A phlebotomist is a medical professional who’s trained to perform blood draws. They collect blood for testing or donation and can also perform blood transfusions.
A phlebotomist is a medical professional who is trained to perform blood draws on children and adults. They collect and prepare blood for testing so it can be analyzed in a medical laboratory. They also collect blood for donation.
Phlebotomists are trained to collect blood samples through:
Blood tests are used to screen for, diagnose and monitor health conditions. They’re very common and an essential part of medical testing.
While other medical professionals, such as nurses, are also trained to draw blood, this is the main part of a phlebotomist’s job.
“Phlebotomy” comes from the Greek words “phleb-” and “-tomia,” which mean “vein” and “cutting,” respectively.
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A phlebotomist’s main job is to collect blood samples in response to orders issued by healthcare providers or for donation. More specifically, their job includes:
If you have to get your blood drawn for a medical test or are donating blood, you can expect the following:
Phlebotomists work in a variety of places, including:
They’re usually supervised by a clinical laboratory technologist or other medical professionals.
The requirements to become a phlebotomist vary from state to state in the U.S., but in most cases, you need certification from a completed phlebotomy program.
Phlebotomy programs are normally offered at technical and vocational schools and community colleges. They usually take less than a year to complete.
Specific steps to becoming a phlebotomist include:
There are three levels of certification that a phlebotomy program can offer, including:
Accredited phlebotomy programs usually take a year or less to complete.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a phlebotomist in the United States in 2021 was $37,380 per year. But it can be more or less depending on where you work and how many hours you work in a week.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Needing to get bloodwork done can be scary or stressful for some. Know that the phlebotomist drawing your blood has specialized training and skills to make sure the process is as safe and comfortable as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask your phlebotomist questions. They’re available to help you feel more comfortable and confident about your blood draw.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/02/2022.
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