Overview of Phlebotomists – Mobile, Careers, and Industry Growth
Although some may not be aware of what a phlebotomist is, chances are you have relied upon their services at one point or another.
A “phlebotomist” is someone who is trained to draw and prepare blood for medical testing, transfusions, or donations. These individuals are trained to collect blood from a patient’s veins (venipuncture) as well as capillaries (finger pricks, heel pricks, etc.).
Who can become a phlebotomist?
In order to become a phlebotomist, one must have a high school diploma or GED and complete the required training program. This is a non-degree program that usually takes less than a year and is often offered at technical schools, community colleges, and vocational schools. These programs require both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training.
Once training is completed, certifications are usually required. Some of these certifications are Certified Phlebotomist Technician (CPT), Registered Phlebotomist Technician (RPT), and National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT). In order to maintain certification, these organizations may require continuing education or additional training. Depending on the state, phlebotomists may be required to obtain special certifications. Right now, there are four states with this requirement: California, Washington, Nevada, and Louisiana.
According to verywellhealth.com, “phlebotomists are what’s known as ‘allied medical professionals.’ This designation usually includes any medical professionals – other than medical doctors or nurses – who have direct contact with patients in a clinical setting.” Most allied medical professionals are technicians or technologists of some sort (i.e., ultrasound technician, x-ray technician, etc.). Because of this designation, we refer to those medical professionals with the phlebotomy certification and skillset as “skilled labor.”
The locations on our MAP: Medical Access Point™ Network all have the skilled labor required to perform phlebotomy services currently at their facility.
What does a day in the life of a phlebotomist look like?
According to Cambridge Health, on any given day, a phlebotomist may be asked to:
- Prepare patients for blood draws
- Verify patient identities and ensure proper labeling of collection vials
- Explain blood draw or transfusion process to patients
- Guide nervous patients through blood draws
- Conduct blood draws and transfusions
- Assist patients who experience adverse reactions following procedure
- Follow directions of supervising physicians
- Identify, label and track blood samples
- Gather inventory and maintain blood draw instruments and supplies
If a medical professional is also acting as an on-site phlebotomist, these duties are conducted in addition to his or her primary duties.
What is mobile phlebotomy?
When a patient does not want to leave the comfort and security of his or her home, but needs a blood draw performed, mobile phlebotomy is a great option. For companies that offer this service, such as those on the MOMS Mobile Phlebotomy Directory, a phlebotomist will go to the patient’s home and perform the collection.
Patients may choose mobile phlebotomy when they are in a time crunch and need something that works for their schedules. A mobile draw can be scheduled at a time convenient for them through various mobile providers. Additionally, having a blood draw in one’s own home may reduce any stress and anxiety surrounding the procedure.
Phlebotomy Industry Outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow 17 percent from 2019 to 2029. Considering the current medical climate and the strain that COVID has caused on the supply chain and our way of life, the mobile phlebotomy industry may see a surge in demand. With fewer people wanting to leave their homes for their testing needs, having a phlebotomist come to them may be preferred.
With over 70 percent of medical decisions being based on a lab result, phlebotomists play a pivotal role in a patient’s clinical history.