Phlebotomy is an increasingly popular career choice in the healthcare profession. As a phlebotomy technician, your particular position covers a lot of ground. Not only are you usually one of the first providers a patient sees, but your work can help physicians and lab technicians to discover and diagnose illnesses.
With advancements in technology, phlebotomy is becoming more crucial than ever. The testing methods used by phlebotomists can help to identify the nature of many different health conditions effectively.
Phlebotomists must use their professional knowledge and skills to use the right equipment and practices for drawing blood. They also must be able to work with lab professionals and understand the language and procedures necessary to work in a lab.
But, are there any other health careers that are like phlebotomy? Let’s look at how phlebotomy can be a great springboard for other jobs in the healthcare field. While being a phlebotomy technician can be a career in itself, it can also help you to start on a pathway toward many other medical careers.
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Which Health Jobs Are Like Phlebotomy?
Becoming a phlebotomist is an effective way to get into the healthcare industry quickly. Training typically takes less than a year. Because of this, many people use it as a starting point to advance their career in healthcare through additional schooling.
While there are other entry-level positions in healthcare, there are some that are more closely related to phlebotomy than others. There are career paths that can start a long journey in the medical field. Many of these offer the same types of training structure as phlebotomy. Some of them even include tasks that are also performed by a phlebotomist.
If you’re interested in a career in the medical field, but may want to consider other options, you can choose an alternative path to your career. The following jobs are related to phlebotomy and are careers that are suitable for older adults:
- Medical Lab Technician
- Patient Care Technician
Medical Lab Technician
A Medical Lab Technician has many similarities to a phlebotomist. They work directly in the lab to prepare different specimens for testing. Phlebotomists must also understand lab procedures, and how to prepare specimens properly.
A lab technician must also use similar equipment to that of a phlebotomist, including things like syringes and centrifuges. They use these tools to help ensure a specimen is ready to be examined. They can then discover any underlying conditions or diseases that may be related to a particular specimen.
Unlike phlebotomy, becoming a lab technician does require a Bachelor’s degree. However, it is a fast-growing career field, with a slightly higher starting income than that of an entry-level phlebotomist.
Patient Care Technician
The biggest similarity between a phlebotomist and a Patient Care Technician (PCT) is the use of similar equipment. PCTs must be familiar with venipuncture procedures as well. They are essentially responsible for a variety of tasks in-patient procedures, including hooking patients to proper machinery, taking EKGs, and even dressing wounds and providing oxygen.
Depending on where you are employed as a patient care technician, your specific duties may be different. However, if you’re looking for a position that covers a variety of different procedures and practices, it’s a great place to get started in the health industry.
Like phlebotomy, becoming a PCT requires a specific training course, instead of a Bachelor’s degree from a four-year school. Training is relatively inexpensive and goes by quickly. Some training facilities even allow you to take a PCT course in addition to a phlebotomy program.
This job may have a fancy-sounding title, but a Histotechnologist is simply someone who works with tissue in a laboratory setting. They work with pathologists to prepare body tissue for examining. They examine tissue by performing a biopsy after it is taken from the patient.
Once the tissue is examined, a Histotechnologist can determine if there may be any conditions or diseases associated with it that may be affecting the patient’s health. Phlebotomists do this through venipuncture and blood work. Histotechnologists focus on tissue samples.
Becoming a Histotechnologist requires a degree and certification. However, some places do offer suitable on-the-job training.
Advancing a Career As a Phlebotomist
If you’re interested in moving forward with a career in blood work, but don’t want to consider another position altogether, check for phlebotomy opportunities. Being a phlebotomy technician is just the start for many people. You can stay in the same field and take advantage of many growth opportunities.
One of these promotional opportunities includes becoming a phlebotomy specialist. Becoming a specialist requires several years of hands-on involvement and additional certification training. However, it can put you in charge of a phlebotomy team. It also raises your salary.
One of the best ways to advance your career as a phlebotomist is to continue with different areas of training as often as possible. If your current place of employment doesn’t offer advancement opportunities, consider looking elsewhere. Even making a change in location can make a big difference in how quickly your phlebotomy career grows.
Allied Health Careers That Are Similar to Phlebotomy
When considering a career in the medical field, many factors come into play. People choose phlebotomy as an entry-level position because of its quick training time. However, there are plenty of additional entry-level positions in medicine. Some additional jobs that are related to phlebotomy include:
- Pathology Assistant
- Intravenous Technician
- Dialysis Technician
Any of the jobs listed in this article can be viewed as standalone careers or stepping stones for more advanced jobs in the healthcare field. Many people get into some of these positions and continue training/schooling for other positions.
The most important thing to consider when deciding upon an entry-level job in medicine is what you’re looking for in your career. Consider education cost, time invested, and whether you want to use that job as a starting point, or if a career as a singular position is better for you.