All doctors, nurses, private practice clinicians, and just about everyone working in the medical field knows the importance of insurance for medical professionals. It keeps the profession, and its integrity, safe. What about indemnity insurance for phlebotomists? There are several ways to look at how this coverage can protect you and your career.
First, one of the largest parts of your job is to have accurate and precise hand and eye skills. You’re working with people and needles every single day. If that doesn’t bring the idea of ‘risk’ to your mind, it should. No one ever wants to have an accident on the job, but even the best phlebotomists are just human, after all. Mistakes occasionally happen, and making sure you’re covered adequately is of the utmost importance.
If you’re a phlebotomist that works for someone else, like a hospital or clinic, your employer is likely already covered with indemnity insurance. However, many phlebotomists choose to take a ‘freelance’ route.
There are many benefits to working on your own as a phlebotomist. From choosing your own hours, to where you use your skills, it’s a great job that is currently in high demand. However, every time you use those skills, you’re also at risk. Not only from the needle itself, but from simple mistakes. In a single moment, one mistake could truly change everything for you.
Anything from a mislabeled vial of blood, to cross-contamination could lead to a lawsuit, or worse. Protecting yourself from these unfortunate mishaps could be the thing that saves your career if they ever come up. It’s important to have a risk management plan in place, and that’s where indemnity insurance for phlebotomists comes in.
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The Importance of Medical Malpractice Insurance for Phlebotomists
When it comes to medical malpractice insurance, it’s important to consider why and where you might need it. If you work on your own or are a private contractor, this type of insurance is necessary. Essentially, you’re your very own business. You need to market yourself well, yes. But, you also need to take the proper precautions that go along with it.
As a private contractor, you can offer your services wherever they may be needed. Hospitals, businesses, donation centers, etc. are always looking for great phlebotomists. However, every time you take on a new job, you’re at risk again without insurance.
Think about it this way: A hospital wouldn’t employ doctors without medical malpractice insurance. Not only for the safety of the establishment itself, but for the safety of the doctors. Well, being a private contractor on your own can be great. But, if a facility as well-established as a hospital ensures medical malpractice insurance is needed, think about how much more it could be needed for you.
If you’re going to market your business on your own, you need to take care of the possible risks on your own, too. Thankfully, actually applying for medical malpractice insurance isn’t as intimidating as it may seem.
Insurance Options for Phlebotomists
There are several types of insurance you could, and should carry, as a phlebotomist. If a liability claim ever happened to come up against you, these options could really be useful. Not only will they help your reputation, but your finances, and your career. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the best options for you to choose from. Knowing more about how you can be covered will make you feel more confident in what you’re doing every day.
General Liability Insurance
As a contractor, it’s important to consider yourself to be a small business. Because of this, general liability insurance will be a sort of ‘umbrella’ for your needs. All small businesses need some type of insurance, and most go for this to cover everything.
However, it’s important to know that general liability insurance does not cover malpractice. It will simply help to cover legal fees and other costs associated with any liability claims. From court costs to legal fees, and even paying a lawyer, general liability insurance can save you a lot of out-of-pocket cost. For a small business (especially when it’s made up of one person), those fees could drain you, otherwise. It is a fairly cost-effective insurance to have in the first place. So, if anyone files anything against you, even if you’re not at fault, your fees will be covered.
If you’re a contractor, chances are you don’t have one ‘set’ location you work out of every day. It’s unlikely that people are coming to an office or small clinic run solely by you. This can be a good thing, since there is no overhead to worry about. There also isn’t any maintenance to worry about for buildings or ‘property.’
However, phlebotomists do have necessary equipment. If you’re going from place to place every day for different needs, you’re likely taking that equipment with you. Though it may not be anything extravagant, it’s important for the success of what you do. Of course, sometimes things can happen. Equipment wears out, accidents can occur, it can get damaged, etc. You can protect your equipment, or ‘property,’ with property insurance.
Property insurance covers damaged or stolen property of any kind as it relates to your business. This includes medical equipment, supplies, or just about any other item or asset that could be related to your business. When you were starting up, you probably paid for much of that equipment from your own pocket. So, protect it as much as possible if anything should ever happen to it.
Malpractice insurance is the ‘big’ topic that most medical professionals are aware of. As a phlebotomist, you may not think you’re technically saving lives every day, but you are. The blood drawn from venipuncture can result in tests that can catch illnesses, find cures, and more.
Unfortunately, this work comes at a price, and one small slip up can cost you a career. It helps to protect you if a lawsuit should ever be filed against you for any reason. Patients can only file a lawsuit when they feel as though you’ve either given them advice or treatment that caused a financial loss, or bodily injury. In the case of phlebotomy, this could be an accident with a needle, a mislabeled blood vial, or a number of other ‘accidents’ you may not even be able to think of, until they happen.
It will not only help to cover all legal aspects and fees of the lawsuit from your business’ standpoint, but will help to defend you. Without this particular type of insurance, your business – or you, personally, could have a tarnished reputation forever. Plus, it could completely drain any personal or business funds you have. You’ve likely invested a lot of time, energy, and money into what you do. Malpractice insurance is a safeguard everyone working in the medical field should have.
Business Owner’s Policy
If you’re just starting out as a contractor or an independent phlebotomist, you may want to consider a business owner’s policy. Essentially, it’s an insurance policy that covers both general liability, and property insurance. It’s a combination that will keep your business, and yourself, protected as you grow.
Plus, it is typically a less expensive option that either of those types of insurance individually. While it may not offer every aspect of full coverage, it will provide you with some protection as you get started. Because of its low cost, it can also help you to put that money elsewhere into your business. This can be a great option if you need equipment, marketing materials, etc.
The best way to get started with a business owner’s policy is to contact an insurance agent you can trust.
Indemnity Insurance for Phlebotomists – A Necessary Protection
Again, being on your own as a phlebotomist has many perks. The opportunities are endless, and you’ll be able to expand your horizons every day. From meeting new people, to truly saving lives, independent or private phlebotomy contractors can have very rewarding careers. But, with rewards come risks.
By choosing a solid insurance policy that can help to protect you, you’re securing your business. It’s easy to get carried away in the ‘personal’ aspect of what you’re doing as a phlebotomist. But, seeing yourself as a small business changes things. Once you start looking at what you do from that standpoint, you’ll be able to grow and become more successful. But, all small businesses need the right type of insurance. Because you work in the medical field, it’s even more important that you have strong coverage.
Be sure to do your research on what type of insurance would be best for your phlebotomy practice. The sooner you get covered, the better you can feel about saving lives every day.