What they do:
Phlebotomists collect blood for donation or testing so the blood can be analyzed in a clinical laboratory. These blood tests are used to diagnose illness, evaluate the effectiveness of medications and to determine whether a patient is receiving proper nutrition.
In addition to knowing how to properly collect blood, a phlebotomist must also ensure that all equipment is properly sanitized before used to collect blood, label all blood samples correctly, and properly store and transport all blood samples.
Helpful skills include:
Phlebotomists must be extremely accurate and careful. In a busy facility, they may take dozens of blood samples during a typical shift. They must be able to work under pressure without sacrificing accuracy or safety.
Many patients are afraid of needles, so the first job of the phlebotomist is to put the patient at ease. Phlebotomists must be able to handle difficult, emotional and even angry patients.
Fine motor skills are needed to successfully insert a needle into a vein. Phlebotomists also must be well-organized, with extremely good attention to detail.
Phlebotomists are generally supervised by a clinical laboratory technologist or other medical professional.
A two- or four-year degree is not required to practice phlebotomy. Typically, phlebotomists can start their careers after four months to a year of education. However, before you pick up your first vacuum tube, you should consider where you want to end up. Certain degree programs will offer you more opportunities for advancement than others.
There are three degree levels an aspiring phlebotomist can choose from:
Phlebotomy certificate: 6 months – 1 year
Associate Degree: 1-2 years
Bachelor’s Degree: 3-4 years
If you're looking to enter the phlebotomy field as quickly as possible, you should focus entirely on the physiology, equipment, technique, procedure, and terminology of the profession. A certificate program will focus on these aspects exclusively. Such a program will mix lecture and lab time in order to provide a brief academic experience that segues into a clinical rotation meant to provide practical experience.
Associate degree programs offer you the opportunity to expand your general education as well as your phlebotomy skills. If you want to have greater flexibility after graduating, you should consider this option as a way to prepare for eventual positions as a medical assistant or laboratory technician.
At the bachelor's degree level, a phlebotomist is preparing for a supervisory role in the phlebotomy field, or even an eventual position as a medical technologist.
Keep in mind that individual states, hospitals and practices all have different standards in terms of what is sufficient training to work as a phlebotomist. You can check USA.gov to check the qualifications in your state.
What they make:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the median annual wage for phlebotomists was $31,630 in May 2015.
Where they work:
Community health centers
Blood donation centers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow 25% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers, and other locations will need phlebotomists to perform bloodwork.
Updated February 2017
Teens often abuse prescription drugs because of the myth that these drugs provide a medically safe high.
It is estimated that major depressive disorder (MDD) affects about 5% of adolescents, and that between 10 - 15% of adolescents have some symptoms of depression at any one time.
Statistics show that giving a teen a credit card does not teach them to be financially responsible or to encourage self-restraint, but actually promotes a “spend now and deal with the consequences later” mindset.
Girls are more likely to intentionally abuse prescription drugs than boys.
The reality of excessive interest rates and fees that often accompany credit card use for teens, can put youngsters in a position where they are losing out on admission to graduate school, getting a job, or renting an apartment because of damaged credit history.
Less than 33% of teens with depression get help, yet 80% of teens with depression can be successfully treated if they seek help from a doctor or therapist.
Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for all persons age 6-33, and about 45% of these fatalities are alcohol-related crashes.
About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year.
30% of teens with depression also have a substance abuse problem.
Freshmen bring an average of $1,585.00 in credit card debt to college.
About a third of women who seek services related to unprotected sex, such as pregnancy testing or emergency contraception, do not receive STD counseling, testing, or treatment.
7-10% of college students will drop out of school because of credit problems.
Teens with untreated depression are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, leading to higher rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Most smokers begin smoking as teens, and the average age of initiation is 12.5 years of age.
People with manic symptoms and Bipolar Disorder II are at a significant risk of later developing an alcohol abuse or dependence problem.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for 36% of all deaths in this age group.
The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is the highest of any industrialized democracy, nearly twice that of Great Britain and 10 times that of Japan. 4
Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use, and male high school students are more likely than female students to rarely or never wear seat belts.
A national study of women ages 15-44 found that women were almost twice as likely to receive contraceptive services rather than STD services.
The teenage pregnancy rate in the U.S. is at its lowest level in thirty years, down 36% since its peak in 1990. Research suggests that both increased abstinence and positive changes in contraceptive practice are responsible these recent declines in teen pregnancy.
A sexually active teenager who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year. 8
In the United States, at least 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders. 11
Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2005, 38% were speeding at the time of the crash and 24% had been drinking.
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds overall. 16
Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. 22
One in four teenage girls in the U.S. had at least one common sexually transmitted disease.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youths ages 15 to 20. 19
The highest Chlamydia rates occurred among women ages 15 to 19 and 20 to 24.
About 44% of rape victims are under age 18. Three out of every twenty victims (15%) are under age 12. 25
Each year, half of all HIV infections are among people under the age of 25.
Crash risk is particularly high during the first year that teenagers are eligible to drive.
One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes. 23
Teen girls ages 15-19 have the highest Gonorrhea rate of any age group.
The motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16-19 is more than one and half times that of their female counterparts.
More than four in 10 young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 - nearly one million teen pregnancies a year 3
The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers; the risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in this country. More than 400,000 Americans die from tobacco-related causes each year, and most of them began using tobacco before the age of 18.
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group.
Underage drinking costs the U.S. more than $58 billion every year; enough to buy every public school student a state-of-the-art computer.
At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers.
Teens who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crimes and sexual assault, have serious problems in school, be involved in drinking-related traffic crashes, and develop problems with alcohol later in life.
Nearly all the poison deaths in the U.S. are attributed to drugs, and most drug poisonings result from the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs.
Alcohol kills 6.5 times more youth than all other illicit drugs combined.
Persons aged 15-24, who represent only 14% of the U.S. population, account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) among females.
Among young people ages 12-17, prescription drugs have become the second most abused illegal drug, behind marijuana.