Phlebotomists are clinical support workers who take blood samples from patients, usually in a hospital or clinic setting. They send the samples to a laboratory which are used to help in the diagnosis of illness.
check the requests for blood samples on the computer
explain to the patient what you are going to do and reassure nervous patients
choose the best place to take blood (usually the inner elbow) and tie a tight band (tourniquet) which will help the vein to stand out
select the correct colour-coded bottles (that attach to the needle) according to the number and type of tests required
insert a hypodermic syringe into the vein, attach the bottle and draw off the blood, repeating for each type of bottle required
label the blood sample bottle with the patient’s details and send the sample to the appropriate laboratory
apply pressure and a small plaster over the puncture wound
enter the records on the computer
possibly help out with other laboratory assistant duties.
Under the NHS Agenda for Change pay scales salaries for phlebotomists are on Band 2, £19,609 to £21,615 a year. Senior phlebotomists are on Band 3, £21,709 to £23,603 a year. The current pay scales are from April 2021.
You usually work 37.5 hours a week, Monday to Friday.
You work in outpatient clinics, wards or in health centres.
You might work occasional weekends or holidays on a rota basis.
Part time work is possible.
You might have to work under pressure, dealing with a queue of patients.
You wear a white tunic, plastic apron and plastic gloves.
There may be a slight risk of a needlestick injury and HIV or hepatitis infection.
You may have to be immunised against Hepatitis B.
There are no formal entry requirements but you may need some subjects at National 4 or 5, or a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) Health Care Support (Clinical) at (SCQF Level 6).
You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
Contact your local National Health Service (NHS) area Board and ask about trainee posts.