The Phlebotomy Program at Northeast Texas Community College is a course series designed to prepare students to take the national certification test with the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT).
Phlebotomists typically work in hospitals, commercial laboratories, physician's offices, blood banks, pharmaceutical firms, home health agencies, research institutions, hospices, public health clinics, prisons, and visit patient's homes. They wear medical scrubs and gloves to perform venipunctures and skin punctures to obtain a blood sample for laboratory testing.
Many phlebotomists also perform clerical, computer data entry, and specimen processing functions. Proper phone etiquette and client service abilities is part of the daily routine, as well as independently receiving scheduled patients to take care of their specimen collection needs. They deal with doctors and nurses, laboratory technicians, and support workers in various locations. In their daily routine, they encounter both healthy and sick people, from infants to the elderly.
The nature of their work brings a high potential for exposure to blood borne pathogens through splatter and needle stick injuries. Experienced phlebotomists might function as so-called mobile phlebotomists driving to patient locations to perform blood draws, complete paperwork, and transport specimens for testing from there. In some cases it may be the phlebotomist who performs certain manual tests or operates automated analyzers to process the blood.
To be proficient, phlebotomists must know human anatomy, master technical and communication skills with people of all ages, know laboratory safety rules, and adhere to all CDC recommendations and OSHA requirements. They obtain blood and other specimens as ordered by a licensed health care provider, label the specimen collection tubes with patient's name and DOB, time of collection, collection source, etc., file lab slips and incidence reports, preserve and refrigerate specimens, distribute specimens to correct racks or location, answer phones and direct calls to appropriate clinical personnel and lab technicians, retrieve specimens from drop-off bins and couriers, properly dispose of contaminated sharps, and participate in venipuncture training of phlebotomy students and other medical personnel.
Salary, Skills, and Safety
The hourly pay for phlebotomists is (roughly) somewhere between $9.85 - $12.25 per hour. The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that earnings vary widely and pay levels are governed chiefly by experience and qualifications. Once established, skilled phlebotomy professionals will work their way up within their organization, or explore job offers and options that will let them earn impressive wages. Skills that were taught in the classroom are refined on the job. As the number of blood draws increases, the better the technique and skills. In addition to taking continuing education courses through web sites or professional magazines phlebotomists can attend conferences and courses to keep their knowledge up to date and maintain their credentials. Phlebotomists must understand that due to their occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials they may be at risk of acquiring hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and other illnesses. The law mandates that employers must give phlebotomists the opportunity to be vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine, at no charge to them. OSHA Standard 1910.1030 - Blood borne Pathogens Regulatory Text. OSHA has concluded that the best practice for prevention of needle stick injuries following phlebotomy procedures is the use of appropriate safety devices, safe equipment and the use of a sharps disposal container with engineered sharps injury protection attached to the blood tube holder.
Phlebotomy Application Information
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This page last updated by S. Williams on 04/19/2013
Northeast Texas Community College is an equal opportunity, affirmative action, ADA institution.