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Job Description of Phlebotomy Technician

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Phlebotomy technician or phlebotomist is a trained professional who is involved in drawing up blood samples from live persons or animals for clinical purposes. Phlebotomy basically means ‘drawing blood by venipuncture’ as the procedure involves puncturing or making an incision in veins to collect blood. The collected blood sample may have a variety of purposes ranging from clinical diagnosis, research, blood donations and transfusions.

A phlebotomist is the first person a patient usually encounters in the process of diagnosis and hence, it is crucial that they can handle and interact with a multitude of personalities. Keeping in mind that even a slight error from their side can be threatening to the patient’s life, a phlebotomist is required to follow all laboratory safety procedures with extreme caution and also make the patient aware of cleanliness and sanitation in the premises. They should also be aware of the different techniques involved in collecting samples from people of different age groups like children, adults and aged persons, ensuring that venipuncture or skin puncture or any other method is best suited for them.

Phlebotomists collect blood from blood vessels by the use of syringe and vacutainers. They ensure that an adequate blood sample is collected from the right person for the appropriate testing procedure and make sure the vials and tubes are properly labeled. One can spot a phlebotomy technician at work in hospitals, clinics, medical labs, nursing homes, blood donation centers, research institutes, as well as in insurance companies. This is due to the demand for collection of blood samples from a wide source of people. The work time for a phlebotomist is quite flexible and can also be around-the-clock as they work in shifts and also during weekends and common holidays.

Before joining a lab or a hospital as a phlebotomist, one needs to have completed at least a high school diploma or a degree and should have obtained a certification or a diploma in an accredited phlebotomy program, by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

The programs are generally offered on an on-campus basis at various colleges and institutions across the country, since hands-on training is essential for blood collection. The courses may range from time duration of eight weeks up to a year and cost about $700 to $3,000 based on the duration of the course and where one enrolls for it.

Phlebotomists can receive a range of salaries depending on their site of employment, the city they work in, the skills they possess and their expertise in the field. Once recruited, they can earn a minimum average hourly wage of $12.84 along with benefits of childcare, wellness programs, referral programs, health savings account, etc. To develop one’s skill and mastery in this field, it is advisable to have some sort of experience in working within a clinical lab, or dealing with numerous people at a stretch of time.

A phlebotomy technician should be well aware of the protocols involved in collecting blood samples like the order of draw, transportation time and keep up with the antiseptic environment of the laboratory along with strict adherence to SOPs in the lab.

No more than two attempts are allowed for drawing blood and if a technician does so, it simply shows their lack of expertise and incapability in drawing blood smoothly, which is a negative mark for their career. Often, a question or two will be asked to test the technical knowledge of the candidate. This could include a question on the types of venipuncture methods, order of draw to be followed, medical equipment used in the lab, and other related topics that would have been covered in the diploma or certification programs. A gentle refresh of such topics is advisable before sitting an interview. It should, however, be kept in mind that memorization of answers is not desirable. Rather a deep understanding of the topic and ability to express it in one’s own way is sufficient and more genuine from the candidate.


Becoming a successful phlebotomy technician requires proficiency, expertise and skill in this field, along with compassion, sympathy, quick resolving ability and endurance. It surely takes a lot to become one, but is a promising and delightful job as phlebotomists enjoin the prime role in a patient’s health and welfare.

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