Blood bank technicians, usually trained as phlebotomists, work with patients in various settings, collecting and labeling blood to be used in transfusions. They must pass a test for national certification and can prove their competency by earning professional credentials.
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Blood bank technicians screen and collect blood from patients. Many technicians earn an associate's degree or certificate that includes phlebotomy training. Blood bank technicians may work in hospitals or clinics.
|Required Education||Certificate or associate's degree with phlebotomy training|
|Licensing and Certification||Licensing is required in some states; certification is voluntary through the National Center for Competency Testing, the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the American Medical Technologists|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||25% for phlebotomists|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$31,630 for phlebotomists|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Blood Bank Technician: Job Description
Blood bank technicians, also called phlebotomy technicians, work in a lab under the guidance of a medical or clinical laboratory technologist or manager. Technicians collect, label and prepare blood, plasma and other components for transfusions. In addition, blood bank technicians consistently interact with the public, conducting interviews and testing samples to screen potential donors.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2015, phlebotomists, including blood bank technicians, earned a median annual wage of $31,630 (www.bls.gov). The BLS predicted 25% job growth for phlebotomists from 2014-2024, which is much faster than average.
Blood Bank Technician: Duties
Blood bank technicians properly store blood draws and maintain documentation and records. Technicians work with patients, making them comfortable during the procedure and monitoring vital signs. Technicians also need to be thoroughly versed in OSHA regulations.
Duties for blood bank technicians vary by state. In California, three different phlebotomy certification levels limit the authorized functions a blood bank technician can undertake, responsibilities increase with each level of experience. Most states do not have such a system, and maintain one level of certification for technicians.
Blood Bank Technician: Requirements
Education and Licensure Requirements
According to the BLS, medical technicians have usually earned an associate's degree or a certificate from a specialty program at a technical school or hospital. Training in phlebotomy covers medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, blood drawing techniques, ethics, safety standards, first aid, CPR and infection control. After graduation, individuals must pass a national examination for phlebotomist certification. Licensure requirements vary among states, and some require licenses or registration through the state health department for laboratory personnel.
Employment settings in the medical field vary greatly, so blood bank technicians may work consistent hours, or schedules could rotate each week with a certain number of required holiday and weekend shifts. Some technicians might be on call, in case of emergency, in addition to regularly scheduled hours.
Blood bank technicians usually hold an associate's degree or certificate in phlebotomy. In addition to having knowledge of medical terminology and blood drawing procedures, they must be well-versed in biosecurity and maintaining a clean and healthy environment for their patients and themselves. Passing a national certification exam is required, and some states call for licensing or registration.