What does a Phlebotomist or Phlebotomy Technician do?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Phlebotomists draw blood for tests, transfusions, research, or blood donations. They are also called upon sometimes to explain their work to patients and provide assistance if patients have adverse reactions after their blood is drawn.

Phlebotomists typically do the following:

  • Draw blood from patients and blood donors
  • Talk with patients and donors to help them feel less nervous about having their blood drawn
  • Verify a patient’s or donor’s identity to ensure proper labeling of the blood
  • Label the drawn blood for testing or processing
  • Enter patient information into a database
  • Assemble and maintain medical instruments such as needles, test tubes, and blood vials
  • Keep work areas clean and sanitary

Phlebotomists primarily draw blood, which is then used for different kinds of medical laboratory testing.

In medical and diagnostic laboratories, a patient’s interaction is sometimes only with the phlebotomist. This makes it critical for a phlebotomist to be considerate of patient’s needs and a good communicator.

Because all blood samples look the same, phlebotomists must carefully identify and label the sample they have drawn and enter it into a database.

Some phlebotomists draw blood for other purposes, such as at blood donation drives where people voluntarily give blood.

To avoid causing infections or other complications, phlebotomists must keep their work area and instruments clean and sanitary.