10 Pros and Cons of Being a Phlebotomy Technician

Phlebotomy Technicians are the unsung heroes of the medical profession.

They work behind the scenes with doctors, nurses, and medical professionals to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment for patients suffering from chronic illnesses, diseases, and other serious medical conditions.

Below, we delve into the role of a Phlebotomy Technician and explore the pros and cons of working in this profession.

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Phlebotomy Technician – Overview

  • Once they have verified they are talking to the correct patient, they draw blood using syringes, needles, blood vials, and pre-labeled blood collection tubes.
  • They collect blood samples from patients by selecting a favorable site for needle insertion inside the inner elbow, back of the hand, or fingertips for capillary punctures.
  • After selecting the appropriate blood draw site, they disinfect the area with alcohol swabs and apply a tourniquet before inserting the needle.
  • They draw blood based on requests listed in patient medical files and then disinfect the site, dispose of tools, and document the interaction.

The final stage of the blood drawing process requires Phlebotomy Technicians to deliver blood samples to laboratories for analysis by doctors, nurses, and biologists.

Where Do Phlebotomy Technicians Work?

  • Hospitals: Technicians work in hospital emergency rooms and clinics to facilitate blood work for lab testing requests from doctors and nurse practitioners.
  • Medical Clinics: They work in public and private medical clinics to manage blood work for wellness checkups and to help medical providers rule out illness.
  • Medical Laboratories: Phlebotomy Techs often work side by side with Medical Laboratory Technicians to verify ownership of blood work and to manage backlogs of blood tests.
  • Medical Offices: Private medical offices employ Phlebotomists as key staff members who help doctors and medical providers bridge the gap between diagnosis and treatment,
  • Mental Health Facilities: Technicians work in mental health facilities to help Psychiatrists and other medical doctors rule out physical illnesses during the course of mental health treatment.
  • Rehabilitation Facilities: Phlebotomists work in rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes to draw blood work for patients as ordered or requested by their medical care providers.

Pros of Being a Phlebotomy Technician

Working as a Phlebotomy Technician offers a glimpse into the role of medical diagnosis and pharmaceuticals.

Today’s Phlebotomists make impactful contributions in ensuring accurate medical diagnosis and patient comfort and preparing them for more challenging careers in the medical field.

Below are a few pros of working as a Phlebotomy Technician in America’s vast and rapidly growing healthcare system.

Pro #1 – Fulfilling Healthcare Role

Today’s Phlebotomy Techs are essential in ensuring the accurate diagnosis and treatment of patients seeking medical treatment in America’s healthcare system.

Many techs report high levels of job satisfaction in this fulfilling healthcare role, which directly impacts the health and well-being of their fellow citizens.

Pro #2. – High Job Demand

The demand for skilled Phlebotomy Techs who support patients, doctors, and nurses in medical treatment facilities is expected to remain high as the demand for new treatments for novel illnesses continues to coincide with the needs of an aging population.

High job demand means that Phlebotomists can choose where they work from a variety of locations and earn competitive salaries in areas where techs are in extremely high demand.

Pro #3. – Quick Entry into the Field

Starting a career as a Phlebotomy Technician doesn’t take years of medical school or thousands of hours of hands-on experience.

Most of today’s techs started working after meeting the basic requirements of earning a high school diploma and completing a short training program that provides them with the basic skills to work as entry-level Phlebotomists.

Pro #4. – Hands-On Experience

The hands-on experience gained by Phlebotomy Technicians who work with patients can translate into medical work experience that serves as a gateway to other medical careers.

Phlebotomists can apply their newly acquired skills to become Senior Phlebotomists who teach and train phlebotomy students and Phlebotomy Supervisors who manage groups of Phlebotomy Technicians.

They can also take continuing education classes or earn college credits to easily transition to careers as Laboratory Techs or Medical Laboratory Technicians.

Pro #5. – Personal Satisfaction and Sense of Achievement

Phlebotomy Techs play a crucial role in the health and wellness of patients under their care in America’s hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities.

Overcoming the challenges of the job and consistently collecting life-saving samples contribute to a sense of personal satisfaction for technicians working in this role.

Cons of Being a Phlebotomy Technician

While many entry-level Phlebotomists report high levels of job satisfaction, they also say this career has its challenges.

