In the ancient days, leeches were used to withdraw blood from patients. It was either that or the venipuncture was done using a sharp piece of wood or a lancet. You can’t really blame them since there were no needles or syringes around and the field of medicine was not that advanced. In fact, it was the priests, monks or the barbers that were typically in charge of withdrawing blood. Usually, the procedure was not very safe and there were patients who lost their lives after the process due to over-bleeding or developing an infection. Fortunately, we’re living in the modern era and you don’t have to visit a barber anymore to get your blood drawn. Instead, we have phlebotomists who are trained professionals whose primary responsibility is to draw blood from patients using the appropriate safety procedure. Moreover, there is a growing demand in the phlebotomy field and it could be a rewarding career for anybody who chooses to pursue it. If you’re on the fence over which career you should pursue in allied healthcare, below are the reasons why you should consider a career in phlebotomy.
1- You embrace helping others
As a phlebotomist, the blood that you will draw from patients will be used to diagnose what the patient needs. In fact, some medical conditions can only be verified through blood tests hence a phlebotomist plays a very crucial role by delivering the blood that is required for analysis. Of course, there will be other patients in critical conditions that require blood transfusion and your job as a phlebotomist is to cross match the patients’ details to make sure the right blood type is administered. You can also work in blood collection centers to assist volunteers in donating blood. At the end of the day, you will make a difference in someone’s life.
2- Applying for a phlebotomy training program is easy
It will not take you much to apply for a phlebotomy training program. As long as you have a high school diploma or an equivalent credential such as GED, you’re qualified to apply for the program. After completing the training program, you can choose to get certified. Although applying for phlebotomy certification is not mandatory in most states, most employers prefer hiring certified phlebotomists. Becoming a certified phlebotomist can also increase your salary.
3- The training program is time efficient and affordable
Unlike most courses in traditional colleges, a phlebotomy training program will take you less than a year to complete. In fact, it can take you as little time as four months to get done. What makes it even better is that it is affordable and you probably won’t have a headache trying to repay student loans after the course is over. That is because a typical phlebotomy training program can cost between $600 to $3000.
4- Secure job market
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, phlebotomist occupations are projected to grow by a 25 percent margin in the next decade. That is significantly faster than the average job growth in the U.S. In other words, there is no better time to become a phlebotomist than right now. After completing your phlebotomist training program, it is improbable that you will end up unemployed. Not to forget, the average salary of an entry-level phlebotomist is $33,670. Additionally, some phlebotomists earn as much as $49,000 to $52,000 per year. The salary is usually determined by factors such as certification, experience, and location.
5- You like to travel
If you love a job that involves traveling and exploring new places, you can seek to become a traveling phlebotomist. Unlike typical phlebotomists who spend their day in a specific hospital, clinic or blood donation center, a traveling phlebotomist will visit different patients who need to have their blood drawn in their residences or nursing homes. Sometimes traveling phlebotomists who work with organizations such as Red Cross travel internationally to assist in blood drive campaigns in disaster-stricken areas. The job can also include traveling to different states in the U.S for short-term assignments.
6- Career advancing opportunities
Pursuing phlebotomy could be a stepping stone to advance your career in other healthcare fields. It is not uncommon for phlebotomists to shift their professions to other allied healthcare occupations such as medical lab technician, registered nurse, electroneuro diagnostic technologist, medical assistant or surgical technologists. However, to change your occupation, you will need to go back to school for further education and certifications. You can also use the experience to transition to a donor phlebotomy technician or a phlebotomist supervisor.
7- Blood doesn’t scare you
If you’re the type that passes out cold when you see blood, then a phlebotomy is job is not the right fit for you. For the rest of the population who are not bothered by the sight of blood, you could have a shot at becoming a phlebotomist. Although you will probably feel anxious during your practical training or when you’re new to the job, keep in mind that it is just a normal reflex and you will eventually overcome it.
8- Experience working with people
Meeting patients from different backgrounds will be a part of your job assignment. This will help improve your social skills as you get better at calming down nervous patients. Most patients will be friendly to you and even cooperate during the venipuncture process. You would be surprised that not all children will cry after getting their blood drawn. Of course, there are always children who will not like you after they see you carrying a needle. At the health care center, you will also be working alongside medical assistants, lab technicians, nurses and doctors as part of a team with the same objective to help patients.
9- You have an eye for detail
If you have a keen eye for detail but wondering which allied health profession to pursue, then you should consider a career in phlebotomy. Withdrawing blood from a vein may look like an easy task, but it is not as simple as it seems. For instance, there are patients with certain medical conditions and you cannot draw their blood beyond a suggested limit or you risk them passing out. Additionally, you have to double check all the blood samples are labeled accurately. Even if you’re sketchy, the training or experience required to become a phlebotomist will teach you to watch out for the smallest details.
10- Flexible working schedule
Not everybody prefers the typical 9-5 work schedule. If you’re a night person, you can choose to work night shifts as a phlebotomist especially if you’re stationed at a busy hospital. However, you can also work the regular 9-5 hours. It all depends on the arrangement with your employer. Even working during the weekend can still be an option if you want off-time during a weekday.