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What Does a Phlebotomist Do?

Phlebotomists are a necessary part of the medical team and perform a number of important duties in clinics and labs.

woman taking stats from woman about to give blood
Home » Phlebotomist » Duties

Phlebotomy Technician Workplace

Phlebotomy technicians work in hospitals, laboratories, physician’s offices, donation facilities, and other health care settings where blood is taken and analyzed. Some technicians travel to call on patients who are homebound. In large hospitals or in independent laboratories that operate continuously, technicians usually work the day, evening or night shift and may work on weekends or holidays. Technicians in smaller facilities may work rotating shifts. Some take emergency calls several nights a week or on weekends.

Many patients have phobias when it comes to blood and needles, and giving blood can be the most difficult part of an office visit. The phlebotomy technician must create an atmosphere of trust and confidence with patients while drawing blood specimens in a skillful, safe and reliable manner.

Phlebotomy techs should consider certification if they want to specialize in a particular area of healthcare, or progress to more advanced roles. There are several certifications available from different professional agencies, and these are added on top of the education that’s required to perform the basic duties of the job.

Phlebotomist Job Responsibilities

Phlebotomy technicians must like challenge and responsibility. They must also be accurate, work well under pressure and communicate effectively. Because they work directly with patients, they must notice and relay any important information gained during interactions to doctors, nurses, and laboratory professionals.

Typically, phlebotomy technicians are responsible for the following:

  • Explaining procedures to patients
  • Drawing blood and applying pressure or bandages after blood is drawn
  • Taking blood pressure, pulse, and respiration readings
  • Updating patient records
  • Preparing stains and reagents
  • Cleaning and sterilizing equipment
  • Sending blood, urine, and fecal samples to the lab for testing