The role of today’s techs is varied and creates an integral link between patient diagnosis, medical treatments, and patient care that leaves little room for error in carrying out the duties of the job.

Below, we explore some of the cons of working as a Phlebotomy Technician.

Con #1. – Exposure to Illness and Infection

Protecting themselves from illness and infection on the job is one of the biggest challenges Phlebotomy Technicians face.

Technicians must implement and adhere to strict safety protocols to reduce the risk of direct exposure to infections and deadly diseases while working in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories.

Con #2. – Physiological Challenges

Drawing blood from patients like children, the elderly, mental health patients, and other patients who are uncomfortable with the procedure can present physiological challenges for Phlebotomy Techs.

They must implement novel solutions and find ways to safely complete the blood draw process with as little upset to patients as possible.

Con #3. – Patient Anxiety

Many patients have extremely high anxiety about having their blood drawn.

Phlebotomy Technicians must be patient and learn to use calming techniques to soothe anxious patients long enough to collect viable samples.

Con #4. – High Stress Work Environment

Phlebotomist techs often work in high-stress work environments in hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care clinics, mental health clinics, and similar locations where tensions can be high, and patient behavior can be unpredictable when they need blood drawn.

The reality of working in this position means that techs are exposed to high-stress situations as a regular part of their job.

Con #5. – Unpredictable Work Schedule

Working in a medical care environment that can include 24-hour medical treatment facilities like emergency rooms and urgent care clinics means that techs can find themselves working odd hours.

They often work late nights, early mornings, and overnights, along with holidays and weekends, making it difficult for them to create their desired work-life balance.

10 Pros and Cons of Being a Phlebotomy Technician – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Phlebotomy TechnicianCons of Being a Phlebotomy Technician
Pro # 1 - Fulfilling Healthcare RoleCon #1. - Exposure to Illness and Infection
Pro # 2. - High Job DemandCon #2. - Physiological Challenges
Pro # 3. - Quick Entry into the FieldCon #3. - Patient Anxiety
Pro # 4. - Hands-On ExperienceCon #4. - High Stress Work Environment
Pro # 5. - Personal Satisfaction and Sense of AchievementCon #5. - Unpredictable Work Schedule

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

If you’re thinking about becoming a Phlebotomy technician, there are a few must-haves that need to be in place before you officially take on the role.

For example, today’s techs must be interested in healthcare and engaging with the public.

They must also be comfortable drawing blood using sterile needles and related equipment.

Following are more skills Phlebotomy Technicians should already have or be willing to acquire to ensure success in the field.

Required Skills for Phlebotomy Technicians

Attention to Detail: The nature of the role of today’s Phlebotomy Techs requires that they have a keen eye for matching patient records to blood samples, laboratory test requests, and other procedures.

Drawing blood and assigning patient bloodwork to laboratories leaves little room for error and can lead to devastating or life-threatening consequences when techs make administrative errors.

Empathy: Being able to put yourself in your patient’s shoes and find the best way to meet their needs is part of the duties of Phlebotomists.

Technicians engage with a variety of sick and healthy patients who all respond to the idea of being pricked with a needle in different ways.

Good Communication Skills: Phlebotomists spend a great deal of time communicating with patients, laboratory techs, co-workers, and other medical professionals.

They must have good communication skills to ensure the smooth flow of information between parties.

High-Risk Tolerance: Prospective Phlebotomists must understand that their job requires that they come into contact with live blood samples, which may or may not contain infectious or deadly diseases, as a daily part of their job duties.

Technicians should have high-risk tolerance and be willing to follow strict protocols to prevent accidents and potential infections.

Medical Terminology and Physiology: Working in the field of medicine in hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities requires knowledge of medical terminology and human physiology to facilitate compassionate treatment for patients under their care.

Phlebotomy Education and Certification: Phleb Techs must be officially trained before working in an entry-level capacity.

They can get the required Phlebotomy training and education by taking classes at continuing education centers, workforce development centers, or local colleges and universities that offer Phlebotomy certification.

Venipuncture Skills: Entry-level Phlebotomists should be able to demonstrate flawless venipuncture techniques and blood collection skills upon completion of a formal Phlebotomy training program with hands-on education.

Now that you understand some pros and cons of being a Phlebotomist, is this the right career pathway for you?

If so, take the next step to learn about Phlebotomy training programs in your area, who trains Phlebotomists, and annual Phlebotomy salaries!

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