Phlebotomists are valued medical professionals who are employed in hospitals, clinics, research labs and other medical facilities. Mississippi offers wonderful training opportunities for anyone interested in becoming a phlebotomist, the individual who draws blood samples for analysis and diagnostics.
Phlebotomist’s Education and Training in Mississippi
Students will study the following:
- Structure and functioning of the circulatory system
- Equipment and process of drawing blood
- Infection control and safety
- Blood sample control procedure
In addition, state accredited phlebotomy programs in Mississippi include a 100 hour clinical portion. This portion trains the student in the proper procedure of drawing blood. If the student successfully completes this program and meets all prerequisites, then they are qualified to sit for a certifying exam from an authorized organization and to the state for formal certification. Some phlebotomist national certifying agencies require 6 continuing education hours per year in order to maintain certification.
Prerequisites for Certification in Mississippi
- Acquire a Mississippi State ID or Driver’s license
- Successfully pass a criminal background check
- Receive a Hepatitis B Vaccination
- Receive a 2 step TB shot
- Must pass a drug screening
- Age Requirement: 18 years or older
- Complete a GED certificate or high school diploma
Job Opportunities for Phlebotomists in Mississippi
According to the Mississippi Hospital Association, career opportunities for phlebotomists are expected to increase over the next ten years. The senior population will be a key contributing factor to this growth. In Mississippi the greatest need for phlebotomists will be in medical laboratories. This growth is related to the fact that many hospitals and other medical related offices often send the majority of their lab work to independent facilities rather than conduct them internally.
The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics estimates employment of phlebotomists to increase by 27 percent from 2012 to 2022. This is much faster than average and job prospects are best for those candidates who receive certification from one of several authorized organizations.
Phlebotomist Job Duties
Job duties will vary depending upon the employer but these are common tasks that phlebotomist perform. They primarily draw blood, which is then used for different kinds of medical laboratory testing.
- Extract blood from patients and blood donors
- Communicate effectively with patients to lessen anxious feelings about blood drawn
- Verify a patient’s identity to confirm correct labeling
- Enter patient information into a medical computer program
- Organize and maintain medical instruments such as blood drawing trays, needles, test tubes, syringes and vials
- Use appropriate collection procedures.
- Dispose of contaminated needles or sharps, in accordance with procedures, standards, policies, and laws.
Pay Scale for a Phlebotomist in Mississippi
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that nationally, phlebotomists earn about $29,730 yearly. Larger cities pay more, rural areas pay less. In the state of Mississippi according to the U.S. Department of Labor the median pay is $25,000 per year. Median pay indicates that 50% earn more and 50% earn less. This data applies to full time workers with year around schedules
A phlebotomist is trained to work with blood samples in a medical or scientific environment. After the phlebotomist collects the blood, they process and analyze it with complex laboratory equipment. Because they collect blood, it could possibly put them at risk to diseases. Therefore, they are trained to adhere to the strict policies and procedures of laboratory safety.
Successful phlebotomists enjoy working with people, pay strict attention to detail, work well under pressure and have strong manual dexterity skills. Because so many people are uncomfortable around needles and blood, a phlebotomist needs to be able to calm patients and be professional at all times. Phlebotomists also need to be comfortable with computers, tablets and other devices. New diagnostic techniques and automated devices, as well as, the aging population will only increase the demand for medical laboratory testing.