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Phlebotomy technicians are primarily responsible for the collection and preparation of blood samples for laboratory testing. Phlebotomists are mainly employed in hospital and clinic settings, but sometimes work in nursing homes, private home care, the insurance industry or research institutes.
The field of phlebotomy continues to expand and is now much more than collecting blood samples. Today's phlebotomists must be aware of the types of tests requested, the importance of the timing of blood collections in some instances, medications that the patient is taking that could interfere with testing, and the effects of diet on the patient's specimen.
Some phlebotomists may be called upon to perform other duties, such as collecting donor blood, performing bleeding time tests (on occasion), performing therapeutic phlebotomies, point-of-care testing and specimen preparation.
Phlebotomy is a rapidly expanding field with excellent career opportunities. Hospitals are the primary employer of phlebotomy technicians. Other areas that employ phlebotomists are clinics, private physicians' offices, research centers, and other areas where invasive procedures are performed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income for phlebotomists nationally is $14.86 an hour, which is $30,910 a year. Earnings are dependent upon a candidate's experience and work history.