Are you a compassionate and empathetic person who can comfort and reassure people when they are sick or scared? Are you careful and detail-oriented? An entry-level career as a phlebotomist in a clinic, hospital, lab or doctor’s office may be just the job for you.
1. Be Patient
People of all ages and walks of life are afraid of needles, squeamish about blood, or get anxious when it’s time for a blood draw. As a phlebotomist, you will need to be able to work with any or all of these individuals. Job #1 is putting the patient at ease — even the difficult, angry, and emotional ones. It will be up to you to gently help them accept the procedure and walk away with a good experience.
You — and your patient demeanor — may mean the difference between a patient who conquers their fear of bloodwork, and one who continues to shy away from needles, doctors, or hospitals.
2. Be Caring & Compassionate
Do you love to help others? Are you a people person? Phlebotomists work with different types of people every day, demonstrating kindness and understanding in the face of fear and uncertainty, helping patients to relax and manage their fears or discomfort.
If you enjoy being around strangers, are comfortable and considerate, or even thrive in an ever-changing environment with people who may be having a tough time, then being a phlebotomist may be perfect for you.
3. Be Careful & Detail-Oriented
Phlebotomists have a very important, complex job to fulfill. Your work must be accurate and you must be cautious because you may see dozens of patients in a day and they are all counting on you to perform your job well. You will need to remain detailed, accurate and safe, even when under pressure.
The correct amount of blood must be drawn, without fail, according to the doctor’s order. The patient’s identity needs to be verified. All tubes and samples must be properly labeled and distributed to the correct location for testing. Every procedure must be followed meticulously — there is no room for error!
A formal training program, like the Phlebotomy Technician program available at U.S. Colleges, is crucial for laying the foundation for your career as a phlebotomy technician. But because you may be the person in your facility to interact most often with patients, take the time to learn and cultivate additional characteristics like patience, compassion, and accuracy. While your main responsibility is to collect blood samples from patients, your job is not possible without those important people skills.