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What Does a Phlebotomist Do?

If the sight of blood doesn’t make you squeamish, then a career as a phlebotomist might be for you. They draw and prepare blood for medical testing, transfusions or donation. Phlebotomists collect blood through veins (venipuncture) or finger pricks (capillary sample). They work in hospitals, outpatient care facilities, diagnostic laboratories and blood donation centers. Night and weekend shifts are often required.

While the job growth for all occupations in the U.S. is expected to increase about 4% from 2019 to 2029, the opportunities for phlebotomists is expected to grow a remarkable 17% during that same time period.

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$ 25,000 - $ 50,000
$ 36,000
15,940+
Phlebotomist inserts a needle to take a blood sample
Don’t let the name throw you. A phlebotomist is the person who draws your blood when you go to the doctor’s office. (Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock)
A Day In the Life
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Becky Palsgrove, phlebotomist
A Day In the Life

Becky Palsgrove started as a part-time phlebotomist in September 2019, but it didn't take long for her to develop a good bedside manner. 

"When I’m able to collect blood from someone who’s a 'hard stick,' I feel proud," says Becky of patients who aren't keen on getting their blood drawn. "I really do feel like a valued member of the care team when I do a good job."

After training at a local community college, it took her a few months to get used to the "different kind of stress" the job created — like waking people up at 4:45 a.m. to take their blood. 

"I had to learn how to avoid psyching myself out before I even walked through the door, and how to leave work worries at work. This is probably true of any new job, but it had been a while since I’d learned a new skill completely from scratch, and I had to learn new ways to handle the stress. It’s definitely paid off!"

Her ability to connect with patients and make them comfortable has helped. "I believe that it’s important not to diminish others’ discomfort or fear when reassuring them," says Becky. It's clear this approach has earned her some respect.

Job Responsibilities
  • Explain blood draw or transfusion process to patients
  • Draw blood 
  • Label the drawn blood for testing or processing
  • Assist patients who experience adverse reactions
  • Enter patient information into a database
  • Maintain medical instruments such as needles, test tubes and vials
  • Keep work areas clean and sanitary
EDUCATION + TRAINING

Most employers look for candidates who have completed a postsecondary phlebotomy program. Programs are available from community colleges and technical schools. These programs usually take less than a year to complete and lead to a certificate. Certification programs involve classroom sessions and laboratory work, and they include instruction in anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. Some phlebotomists enter the occupation with a high school diploma and are trained on the job. Phlebotomists also receive specific instruction on how to identify, label and track blood samples.

YOU MAY BE A GOOD FIT FOR THIS POSITION IF YOU
  • Have good interpersonal skills
  • Have a focused, professional attitude
  • Have excellent dexterity and hand-eye coordination
  • Can stay calm and work effectively under pressure
  • Are detail-oriented

Phlebotomist Training in Your Area

Coordinates

Phlebotomy Certificate

Neosho County Community College
Chanute (42.2 Miles)
Hutchinson Community College logo

Phlebotomy Certificate

Hutchinson Community College
Hutchinson (138.4 Miles)

Phlebotomy, A.A.S.

Manhattan Area Technical College
Manhattan (153.6 Miles)
North Arkansas College logo

Phlebotomy Technician Certificate

North Arkansas College
Harrison (157.4 Miles)
Grayson College logo

Phlebotomy Technician Non- Credit Certificate

Grayson College
Denison (239.5 Miles)
Grayson College logo

Phlebotomy Certificate

Grayson College
Denison (239.5 Miles)
Southern Arkansas University Tech logo

Phlebotomy Certificate of Proficiency

Southern Arkansas University Tech
Camden (292.5 Miles)
Southern Arkansas University Tech logo

Health Sciences (Phlebotomy Option), A.A.S.

Southern Arkansas University Tech
Camden (292.5 Miles)
Des Moines Area Community College logo

Phlebotomy Specialist Certificate

Des Moines Area Community College
Ankey (338.2 Miles)
Southwest Tennessee Community College logo

Laboratory Phlebotomy Certificate

Southwest Tennessee Community College
Memphis (352.4 Miles)
Southwest Tennessee Community College logo

Laboratory Phlebotomy Certificate

Southwest Tennessee Community College
Memphis (352.4 Miles)
Lincoln Land Community College

Phlebotomy Training

Lincoln Land Community College
Springfield (376.9 Miles)

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