• Doctors require blood work to screen for illnesses and diagnose symptoms, but ordinarily, doctors do not actually draw blood necessary for testing. In some cases, this work is done by phlebotomists instead.


    A phlebotomist is a medical professional who uses a needle and syringe to draw blood for diagnostic testing.


    Phlebotomists explain the procedure of drawing blood to patients, clean the area where the blood will be drawn and then locate a vein to take the blood. After the blood is gathered in phials, phlebotomists label and package the blood sample to be sent to a laboratory for testing.


    Phlebotomists often work in physicians' offices, hospitals, diagnostic testing centers and home health care agencies. Some phlebotomists work in laboratories where medical research and clinical trials are conducted, for blood banks and even for insurance companies that require a physical examination before issuing health or life insurance policies.


    In order to perform their work, phlebotomists receive a diploma or associate degree in phlebotomy by attending a program that lasts between nine months and two years. Most states require phlebotomists to obtain a license by passing a written examination before working with patients.


    In November 2009, the average annual salary phlebotomists received for their work was $33,000, according to

    Source: Phlebotomist Salaries

    Guide to Health Care Schools: Phlebotomy Online Career Guide

    Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts: Phlebotomists License

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