. Confirms the patient’s identity and verifies that their medical records are accurate.
• In charge of finding a “good” vein and swabbing the area with alcohol, then carefully withdrawing the patient’s blood into a clean vial or bag.
• After enough blood is drawn, the phlebotomy technician then addresses the punctured skin and proceeds to immediately record the collected sample.
• Other job duties may include drawing blood from other key areas such as pricking the finger, wrist, hand, or foot. They may also take a patient’s vital signs, consult patients, or withdraw test samples in order to screen donors at a local blood bank.
As you can clearly see, phlebotomy technicians are required to learn special skill sets and master each one of them. The critical task of handling patient’s blood in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office is not a job that’s taken lightly and leaves no room for error. In fact, if it’s not properly performed, the consequences can be quite dangerous. A properly trained phlebotomist can advance their career if they take the necessary steps in putting forth a strong effort towards their goals.
Since 2011, the state of Florida does not require certification or licensure for phlebotomists. However, it’s important to note that although Florida doesn’t have specific certification requirements, your chances of higher employment significantly increase by acquiring certification, therefore showing a potential employer you officially possess the expertise and skills required to do the job well.
If you decide to attain certification in phlebotomy, it’s a good idea to begin looking for accredited programs close to where you live. There are, however, some good certification programs available online that provide valuable learning skills and content, while you also gain experience by attending a local clinic or lab in your area.
The requirements for becoming a phlebotomist include the following:
• Must be 18 years of age
• Requires completion of a high school education or GED
• Maintained at least a 2.0 GPA throughout high school
• Must submit documented high school transcripts to your school of choice
• Some schools require students to additionally receive training in the area of AIDS and CPR, which isn’t actually applied to the required coursework.
Phlebotomist Salary in Florida
The average salary of a trained phlebotomist in a clinic or hospital setting in Florida is just under the national average and can range anywhere from $27,000 – $29,000 a year. For those phlebotomists working in a doctor’s office or lab, that pay may significantly increase. Keep in mind that the workload often varies relative to different jobs and therefore the pay does as well. For example, a phlebotomist working in an ER setting is required to draw a great deal more blood from patients versus one working in a medical office.
Although the state of Florida doesn’t actually require certification, it’s still a good idea to continue your education to some extent in order to stay on top of the latest developments and technologies in phlebotomy. Many other states require a minimum of a few hours of ongoing education every year to make sure that phlebotomists are informed of the latest techniques and tests as well as improved measures regarding safety protocol as well as new diseases that are obviously a natural part of this type of work.
So, even though it’s not necessary, you may still wish to become certified anyway. Not only will it show potential employers your level of dedication and professionalism, but what if you happen to move to another state where certification is required? In other words, by obtaining official certification, you’ll always be one step ahead of the game and be prepared. Therefore, it’s important that you choose a good program relative to your needs; one that will open up numerous doors in terms of your career while keeping in sync with your lifestyle as well.
Phlebotomy is a unique and exciting career choice with above average pay and room for rapid career advancement. The medical industry in the U.S. is one of the few jobs that is 100 percent recession proof. And it times of economic instability, phlebotomy is a career well worth considering today.