Phlebotomist

Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would take blood samples from people in hospital so their illness can be diagnosed and they can be treated.

You'd need to have a calm and friendly manner to put people at their ease when they may be nervous and distressed.

The samples you'd take would be important for diagnosing illness. As a phlebotomist you'd need to label the samples correctly and send them for analysis and testing in a laboratory. 

You would:

  • Explain the procedure to patients
  • Reassure patients if they are nervous or distressed
  • Insert a hypodermic needle into the vein and draw off the blood into a tube
  • Apply a dressing to the puncture made by the needle
  • Label the blood sample
  • Deliver the sample to the correct laboratory within required timescales
  • Complete records and enter data on a computer

At all stages you would follow set procedures carefully so that samples are not contaminated or mixed up.

You could work with babies, adults and older people, with a wide range of conditions. You would need to follow the appropriate procedure for each type of patient you work with.

 You can see more about the role on the phlebotomist page on the NHS Careers website.

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work 37.5 hours a week, between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Part-time hours are also often available.

Environment

You would need to follow strict health and safety procedures, including wearing disposable gloves, when taking and handling blood samples. You may also need to have a Hepatitis B immunisation. You would work mainly in hospitals, either on wards or in outpatient clinics.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Following instructions
  • Being tactful
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Accuracy
  • Working with your hands
  • Coping with pressure
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

Most employers value a good general education qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 6; or relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Healthcare Support (SVQ level 2/3).

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects

You will also need

To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show a strong interest in health and wellbeing and science such as Skills for Work Health Sector (SCQF level 4/5) or Laboratory Science (SCQF level 5).

A driving licence can also be helpful.