A phlebotomist is a person who works in the healthcare field. This is a promising career path because there is a steady demand for people in this field. The demand for trained phlebotomists is caused by the fact that they can work in many different places, such as blood donation centers, nursing homes, hospitals, doctor’s offices, community health centers, clinical laboratories and various other health care facilities. Maybe you have heard about phlebotomy, but you are not sure if you want to study it for a career. If this is the case, keep reading to find out all of the ins and outs regarding what a phlebotomist does and what it takes to become a phlebotomist in Nevada.
What are the specific duties of a phlebotomist?
Phlebotomy is the process of using a needle to create an incision in a vein. Venipuncture is another name of this procedure. The person who is trained to perform phlebotomy is known as a phlebotomist. However, scientists working in medical labs, nurses, doctors and other medical professionals are known to perform some phlebotomy procedures in other countries throughout the world.
When a person makes a blood donation of gives a sample of their blood to be tested, a phlebotomist is the person who is responsible for the collecting of the blood sample and making sure it is not compromised in any way. They are also responsible for making sure that all of the equipment used in the process has been thoroughly sterilized prior to puncturing the patient’s skin. However, the phlebotomist’s job is not over after the blood sample has been taken. In many ways, their job has just begun. The samples must then be carefully labeled, stored and transported to ensure that all of the blood samples make it safely to the clinical laboratory so they can be properly analyzed. Blood tests are performed for many reasons. Some of the more common uses for blood tests are to figure out if a patient has the proper amount of nutrition, to check medication effectiveness and to diagnose illness.
What are the educational requirements?
Here are the basic core requirements for the phlebotomy field:
– Degree field of study: Phlebotomy
– Degree level: Many employers require their phlebotomists to have either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. However, there is also a certificate program available. When a person is studying phlebotomy, they can begin their career during their first year of college. People who focus on the terminology, technique, physiology, procedure and equipment of phlebotomy will have a leg up on the competition and find it easier to get a job after graduation.
A person who is studying to become a phlebotomist typically must complete a training course that is anywhere from six to ten weeks in length. This program will teach the student how to properly draw blood, preparing him or her for an entry-level position.
– Skills: Interpersonal skills are a must. Many people have a severe fear of needles to the point that they are terrified to have blood drawn. A phlebotomist will be dealing with people that need to be reassured. While this often happens with children, a surprising number of adults have these same fears regarding needles. Along with calming the patient down, you will also need to have excellent dexterity to puncture the right vein the first time you try. Attention to detail is another thing no phlebotomist should be without.
– Computer skills: Basic computer and data entry skills are required.
Does a phlebotomist need to have a license?
In Nevada, phlebotomists are considered Office Lab Assistants or Lab Assistants. Lab Assistants are phlebotomists who are employed by an independent laboratory that is licensed. You must successfully complete the ASCP National Phlebotomy Technician exam. People who attain ASCP national certification will be qualified for the Nevada Lab Assistant License, which acts as a phlebotomy license in Nevada.
What is the average salary of a phlebotomist?
In Nevada, the average income of a phlebotomist is relatively the same throughout the state. Sparks, Sun Valley, Reno, Las Vegas and Henderson all have an average salary of $31,000. Carson City has an average salary of $32,000.
Are phlebotomists required to take any continuing education classes?
Yes and no. There are some agencies that certify phlebotomists that require a mandatory six hours of continuing education every year in order for their certification to remain valid. However, a recertification fee and current employment in the field are all that other certification agencies require. So it all depends on where you received your certification. The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians works together with various health care facilities in an effort to offer cross-training for phlebotomists in different careers such as paramedical insurance examiner, drug collection specialist and EKG technician.