Welcome to the world of phlebotomy. You may have heard about this exciting field and you’re curious to know more. If so, you’re in the right place. There are multiple benefits to training as a phlebotomist, but no career is perfect and you should consider the pros with the cons. We’ve come up with a list for you to consider before taking the plunge into your new career in phlebotomy:
Benefits of the Job
Huge predicted job growth
According to the U.S. government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow 27 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers, and other locations will need phlebotomists to perform blood work.
Relatively minimal training
According to collegesanddegrees.com, phlebotomy requires only a small amount of training compared to most other occupations in the field of allied healthcare:
A two- or four-year degree is not required to practice phlebotomy. Typically, phlebotomists can start their careers after four months to a year of education.
The training that is required can typically be completed in less than 4-6 months, and also has easy-to-meet prerequisites according to learn.org:
These programs typically have no prerequisites other than a high school diploma or GED, though some programs may also require you to submit proof of certain immunizations.
Face-to-face interactions with different people
If you like helping people, you’ll have plenty of rewarding opportunities to meet and help a variety of people. Doctors often base a patient’s diagnosis on the samples collected by a phlebotomist, so you’ll have a direct impact on patients’ health and well-being. In some cases, the speed, care, and professionalism with which you do your job could end up saving someone’s life!
Flexible and varied work schedules
Phlebotomists have the option of working in a variety of settings. Many venues require the help of a phlebotomist:
- nursing homes
- diagnostic labs
- blood donation centers
- doctors’ offices
A good starting point
With its low barriers to entry, a career in phlebotomy can help you get your foot in the door of the medical field. With a few years of experience and some additional training, you may have the option of making a lateral move into a similar career, such as becoming a registered nurse, medical assistant, x-ray technician, EMT, or surgical technician.
Decent starting salary
Phlebotomists nationwide earn an average of $13.66 per hour, almost double the current average U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Phlebotomists with many years of experience can earn more than $20 per hour.
Hard to find that first job
As with any industry, it can be tough to get one’s foot in the door at first. Even with certification and a booming demand for phlebotomists, the low barriers to entry mean there is no shortage of applicants for these jobs. Here are some resources for how to conduct your job hunt.
Fear of blood
For those not accustomed to seeing blood, this can be the biggest day-to-day hurdle. Most phlebotomists get used to this sight after repeated exposure, but those with hemophobia (i.e. a persistent and paralyzing fear of the sight of blood) would be advised to pick another, more suitable occupation.
Some patients are nicer than others
A career in phlebotomy is a customer (aka patient) service role. And not all patients are cooperative. Some are kids who are scared of needles. Some are simply having a bad day and will take it out on whoever they encounter. And if you work in certain environments, such as an emergency room or prison clinic, you may interact with individuals in police custody, who may be dangerous.
All of which is to say, weigh the above pros and cons carefully before making a decision on whether to enter into a career in phlebotomy. Good luck, we know you’ll make the right choice for you!