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Diagnostic Technologists

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Phlebotomist
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  Who is a Phlebotomist?

The primary function of a Phlebotomist, also known as a Phlebotomy Technician, is the collection of blood samples from patients by venipuncture or microtechniques.

  What does a Phlebotomist do?

A Phlebotomist facilitates the collection and transportation of laboratory specimens. He or she is often the patient’s only contact with the medical laboratory.

  What education, training, and experience must one have to function as a Phlebotomist?

A Phlebotomist must have a high school diploma or GED with acceptable training. Phlebotomy programs are available at various colleges and career schools. Phlebotomy training courses vary in length and usually lead to a certificate of completion and in some cases a diploma. However, most phlebotomists are trained directly by the facility for which they work.

  How and by whom is a Phlebotomist supervised?

Typically, a Phlebotomist is supervised by a manager in the area, often an individual who is associated with the laboratory.

  What are the typical day-to-day activities of a Phlebotomist?

Phlebotomists draw blood from patients in hospitals, blood banks, clinics, or doctors’ offices. They also label and store blood containers for processing.

  Must a Phlebotomist be licensed or certified to function in his or her role as part of the health care team?

Some states require Phlebotomists to be certified or have a state license. Employers prefer to hire experienced workers and may prefer certified applicants who have passed a national examination, indicating that the Phlebotomist meets certain standards of competence.

  What types of patients would benefit from the care of a Phlebotomist?

All patients who need to have their blood drawn may interact with a Phlebotomist and benefit from his or her expertise.

  How and when does a Phlebotomist become involved in the care of a particular patient?

A patient who arrives at a hospital or doctor’s office may be required to have blood drawn for diagnostic purposes. This patient would then proceed to a special area where a Phlebotomist would draw the blood. For inpatients, the Phlebotomist would come to the patient’s bedside to draw blood samples.

Additional information about the Phlebotomy profession can be found in the Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians section of the Occupational Outlook Handbook provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The American Medical Technologists offers continuing education and certification for Phlebotomists.

Contributed by:
Kathy Cilia, American Medical Technologists

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