Is phlebotomy a good career choice? It’s certainly a popular choice at the moment.
Due to advancements in technology and equipment, physicians are discovering more from blood samples than ever before. But, they need people to fill the jobs required to work directly with patients and take blood. But, just because it’s currently a popular career choice, is it the right job for you?
You may be seeking an entry level position because it seems like an easy way into the medical profession. But there is much more to this position than many people may realize. Weighing up every option is important when you’re deciding on a long-term career.
It’s important to understand what is required so you can decide if it’s a career that matches your skillset. Let’s take a closer look at the positives and negatives of becoming a phlebotomist.
Table of Contents
- 1 Advantages of a Career in Phlebotomy
- 2 Disadvantages of a Career in Phlebotomy
- 3 Is Phlebotomy a Good Career Choice?
Advantages of a Career in Phlebotomy
Because of the popularity of phlebotomy, it’s not hard to find a certification program near you. If you’re unable to find one, you should ask your local hospitals and clinics as they often have programs available.
Some hospitals will be interested in hiring you if you complete their training program. This is because it will go through their safety procedures, lab rules, etc. It can be a way of getting your foot in the door before you start training.
Some training can even be completed online, as long as you get some hands-on experience.
Training & Certification
A phlebotomy training course will last anywhere from 4-8 months, depending on how much hands-on experience you’re able to get.
Tuition costs range from $2000-$3000. This is a fraction of the cost of a typical college degree, making it a cost-effective way to get started in the medical field.
It’s an entry-level career, but compared to other schooling and training options in medicine, it’s also a quick-entry career. It can give you a lot of great experience and knowledge while you continue to study.
Easier to Find Work
Phlebotomy is a hot career right now and isn’t showing signs of slowing down.
In fact, clinical technician jobs are expected to grow by 16% by 2018. While hospitals may be the first place that enters your mind when you think about training to become a phlebotomist, there are plenty of other options.
You can always look at local clinics, private practices, or even blood banks. Chances are you’ll find a job more quickly than most other entry-level positions.
Because you can enter a career as an independent contractor, you can set your own schedule for the most part. This can be beneficial if you have other things going on in life, like schooling, a family, etc.
However, if you’re used to having a strict daily schedule, this could also be considered a negative aspect. Most people enjoy the flexibility the job usually has to offer, though, since they can work their life’s schedule into their work schedule without too much inconvenience.
A Starting Point
That way, you can build up your skill level and experience while getting the academic credits you need to continue to move up. While being a phlebotomist can be a great job choice on its own, it’s even better if you’re using it as a launch pad for a career in medicine.Other people combine
Other people combine phlebotomy and EKG training, for example, to improve their salary and offer more to their community.
Working with People
This can be rewarding. You’ll meet different patients all the time, and you’ll know that you’re doing something to help them. Something that could potentially save their life if you’re able to discover issues in the blood, etc. These factors can make the job feel fresh and exciting every day.
Disadvantages of a Career in Phlebotomy
While there are less-than-ideal aspects to every job, it’s important to know what you’re getting in to before starting a permanent career. Like anything else, there are some aspects to being a phlebotomist that may be considered drawbacks.
There are risks with almost any job, but when you’re working around medical equipment, sometimes the risks can be greater.
You’re constantly working around needles and blood. If you accidentally get pricked, or happen to get a patient’s blood on you, it can be a dangerous situation. This can usually be avoided with safety precautions and care, but accidents do happen.
The stress level of a phlebotomist will depend on where he/she decides to work.
If you end up working in a small clinic or private practice, it may not seem like such a big deal. But, some phlebotomists who work in emergency rooms, trauma departments, etc., can see a lot of unpleasant things in the work environment.
If you’re at all squeamish or don’t think you could handle emergency-type medical situations, you may want to either take a step back from the career itself or look for a less stressful practice to work.
Injury isn’t the only risk you face when you’re a phlebotomist. It’s actually more common to potentially injure patients. Again, it’s rare, but it can happen if you miss a ven, collapse a vein, or even accidentally hit an artery.
Any of these options can cause everything from nerve damage to internal bleeding. Aside from the patient’s well-being, it could put your job in serious jeopardy.
Phlebotomists stand for most of their job. If you have any prior injuries, problems standing for an extended period of time, back problems, etc., it may not be the right job for you.
Most people wouldn’t consider it a physically taxing job on paper, but it’s far more physical than many actually realize, and it’s not something where you’ll just be sitting down all day.
Working with People
While this also makes the ‘pros’ list, working with people can have a negative, darker side to it as well. Even if you have a pleasant, respectful, and professional attitude with every patient, you’ll undoubtedly come across people who are rude, unkind, and perhaps even irate.
Many people don’t like their blood being drawn, so they can take nerves and anxiety out on you. It’s important to be able to handle people with many different personalities.
Is Phlebotomy a Good Career Choice?
Weighing out the pros and cons of becoming a phlebotomy technician can be an important test to give yourself before you decide if it’s the right career for you.
While it’s a fairly simple career to get into, with affordable training, it can also be overwhelming.
The average salary for a phlebotomist is around $30,000 a year working full time. It’s up to each individual to decide which ‘side’ of the list that amount falls on.
For some, making a salary of $30,000 could be exactly what they’re looking for, while others will search for more. When it comes to entry level jobs, however, it certainly offers more than working in retail, food service, etc.
The need for talented, hard-working phlebotomists isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. In fact, it will only continue to grow over the next several years.
If you think you might not be ready to take the plunge just yet, you can always revisit it at any time if you decide phlebotomy will be a good career choice for you.