What Phlebotomists Do

The phlebotomist is an integral member of the medical laboratory team whose primary function is the collection of blood samples from patients. The phlebotomist also facilitates the collection and transportation of other laboratory specimens (e.g. urine).

Very often the patient’s only contact with the medical laboratory is the phlebotomist. For many patients, the most difficult part of a doctor’s office visit is having their blood drawn. Many patients, from children and teens to adults, often find needles and the idea of having their blood drawn frightening. It takes a skilled phlebotomist to put the patient at ease while obtaining all the required specimens. The need to assure quality and patient safety requires strict standards of practice and professional behavior.

Types of Work Environments

  • Hospitals
  • Medical laboratories

Education and Training Requirements

High school diploma or G.E.D. with additional training. Phlebotomy programs are available at several community colleges, adult career centers, and private proprietary schools. The training courses vary in length and usually lead to a certificate of completion.


According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for phlebotomists is approximately $43,130 per year.

Professional organization

The National Phlebotomy Association

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