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Career profile: Phlebotomist

Career profile: PhlebotomistThought only doctors and nurses worked in the NHS? There is a whole range of jobs out there for people at every level of education. Here you can get the lowdown on what a phlebotomist does and how you can become one.

A what?

A phlebotomist is trained to collect blood from patients, which can then be examined in laboratories.

On the job

Phlebotomists are responsibility for taking blood without harming the patient or disturbing the nursing care they are receiving at the time. They also need to ensure the blood is taken correctly, as if specimens are harmed during collection, test results may be unobtainable or worthless. Once the blood is taken phlebotomists are also responsible for transporting the specimen to the correct laboratory as and when required.

Course entry requirements

There are no specific minimum requirements, although a range of GCSEs would be an advantage.

What does the training involve?

Your training will usually all take place on the job and will include learning to take blood from different patient groups such as children and the elderly.

The aim of the training period is to provide the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge in phlebotomy. As a student you will learn about the different methods of blood collection and how to label samples properly, as well as the role of phlebotomy within pathology (the study of diseases and what causes them).

After training you may be awarded a Certificate of Competence which will allow you to work without close supervision throughout the hospital. The certificate will also be beneficial if you want to work in another hospital.

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