Being a phlebotomist is a good choice if you wish to enter the healthcare industry and is a fantastic option for a sustainable career choice. Unlike many other jobs within the healthcare industry, a phlebotomist doesn’t need extensive training or experience to start working.
Not everyone is suited to being a phlebotomist, but if you can cope with being around needles, bodily fluids and enjoy working with people, it may be a good fit for you.
The advantages far out weigh the disadvantages with this career. That being said, there are always disadvantages, and we will take a look at both sides in this article.
Training to be a phlebotomist
If you are the right person for the job of phlebotomy, it can be an excellent career choice and become a life-long profession. There are phlebotomy training courses all around the country and finding one shouldn’t be too difficult.
According to phlebotomy training experts Phlebotomy Training Services “The beauty of training to become a phlebotomist is that there is not a long process to becoming qualified. Courses take less than a year to complete and in most cases somewhere between 4 – 8 months. Training is also very affordable and won’t leave you with a huge student loan debt.”
Some aspects of the courses are even available online, so you really can re-train at any stage of your life/career. It has never been easier to re-train and find a more rewarding career.
Although some places may not require you to be certified, we would always recommend taking a course and getting the proper training before entering any job in the healthcare profession. It ensures you have the knowledge and back up necessary, should you hit any problems.
A certified phlebotomist is more likely to get hired and to have a successful career than one who is not. The average salary for a certified phlebotomist in the UK is £19,224 per year.
Training is usually done in two parts. The first covers lab safety rules, the human anatomy and systems, medical terminology and how to perform a venipuncture. The second part is the practical side of performing venipuncture to give you hands-on experience.
This training is highly successful and effectively prepares you for most situations that will arise when in the field.
There is great demand for Phlebotomists
Another advantage in training to be a phlebotomist is that there will always be a high demand for your services.
So many conditions and diseases are diagnosed via a blood sample today, much more so than in the past. This means that demand for skilled people to draw blood from patients has also increased.
In short, it is a pretty safe career choice with plenty of opportunity for work.
Phlebotomists Can work in multiple locations.
Aside from hospitals, a phlebotomist can work in GP surgeries or as part of a lab tech team. You may find work in an emergency clinic, private practice, local blood bank or a nursing home. There are even overseas jobs available which open up travel opportunities.
As a phlebotomist, you will often be the first person a patient sees to get their blood drawn and tested, so you are in great demand.
You will usually have afairly flexible work schedule and may find being a part-timer the best option all round. That way you can often trade shifts with co-workers if you need some additional time off.
You could become a mobile phlebotomist and be a sort of freelancer working for different medical facilities. This way you can work as much or as little as you like.
Although being a phlebotomist is an entry-level job, you will find opportunities for professional growth if you are interested. There are always opportunities for promotion or you can use this career as a stepping stone to another within the healthcare industry. There are higher level jobs within the phlebotomy career that require a little more training, but provide a higher salary.
No job is perfect, but there are certain things you should be aware of before entering into a career in phlebotomy. Not everyone will experience all or even some of these issues, but we would be remiss if we did not mention them.
Firstly, you are working with needles on a daily basis. So, if you are accidentally stuck with a needle you could be at risk of getting a disease if that needle is contaminated. It is essential to handle every tool with great care as working with blood does present a lot of risks.
Causing injury to a patient is another risk factor. You could lose your job if you cause injury and the medical facility you work for may face legal proceedings.
You may have flexible hours, but they can also be very long hours. There is a lot of time you will be on your feet and you may be walking back and forth to a lab all day/night long. If you suffer with any back, leg or foot problems, this may not be the career for you.
As you are probably already aware, the healthcare industry can be a very stressful place to work. Especially if you are in a hospital emergency unit. You may not get much ‘down time’ and this can lead to you feeling burnt out.
Not all patients are easy. Some people are scared, but some are just plain rude and can even become abusive towards you. Keeping a calm and level head is not always easy, but it is essential in this job.
You may be exposed to some traumatic situations. Your job may not always be taking blood for a routine exam. Sometimes you may need to draw blood from a trauma victim who could be in a gruesome state. You may also need to take blood from children in these situations and it can be hard for some people to handle.
All things being equal
That being said, working with people is never boring. You will get to meet people from all walks of life in many different situations with a wide age range. So if you are a people person and you know you can put them at ease, then this may be the perfect job for you.
Being a phlebotomist is a highly respected career and an essential part in helping to diagnose patients conditions and saving lives.