Career Development

How to Become a Phlebotomist – Step by Step Guide

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Phlebotomy Training Institute
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Are you interested in working as a medical professional but do not want to go through years of study? If your answer is ‘yes,’ then the phlebotomist jobs are the perfect option for you!

Get to know how to become a phlebotomist, what to expect from a phlebotomist job role, how to progress in your career as a phlebotomist and all other necessary details from the blog.

What is a Phlebotomist?

A Phlebotomist is a medical professional who draws blood from patients and prepares the blood sample for analysis. Whether it’s private healthcare or public, phlebotomists play a crucial role in diagnosing diseases by carrying out blood tests.

Phlebotomists are experienced in venipuncture and cannulation, which are highly valued clinical skills. A Phlebotomist typically works in hospitals, clinics, medical labs, research institutes and blood donation centres.

Professional phlebotomist performing a venipuncture procedure

Phlebotomist Duties and Responsibilities

Along with drawing blood and performing a blood test, a phlebotomist also perform some other duties and responsibilities mentioned below-

  • Explaining the blood drawing procedure to patients
  • Comforting nervous patients
  • Answering any patient questions
  • Labelling blood samples
  • Sending blood samples to the lab for testing
  • Keeping records and updating patient details
  • Sterilising equipment and cleaning workspace
  • Follow the health and safety regulations to ensure samples are not contaminated

Understanding and performing cannulation is a crucial skill for phlebotomists, as it enhances their ability to insert IV cannula devices efficiently. Training from the Phlebotomy Training Institute will help you acquire these skills.

How to become a Phlebotomist?

There are many paths to earn the phlebotomist qualifications however; you have the flexibility to choose the most convenient path for you. Know how to become a phlebotomist following the steps below-

1. Complete your GCSEs

Though it is not an essential requirement, it is recommended to have at least two GCSEs or equivalent to step into your phlebotomy career.

Some employers might also ask for a BTEC or equivalent vocational qualification in healthcare or health and social care. These phlebotomy courses usually take 2 years to complete.

2. Undertake a Phlebotomy Training Program

The Phlebotomy training programs are comparatively shorter than the other healthcare training programs. Moreover, you have the flexibility to undertake the phlebotomy course online which can be completed within two days!

This short-length course combines theoretical and practical sessions and is specially designed for beginners. The theoretical part is completed online, and the practical part is in a physical classroom.

Once you have completed the basic Phlebotomy course, to gain competency and a reference letter and boost your chances of getting hired, you must join the Advanced Phlebotomy Competency Training and Cannulation Training.

These courses equip a phlebotomy trainee with the correct procedure of drawing blood, finding veins for cannulation, venipuncture training, and other relevant procedures. You can enrol in such courses from the Phlebotomy Training Institute.

3. Volunteer in Hospitals

Before you take up the job as a phlebotomist, you can volunteer in hospitals to understand the phlebotomist job duties better. This will allow you to observe how phlebotomists perform their role and how they interact with patients. In this way, you can prepare yourself to provide the best of you in the job.

4. Gain a relevant work experience

It becomes an advantage if you have relevant work experience in health or social care, whether paid or voluntary work.

There are apprenticeship programs in healthcare that give you relevant experience for applying as a trainee phlebotomist. You can also work as a healthcare assistant and receive training in phlebotomy.

Blood samples of patients in tubes

5. Apply for entry-level positions

If you have already gained the relevant work experience, you can now try applying to entry-level phlebotomist jobs.

Consider applying to medical centres or old care homes that are looking for trainee phlebotomist roles. Prepare your CV according to the job description and highlight any experience you have. You can look for phlebotomist jobs here.

You can also look for potential phlebotomy roles in LinkedIn or Indeed.

Phlebotomist Career Progression

Phlebotomy is an emerging field with excellent career opportunities. Blood testing is an essential task in healthcare as doctors use blood work for analysis and diagnosis. So, there will always be a demand for phlebotomists.

To advance your career, you can choose to get certified in a particular area, become a phlebotomy specialist, and work in a hospital/clinic or pharmacy.

Individuals pursuing a career as a phlebotomist should also consider undertaking an ECG Course, which is in high demand in the healthcare sector. Vaccination against hepatitis B is a prerequisite, and having insurance can also enhance employability.

However, when you do the training from the Phlebotomy Training Institute, you get the Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance along with the course, making a smooth transition into the workforce.

To advance your career, you can choose to get certified in a particular area and become phlebotomy specialists or donor phlebotomy technicians and work for the NHS Blood and Transplant Service. With further experience and education, you can become medical lab technicians, medical assistants, registered nurses or climb up to a leadership role.

Additionally, you could consider advancing your career by becoming a supervisor or manager in a healthcare facility’s phlebotomy department.

Phlebotomist Salary

A phlebotomist can earn up to £21,948 per year according to indeed. The National Careers Service states that the average salary of a fresh phlebotomist is £18,005 per year. However, the amount gradually increases as phlebotomists gain experience.

The salary of phlebotomists also varies according to location. For example, a phlebotomist in Bristol might earn £25,667 per year, whereas the same professional can earn £32,757 per year in Manchester.

Conclusion

Whether it’s about performing any blood test or carrying out the blood drawing procedure smoothly, the role of phlebotomists cannot be understated in the healthcare field. That’s why this position is always in high demand in every medical centre. Now, it’s your turn to decide if you are ready to step into this rewarding profession.

FAQs

What is the correct order of drawing blood?

To avoid any type of cross-contamination, blood needs to be drawn and collected in tubes in a specific order. This is known as the Order of draw.

  1. Blood Culture Tubes or Vials
  2. Coagulation Tubes (Blue-Top Tubes)
  3. Serum Tubes without Clot Activator or Gel (Red-Top tubes)
  4. Serum Tubes with Clot Activator or Gel (Gold or Tiger Top Tubes)
  5. Heparin Tubes (Green-Top Tubes)
  6. EDTA Tubes (Lavender-Top Tubes)
  7. Oxalate/Fluoride Tubes (Gray-Top Tubes)

What is cannulation?

Cannulation is the technique of inserting a cannula or tube into a body organ. This might be done to collect samples of blood or to insert medication directly into the bloodstream.

How long is phlebotomy training in the UK?

The time period for phlebotomy training depends on the route you choose. If you want to train yourself through online courses, it can take only 2 days. On the other hand, if you prefer a BTEC or equivalent vocational qualification, you would need 2 years to complete.

How much is phlebotomy training in the UK?

The phlebotomy training cost can start at £250 however; the cost would vary according to the training providers. You can do a budget friendly course at Phlebotomy Training Institute which will give you a certified qualification.

What is the qualification of a phlebotomist?

A phlebotomist needs to undertake phlebotomy training programs to perform the phlebotomist responsibilities. Though GCSEs are not required, it is better to have at least 2 GCSEs as some employers might ask for it. Besides, a relevant work experience in the healthcare sector would be an additional qualification to secure a job.

Can I work as a phlebotomist in the UK?

If you have the right training and your phlebotomy certification, you can work as a phlebotomist in the UK.

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