If you’ve always dreamed of helping people in the healthcare field but don’t really want to be a doctor, being a phlebotomist may sound more rewarding.
However, before you make this jump, there are various things you need to consider.
The good news is that weighing the pros and cons will help you determine if this is an appropriate fit for you.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being a Phlebotomist
- Cons of Being a Phlebotomist
- 16 Pros and Cons of Being a Phlebotomist – Summary Table
- Should You Become a Phlebotomist?
Pros of Being a Phlebotomist
Here are some of the biggest advantages of becoming a phlebotomist:
1. Stable Income
If you have dreams of becoming a phlebotomist, you can count on stability.
Earning a steady and great income is a part of being a phlebotomist.
On average, phlebotomists earn $35,510 annually.
Depending on where you work, this salary may be higher or lower.
However, the only thing that matters is that your income will be stable which can lead to other possibilities for you in the future.
Depending on the type of facility you work for, pursuing a career as a phlebotomist allows you to have flexibility in your schedule.
You may end up working anywhere between 8 and 12 hour shifts.
But, the more hours you work at a single time, the more days you’ll have off. Having this type of flexibility in your work schedule enables you to have more freedom to spend with family and friends.
3. Various Setting Options for Work
Options for work settings are endless when it comes to being a phlebotomist.
The career is interestingly versatile.
Some work settings that you could possibly work in are outpatient hospital units, inpatient hospital units, infusion centers, urgent care, doctor’s offices, labs, and more.
You are guaranteed to find a job in the setting you want after receiving your phlebotomy license.
4. Training Costs are Low
Training costs to become a phlebotomist may be the talk of the town.
However, training costs are relatively low in comparison to other healthcare careers.
But, the costs will vary depending on the school and state you are in.
On average, training costs can vary anywhere between $300 to $1,400 for a single phlebotomy program.
On the other hand, if you were pursuing a career as a nurse practioner, you could spend anywhere between $81,000 and $185,280.
This is a big difference.
5. Short Training Hours
Even if you believe training is long, well, for most healthcare careers, it is.
But, phlembotomy training classes are an exception.
You may put in anywhere between 40 and 80 in-class hours and between 20 and 40 clinical hours.
This short duration of hours allows you to get to where you want to be in no time.
This is also a good option for those just getting their feet wet in the medical field but still have plans to advance their careers in the future.
6. Work Varies
Everyday you will be faced with different challenges.
This is a career that never gets boring.
Even though you will be drawing blood on a daily basis, you will run across different faces.
The environment is totally diverse, which is what makes being a phlebotomist a plus.
Additionally, you will tend to always find your days even more interesting in your work environment.
7. Opportunities for Travel
Another huge pro of being a phlebotomist is being able to travel.
If you’re someone that has always been looking to travel, this may be the perfect opportunity for you.
Travel assignments could be all over the country.
Phlebotomists are in high demand, and your presence and services could easily be needed in another state.
8. Take Skills to the Next Level
As a phlebotomist, you have plenty of opportunities to advance your career and take it to the next level.
For example, if you are interested in becoming a teacher, you could use your expertise and knowledge to educate other future phlebotomists.
Helping others to ensure they are well-equipped with the social skills and other skills they need to become a phlebotomist can go along well with your job.
Cons of Being a Phlebotomist
Of course, with any pros, there are always cons. Here is a list of cons of being a phlebotomist:
1. Exposure to Germs
If you are afraid of bodily fluids, this may not be the ideal career choice for you.
Coming in contact with various bodily fluids is a part of being a phlebotomist.
However, you will also be exposing yourself to different germs and contagious illnesses.
Blood, itself, can also contain pathogens that you could become infected with.
You will also come across patients that have contagious illnesses such as COVID 19, tuberculosis, and many others.
Many people shy away from being a phlebotomist for this very reason.
They are afraid of becoming infected with various germs and diseases.
2. Work Hours are Long
You may find yourself working long hours as a phlebotomist.
Some medical facilities may have you working 10 or 12 hour shifts at a single time.
This doesn’t include working holidays, nights, and weekends, something you may not be up to doing.
So, not only are your work hours long, you will have to adjust to working a mixture of hours and days.
Every day will not be the same.
If you have a family or small kids at home, you may want to rethink whether working holidays and long hours is ideal for you.
3. Needlestick Injury Possibilities
Phlebotomists use needles to draw blood from a patient’s veins in order to collect a sample.
But, there is always that risk of needle stick injuries.
This is a type of injury that can happen even before you draw blood from a patient.
It may also occur after you have drawn a patient’s blood with a used needle.
This can be frightening, especially if you are new to the medical field.
Furthermore, you may also be faced with possible patient injuries.
While they don’t happen often, they do occur.
If you don’t know what you are doing, or are unable to find a vein, you can injure your patient.
This may result in a lawsuit, which can add even more stress to your job.
4. Come Across Challenging Patients
Most people don’t like being stuck with needles.
But, this is your career.
So what does that mean?
It means that as a phlebotomist, you will come across different types of patients in different types of moods.
Some may come across as angry or perhaps even rude when it’s time for you to draw their blood.
Patients that may already be in pain may not liken it to the fact that they have to endure more pain while having blood drawn.
For this role, you need to always make sure that your bedside manners are on point.
This ensures that no matter what type of patients you encounter, you will always be able to maintain your emotions while still dealing with them professionally.
5. On Your Feet All Day
If you’re not used to being on your feet and standing all day, this may not be a great profession for you.
You will be on your feet almost the entire day as a phlebotomist.
This is another disadvantage.
You will move from one patient to the next throughout your day inside of the facility you are working in.
And, if you work in a hospital setting, you may have to go up various floors and walk long hallways all day long.
You will definitely stay fit and active in this role.
6. May be Stressful
It’s easy to feel under stress with any type of job.
You may also feel as if you are being pulled in various directions as a phlebotomist.
Patients will require different labs that must be drawn.
This can make it feel as if you are juggling too much in a single day.
Sometimes, patients may even need to have labs drawn at certain times in the day.
If you can’t keep up, you may find yourself burnt out pretty quickly.
7. Training Costs
With any career, you will have to go through training.
Training isn’t free, so be prepared to pay a nice chunk of change to receive your phlebotomy license.
If you haven’t gone through training just yet, now is a great time to figure out how you will pay for your program.
Related training costs to become a phlebotomist make being one a huge disadvantage.
8. Draw Blood on Children
Depending on the facility that you are working in, you may find that drawing blood on children becomes apart of your normal job duties.
Drawing blood from children can make your job even more difficult because they will be much more skirmish than adults.
Additionally, children have smaller blood vessels, making them much more challenging to find.
16 Pros and Cons of Being a Phlebotomist – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Phlebotomist||Cons of Being a Phlebotomist|
|1. Stable Income||1. Exposure to Germs|
|2. Flexibility||2. Work Hours are Long|
|3. Various Setting Options for Work||3. Needlestick Injury Possibilities|
|4. Training Costs are Low||4. Come Across Challenging Patients|
|5. Short Training Hours||5. On Your Feet All Day|
|6. Work Varies||6. May be Stressful|
|7. Opportunities for Travel||7. Training Costs|
|8. Take Skills to the Next Level||8. Draw Blood on Children|
Should You Become a Phlebotomist?
So, should you or should you not become a phlebotomist?
The answer really depends on whether you can handle the cons on top of enjoying the pros.
This isn’t a job for those who are looking for a job in the healthcare industry, yet can’t stand the site of blood.
If you’re good with different types of people and okay with being on your feet for long hours, this can turn into a rewarding profession.