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How to become a phlebotomist

Posted on: 24 Aug

A career as a phlebotomist can be extremely rewarding, and it’s more accessible to get into than may other healthcare roles. On top of this, it’s a sustainable career within the ever-growing healthcare industry, providing job security and a wealth of opportunities all over the UK, Europe and beyond.

All of this makes phlebotomy an appealing option for anyone looking for a stable, in-demand healthcare career where you can make a difference with every patient you see. Find out everything you need to know about how to become a phlebotomist:

Getting started

One of the best things about choosing phlebotomy as a career is that it has no set entry requirements. This is in stark contrast to other healthcare disciplines such as nursing, where you need years of experience and degree qualifications to start practicing.

According to the NHS, trainee phlebotomists usually need at least two GCSEs or equivalent, and some employers may ask for a BTEC or equivalent vocational qualification in healthcare or health and social care. Trainee phlebotomists receive on-the-job training, and occasionally there are even opportunities for trainee phlebotomist and healthcare assistant apprenticeships. Another pathway into this career is by gaining pathology laboratory experience whilst working in an assistant or support role, or simply by gaining paid or voluntary experience in any health or social care setting. At IQVIA, we look for venepuncture training phlebotomists and healthcare assistants who are IT literate and confident working autonomously, although different employers have different requirements.

Progressing

Once you’ve secured a trainee phlebotomist job, you’ll undertake theoretical and practical training including how to take blood from different patient groups, different ways to take blood, how to label samples accurately, general anatomy and physiology and health and safety. You’ll become accustomed to taking samples from different age groups and people with specific requirements, including those who may be uncomfortable with needles and blood. This makes it essential to develop strong interpersonal skills so you can help make patients feel comfortable and at ease.

Some phlebotomists become members of the National Association of Phlebotomists and the Institute of Biomedical Science, both of which offer networking opportunities, training and conferences. With time and experience you may progress to a role as a senior phlebotomist, team leader or manager, taking on more complex work and overseeing the work of others. If you complete further training and qualifications, a phlebotomy role can be a stepping-stone into other science and healthcare professions such as nursing or as a healthcare science practitioner. Although you will be required to complete additional training and education to move into these areas, phlebotomy experience is a great door opener within the medical field.

Become a phlebotomist with IQVIA

At IQVIA, we're seeing high demand for phlebotomy and healthcare assistant roles available all over the UK. These professionals are working as part of the Covid-19 Infection Survey to support blood and swab testing in local communities. If you’re a qualified healthcare assistant (HCA) or phlebotomist, with experience in venepuncture, you’ll find plenty of options for your next job. View the latest phlebotomy jobs and register with us to find out more.