Top 5 Advantages of Becoming a Phlebotomist
We all know that blood is critical to our health. Without it, we can't live. After all, it's what transports oxygen and nutrients to all of the cells within our bodies. And it helps us fight off infections while also playing a role in regulating our internal temperature. It's so important that every human body has roughly 10.5 pints (about five litres) of blood.*
That's why the act of drawing blood through a person's vein (also known as venipuncture) is one of the most essential skills in the health sector. Blood samples enable medical laboratory assistants and technicians to run tests that help doctors diagnose their patients and choose appropriate care methods. And the collection of blood from donors is what makes surgeries and a variety of other complex medical treatments possible.
So as you explore a potential career in phlebotomy, consider the following ways that you might benefit from pursuing this vital occupation:
1. Fast Entry Into the Healthcare Field
Education is one of the top considerations for anyone who wants to know how to become a phlebotomist. Training options, after all, tend to be a little varied. But one thing that most of them have in common is brevity. It doesn't generally take very long to become a blood collection specialist.
In fact, it's possible to find programs that take as little as about six months. And if you're willing to spend up to about 14 months in school, then you can often get additional training that complements the phlebotomy skills you can learn. For example, a lot of programs can help you become a medical laboratory professional, meaning that you may get to learn how to conduct some of the diagnostic testing on blood as well as other bodily fluids and tissues.
2. Career Flexibility
Skilled phlebotomists often have a lot of options when it comes to potential work settings and arrangements. That's because, although most of them work in hospitals, many others are able to take advantage of opportunities in places such as:
- Medical laboratories for diagnostic testing
- Blood donation facilities
- Private health clinics
In addition, some people in this field offer mobile phlebotomy services for employers or clients like insurance companies or scientific researchers. They get to travel from place to place to collect blood samples from people in a variety of locations.
3. A Sense of Pride
Doing work that truly matters is not something everyone gets to enjoy. But phlebotomists get to experience it every day. With each sample or unit of blood they collect, they know that their jobs help people in crucial, sometimes even life-saving, ways. And that enables them to feel a regular sense of purpose and achievement.
4. Advancement Possibilities
Since venipuncture skills are at the heart of many essential health services, a phlebotomy course can provide a great foundation for getting introduced to more advanced roles or occupations. And that can lead to opportunities to pursue jobs with even higher pay and a wider variety of meaningful and fascinating duties.
For example, phlebotomists earn about $18.18 per hour, on average.** However, many people choose to become medical lab techs or assistants, roles which often involve some blood collection duties. So they either get their phlebotomy training as part of a medical laboratory technology program or expand upon the skills they already have. The median hourly wage for medical lab assistants (MLAs) across the country is about $24.77, with some earning as much as $38.50 or more.***
After some experience in phlebotomy, many people also decide to pursue additional training in other areas of healthcare that interest them. For instance, a lot of nursing and surgical technology professionals first began their careers as phlebotomists.
The nation's overall population keeps growing. And an increasing percentage of the population is made up of people over the age of 65. As a result, many occupations in the healthcare sector have good employment outlooks, including phlebotomy. After all, the demand for lab tests, surgeries, and other medical procedures that require blood is only expected to rise as more and more people seek health services.
What to Do Next
Explore your options for getting phlebotomy training. Online search tools, such as the one below, make it easy to find nearby programs quickly. So why not enter your postal code right now to get started?
* Canadian Blood Services, website last visited on August 25, 2015.
** PayScale, website last visited on August 25, 2015.
*** Government of Canada, Job Bank, website last visited on January 18, 2017.