The medical practice of drawing, testing, and analyzing blood is known as phlebotomy. Blood samples may be drawn for donations or transfusions, as well as to check for the presence of diseases. Individuals with the appropriate education and training can work in a variety of phlebotomy jobs. Technicians, who physically draw blood from patients, hold the majority of phlebotomy jobs. Clinical laboratory technologists, veterinary technicians, and scientific researchers are examples of other professionals.
Phlebotomy technicians and phlebotomists are medical professionals who draw blood. These individuals collect blood samples from arm veins with sterilized needles and store them in vials for later analysis. A phlebotomist cleans the puncture site with cotton and sterile pads after a procedure and wraps the arm in a bandage to prevent further bleeding.
High school diplomas are usually sufficient for phlebotomy jobs, though some employers prefer to hire phlebotomists who have earned associate degrees or certificates from specialized medical vocational schools. Nurses and experienced technicians typically provide formal, on-the-job training to new phlebotomists. To gain professional certification and begin working independently, many states and countries require phlebotomists to pass written and practical examinations. Ambulatory care centers, hospitals, public health clinics, nursing homes, and blood donation centers all employ skilled phlebotomy technicians.
Phlebotomists are clinical laboratory technologists who analyze blood samples after they have been drawn. Microscopes and other laboratory equipment are used to look for abnormal material in blood cells, and chemical experiments are used to detect various diseases. A bachelor’s degree in medical technology, anatomy, or a related field is usually required for employment as a technologist. Before working as an independent phlebotomist, new technologists typically receive several months of specialized training in hospital laboratories, and they may be required to pass state licensing exams.
Because pets and farm animals require blood tests and medical services in the same way that humans do, veterinary technicians perform many of the same phlebotomy tasks. Blood is drawn, samples are analyzed, and technicians assist veterinarians in making diagnoses. To work in animal clinics or hospitals, most veterinary technicians must pass licensing exams and earn associate or bachelor’s degrees from accredited schools.
Phlebotomy research is a specialty of many skilled biological scientists. To pinpoint diseases and test new medicines, scientists conduct laboratory experiments and research historical data. A medical professional might be interested in learning how and why certain blood components, such as white blood cells, react to pathogens or medicines. Phlebotomy jobs are typically held biological scientists with doctoral degrees in microbiology, chemistry, or medicine who work in private laboratories, pharmacology companies, or biotechnology companies.