The Draw of Phlebotomy

by Anna Johnson

August 21, 2018

Phlebotomists draw blood for tests, transfusions, donations, or research. A phlebotomist might also explain procedures and assist in the recovery of patients with adverse reactions. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*Net), the most important work activities of phlebotomists include:

  • Dispose of biomedical waste in accordance with standards
  • Collect biological specimens from patients
  • Maintain medical records
  • Prepare medical instruments or equipment for use
  • Clean medical equipment
Phlebotomy Education in Oregon

In Oregon, typical education required to enter the occupation is a short-term certificate obtained through a community college or private career school. In addition, while it is not required by the State of Oregon, many employers prefer candidates to hold a phlebotomy certification, which can be obtained upon examination by a number of agencies, including the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP). The phlebotomist certification exam leads to a designation as a Phlebotomy Technician.

Phlebotomist Wages

The median (50th percentile) hourly wage for phlebotomists in Oregon in 2018 is $18.84. If a phlebotomist worked full time (40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year), on average the annual wage would be about $39,500. Wages vary across the state of Oregon, with the Lane County area having the highest average annual wage ($42,130) and Southwestern Oregon having the lowest average annual wage ($32,869).
Phlebotomists Employment in Oregon

Traditionally, jobs in health care have been fairly secure, even during the recession. Phlebotomy is no different. This occupation will continue to thrive as more tests are developed to diagnose illness and blood donations continue to be needed.

In 2017, 2,085 phlebotomists worked in Oregon. By 2027, there are expected to be 2,492 phlebotomists employed in Oregon. In addition to these 407 new positions being created over the decade, there are expected to be 2,308 replacement openings that will need to be filled. Replacement openings are not newly created positions, but are positions that currently exist and will need to be filled because the current employees will leave due to reasons such as retirement or a major occupation change.
Phlebotomy Employment Highest in Hospitals and Surgery Centers

In Oregon, 94 percent of phlebotomy employment occurs in the health care and social assistance industry. The phlebotomists employed in this industry are mostly found in general medical and surgical hospitals. Phlebotomists can also be found in medical and diagnostics laboratories and in the offices of physicians. Substance abuse clinics, psychiatry facilities, and scientific research centers are specialty areas where phlebotomy jobs are also present.

Phlebotomy Rewarding for the Patient-Focused Individual

While a person could enjoy a rich career as a phlebotomist, some eventually become supervisors or instructors. Other people have found that phlebotomist jobs are a stepping stone to administration jobs or a supplemental skill leading to other health-related employment areas, such as nursing.

There is no question that a successful phlebotomist must be ready to spend time with a wide variety of individuals in uncomfortable situations and let’s face it, be okay with the sight of blood. But the benefits to this career include never having the same day twice and the opportunity to calm folks in stressful situations, all while enjoying a rewarding job in health care.

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