Phlebotomists are responsible for collecting blood, urine, and other samples, appropriately packaging them, and preparing them to be sent for off-site or on-site analysis as indicated by the requisition. Due to the nature of phlebotomists' jobs, an ability to read and follow careful directions is imperative in order to ensure the safety and accuracy of patients' specimen collection and test results. Data entry skills and basic knowledge of medical software are an added bonus as patient and specimen information must be inputted manually following proper protocol and procedure.
Phlebotomists must work well with others as they interact directly with patients. They should be comfortable interacting with patients of all ages, including infants and the elderly. The typical work environment is an office setting with several draw rooms, a hospital, or long-term health care facility. They must also be able to follow strict safety protocols and procedures, and keep the assigned draw room, if applicable, neat and orderly at all times. At times, phlebotomists may be required to field patient inquiries, schedule appointments, or troubleshoot specimen collection issues. An ability to reason well under pressure and reassure the patient will be helpful in these situations. Phlebotomists' work hours are generally flexible during the day with the option to work weekends and/or holidays depending on location and the facility’s hours of operation.
Most phlebotomists possess a high school diploma and at least two years of experience in a clinical or laboratory setting drawing specimens and preparing them for analysis. Certification in phlebotomy from a state-recognized program is usually required for all phlebotomy positions, as is a mandatory training and orientation prior to the start of the job.
- Prepare and process blood tests.
- Draw blood from patients or blood donors for medical testing.