Someone who is considering phlebotomist jobs should be extremely well organized and responsible. Phlebotomy jobs require good near vision, hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and very steady hands. Naturally, phlebotomists are people who are not squeamish about handling blood or other bodily fluids or materials.
The ability to process information, follow directions, and adhere to established procedures are very important requirements for all medical personnel, but especially for phlebotomists who are required to handle blood and other substances that may be infectious or hazardous. Fortunately, following proper protocols for collection, transport, and disposal of biohazardous materials dramatically reduces the chances of medical workers being exposed to or contracting contagious diseases.
Following proper protocol is not only a safety issue but it may have legal implications as well. Phlebotomists must have the ability to pay strict attention to detail when labeling, handling, transporting, and storing specimens. Blood specimens become a permanent part of an individual's health record and mistakes can easily become life-threatening or seriously damage your phlebotomy career.
Another desirable quality for a phlebotomist is a calm personality and the ability to relate well with patients. Many people become anxious or frightened around needles or at the sight of blood. A good phlebotomist is able to reassure patients and help them remain in control until the procedure is complete. Very young children and elderly adults present special challenges, not only in terms of helping them stay calm but also in selecting and implementing age-appropriate blood collection techniques.
Some phlebotomy jobs require recording vital signs and updating medical records. In these situations, the phlebotomist may need to demonstrate good typing and computer skills for data entry. Most phlebotomy training courses include instruction on measuring pulse rates, taking blood pressure, and monitoring respiration. They nearly always include a course in emergency CPR as well.
Finally, a phlebotomist should be genuinely interested in helping other people and be committed to staying current with new developments in his or her field. Most phlebotomy certification agencies require continuing education for renewal.