A phlebotomist is an allied healthcare profession specializing in phlebotomy, which collects blood for tests, transfusions, research, or blood donations. It is an exciting profession that allows people to have a positive impact on patient care in a variety of potential work settings. After completing their training, many phlebotomists seek certification as a Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT) through the American Medical Technologists organization to validate their skills and credentials.
In addition to discussing what phlebotomists do and where they work, this blog will summarize the benefits of the phlebotomy program offered here at Arizona College, which is conveniently combined into our Medical Assisting program.
What Does a Phlebotomist Do?
Phlebotomists play a critical role in providing a comfortable patient experience during blood draws by ensuring patient safety. Phlebotomists often also perform administrative tasks such as receiving and verifying laboratory orders, labeling specimens correctly, and keeping accurate medical records for patients. They also often manage clinic supplies and schedule patients for appointments.
Phlebotomists work closely with other healthcare professionals and regularly communicate with supervisors, peers, and physicians to coordinate patient care. They also dispose of biomedical waste following disposal regulations, disinfect reusable equipment, prepare various medical instruments, and monitor their patients.
Where Do Phlebotomists Typically Work?
Phlebotomists work in a variety of professional settings, so graduates have many phlebotomist careers to choose from when entering the workforce. Traditional work settings include hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers, and doctor’s offices. However, there are also less traditional settings where phlebotomists may work, such as:
Corporate Healthcare Screening Centers
Some employers offer health screenings to their employees through an occupational health office or third-party companies that provide biometric screening services. These employers or third-party organizations frequently need phlebotomists to complete lab draws, which are generally part of these screening procedures.
Mobile Phlebotomy Services
More and more, the healthcare industry is bringing health services into the home for convenience and efficiency. This trend extends to phlebotomy services, with many organizations aiming to bring mobile laboratory services into patients’ living quarters. Instead of the patient going to a lab collection site, the phlebotomist brings the lab to the patient at home. One such example is the non-profit organization called the National Phlebotomy Provider Network.
If you are interested in teaching, you can also seek a position as an educator in a phlebotomy education program. By teaching future phlebotomists best practices, you can help uphold and maintain high professional standards.
Pharmaceutical companies often conduct their own research, which may involve lab testing on patients when conducting experiments on new drugs. As a result, some pharmaceutical companies may hire phlebotomists to work in their research settings.
Advantages of Our Phlebotomy Program
Arizona College is pleased to offer a combined 31-week undergraduate diploma program in Medical Assisting and Phlebotomy that offers hands-on training, post-graduation support, and real-world experiences in the form of a culminating externship for students. The short nature of the program, which is just under eight months long, can help kickstart a career in phlebotomy in less than a year. Students will take classes in clinical laboratory sciences related to emergency & primary care, patient diagnostics, therapeutic procedures, medical asepsis, and phlebotomy procedures. Our complete curriculum overview can be found on our Medical Assistant with Phlebotomy program page.
In addition, our phlebotomy program offers online and in-person learning in a hybrid format, accelerated morning and evening classes for student convenience, flexible start dates with sessions starting every five weeks, and career employment assistance after completing the program. This flexibility and support make it as convenient as possible to take classes and advance your career, even if you may have other responsibilities or commitments during the program.
After successfully completing our program, graduates are eligible to take the Registered Phlebotomy Technician Certification Examination to demonstrate their expertise and training. Achieving this certification can help show the value of your work and open the doors to many phlebotomy careers.
How to Get Started in Phlebotomy
Are you ready to embark on your journey to start a career in phlebotomy? Learn more about our Medical Assistant with Phlebotomy Program to get started on this exciting career path today! We would be ecstatic to help you step into the fast-paced, rewarding, and impactful world of phlebotomy.
Tana Bao MSN, FNP-BC, NP-C, APRN
Tana Bao is an experienced advanced practice registered nurse. She earned her BSN from The University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016 and her MSN from Thomas Jefferson University in 2019. She is board certified to practice as a family nurse practitioner with both The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (NP-C) and The American Nurses Credentialing Center (FNP-BC). Clinically, she has worked in various medical settings including family planning, women’s health, sleep medicine, and primary care. She now also writes professionally as a health content writer and journalist and is also pursuing a post master’s certificate in nursing education.
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. About Us. https://www.abhes.org/about-us/
American Medical Technologists. https://americanmedtech.org/
American Medical Technologists. Get Certified. https://americanmedtech.org/Certification/Get-Certified/tabs/1#eligibility-tab
American Medical Technologists. Phlebotomy Technician (RPT). https://americanmedtech.org/Phlebotomy-Technician
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Phlebotomists,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/phlebotomists.htm (visited September 18, 2023).
National Phlebotomy Provider Network. Mobile Phlebotomy Services. https://phlebotomynetwork.com/services/
O*Net Online. Phlebotomists. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/31-9097.00
Information in this blog post is accurate as of October 2, 2023.