Phlebotomy schools and training in Kentucky - A brief overview
The job of a phlebotomist is not as obscure as the odd-sounding name may suggest. Phlebotomists draw blood from patients for tests, donations, transfusions and research. Phlebotomists may also explain procedures to patients and assist in their recovery if the patient has a bad reaction to the needle. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), phlebotomists and other medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians should have compassion and an attention to detail, as drawing blood from someone requires an ability to precisely use a needle and the compassion to calm down patients who are nervous or in pain (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012).
The tools and technology a Phlebotomist uses
Phlebotomy requires a precise use of tools to ensure safety and accuracy. Here are just two of the tools you'll need to use as a phlebotomist:
- Tourniquet - This is used on patients to control bleeding by compressing a blood vessel. The tourniquet allows the blood to flow easily into the collection tube. It looks like a bandage and is placed directly near the vein that the phlebotomist wants to take blood from -- often on the arm. It stays on during the duration of the blood draw.
- Needle - This is arguably the most important tool a phlebotomist uses. Before sticking it into the vein to draw blood into the collection tube, the phlebotomist makes sure the needle is clean. The vein area in which the phlebotomist is inserting the needle must also be clean, which requires swabbing the skin with a disinfectant wipe. These needles come in many sizes so that they can be used on a wide variety of patients. Finger pricks are also an option for some patients who dislike needles.
Kentucky phlebotomist - Programs and job information
There are a number of schools offering phlebotomy training in Kentucky (especially in Louisville), as well as phlebotomist jobs. This makes the state an excellent place to pursue a phlebotomist degree and career.
According to the BLS, as of May 2012 there were 1,910 phlebotomists in Kentucky, making an hourly mean wage of $12.86 and an annual mean wage of $26,750 (BLS.gov/oes, 2013) . In west Kentucky nonmetropolitan areas, there were 240 phlebotomists, earning an hourly mean wage of $12.29 and an annual mean wage of $25,560, as of May 2012 (BLS.gov/oes, 2013). Kentucky is ranked fifth by the BLS for having the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for phlebotomists, behind Rhode Island, Arkansas, Maine and West Virginia (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). The BLS projects the employment of phlebotomists and other medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians to grow by 11 percent nationally between 2010 and 2020, which is about average compared to all other occupations (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). The increase in an aging population will require the expertise of phlebotomists and other medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians in Kentucky and the rest of America to use and maintain the needed equipment for treating medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cancer, the BLS reports.
Phlebotomists are needed throughout the state pretty regularly, whether as part of the advanced medical care provided by the University of Louisville Hospital or at a smaller doctor's office in west Kentucky. In fact, Kentucky has 130 hospitals, according to the U.S. News & World Report. One of the hospitals is nationally ranked (University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital) and seven others met strong performance standards (2013). In addition to these hospitals, there are plenty of doctor's offices and medical offices in Kentucky who hire phlebotomists. After finishing at one of the phlebotomy schools in Kentucky, you'll have a number of hospitals and medical offices to which you can apply, making Kentucky potentially a good choice for new phlebotomists interested in launching a phlebotomy career.
Sources and Further Readings:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012, March 29, 2013, "Phlebotomists," http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319097.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Kentucky, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ky.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2013, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, April 6, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm#tab-1
AMT (American Medical Technologists), Phlebotomist, 2013, http://www.americanmedtech.org/Certification/Phlebotomist.aspx