Where do Phlebotomists Work?

If you’ve thought about the idea of becoming a phlebotomist, you may have wondered about where phlebotomists typically work, and what their working environment might be like. It’s good to think about things like this, because it may help you decide whether or not phlebotomy sounds like something that you might be interested in, or something that you know isn’t a good career choice for you personally.

Phlebotomists commonly work in hospitals, laboratories (both medical and diagnostic), blood donation centers, and in physician’s offices. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 there were approximately 101,300 phlebotomists working in the US, and of those working phlebotomists, about 40% of them were employed by hospitals, both private and state-run. About 26% of phlebotomists that year were employed by medical and diagnostic laboratories, 18% by other ambulatory health care services, and 9% worked in doctor’s offices (source: www.bls.gov – click here to read more).

As you can see, there’s quite a spread in terms of where phlebotomists work, but the largest number of phlebotomists (nearly half), worked in hospitals in 2012. The second largest number of phlebotomists, 26%, worked in laboratories. If you’re thinking about becoming a phlebotomist, it’s good to see where you might be working so you can have an idea of whether or not it’s something that you might like to do.

With each different employment setting may come different responsibilities and duties. What a phlebotomist does in a hospital setting, might be slightly different than what a phlebotomist does in a blood donation center. For example, in a hospital or laboratory there may be different protocols that must be followed with regard to labeling test tubes compared to a blood donation center. This, of course, depends on the specific protocol of the institution or organization where a phlebotomist works as a well as any applicable state rules and regulations.

No matter where a phlebotomist works, their primary duty is to draw blood and this still typically makes up a large portion of what a phlebotomist does in any given situation, however, phlebotomists may also be responsible for counseling patients, labeling test tubes, and ensuring a sanitary work area and taking steps to prevent infection, among other various duties and responsibilities. It’s also important to keep in mind that phlebotomists working in different settings may have different scheduling requirements. For example, a phlebotomist working in a hospital might be required to work night or weekend shifts, where a phlebotomist working in a doctor’s office that is only open during the week may be able to work more standard hours. Again, this may depend on the specific institution or organization where a phlebotomist is working, as a well as a number of other factors.