List of Phlebotomist Skills

Phlebotomist Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews

Phlebotomist drawing blood from patient
ERproductions Ltd / Blend Images / Getty Images

Phlebotomists draw blood from patients for tests, research, transfusions, and/or blood donations. They work primarily in hospitals, doctors’ offices, blood donation centers, and laboratories.

Along with drawing blood, they also label the blood for processing, enter information in computer databases, and assemble and maintain all the medical instruments needed to draw blood.

Phlebotomists often explain the procedure to patients, and reassure patients who are nervous.

Sometimes, they also have to care for patients who have an adverse reaction after their blood is drawn.

Phlebotomists require a wide variety of skills. Some of these are hard skills such as knowing how to perform certain medical procedures. Others are soft skills, such as compassion for anxious patients.

Below is information on phlebotomist skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. Included is a detailed list of five of the most important phlebotomist skills, as well as a longer list of even more related skills.

How to Use Skills Lists

You can use these skills lists throughout your job search process. Firstly, you can use these skill words in your resume. In the description of your work history, you might want to use some of these key words.

Secondly, you can use these in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of these skills, and give a specific example of a time when you demonstrated those skills at work.

Finally, you can use these skill words in an interview. Make sure you have at least one example of a time you demonstrated each of the top five skills listed here.

Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully, and focus on the skills listed by the employer.

Also review our other lists of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Top 5 Phlebotomist Job Skills

Attention to Detail
Phlebotomists usually have a constant flow of patients throughout the day. They need to be precise when drawing blood, labeling samples, and keeping track of samples.

Communication
Phlebotomists need to be able to clearly explain procedures to patients, and listen to their questions and concerns. Many patients will be nervous, so clearly explaining what is going to happen will put patients at ease. Verbal communication skills are therefore critical.

Data Entry
Most hospitals and doctors’ offices require phlebotomists to enter patient and specimen information in a medical record database on the computer. Having data entry skills and experience is a big plus for a phlebotomist.

Dexterity
Physical dexterity (or motor skills) is critical for a phlebotomist. Phlebotomists have to work with their hands to handle equipment and draw blood. They need to be able to draw blood quickly and efficiently, with minimal discomfort for patients.

Empathy
Phlebotomists need to have strong interpersonal skills. In particular, they need to be able to empathize with and show concern and care for patients who are nervous.

Empathy will help a phlebotomist interact successfully with patients and their families.

List of Phlebotomist Skills

Read below for a longer list of phlebotomist skills that includes the skills listed above. These skills are divided into distinct categories.

Interpersonal Skills

  • Calming anxious clients
  • Customer service
  • Empathy
  • Explaining process of extracting samples to clients
  • Instructing patients regarding proper urine collection
  • Listening
  • Maintaining confidentiality
  • Persuading reluctant clients to cooperate with collections
  • Positioning patients
  • Properly identifying patients

Personal Attributes

  • Accuracy
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to detail
  • Collaboration 
  • Communication
  • Continual learning
  • Critical thinking
  • Dependability
  • Dexterity
  • Listening
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Mathematical skills
  • Multitasking
  • Organizational skills
  • Prioritizing assignments  
  • Problem solving
  • Speaking clearly
  • Stress management
  • Time management
  • Working quickly

Technical Skills

  • Adhering to government regulations
  • Applying tourniquets
  • Basic life support
  • Calculating quantity of blood needed 
  • Close vision
  • Collecting blood using proper technique and protocol
  • Data entry
  • Decontaminating puncture site
  • Documenting all procedures
  • Following infection control guidelines
  • Identifying abnormal cells
  • Learning new software
  • Locating appropriate veins for blood collection
  • Maintain specimen integrity
  • Maintaining lab equipment
  • Manual and finger dexterity
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Minimizing waste of supplies 
  • Ordering supplies
  • Performing chemical tests
  • Preparing specimens for transport to laboratory
  • Promoting workplace safety
  • Properly labeling specimens
  • Reading and interpreting medical documents
  • Reading color chemical reactions
  • Receiving pre-collected specimens from clients
  • Recording data
  • Responding to emergency situations
  • Safely disposing of blood and bodily fluids
  • Spanish
  • Sterilizing collection site
  • Suggesting ways to improve quality and efficiency of blood collection
  • Taking vital signs
  • Testing blood for drugs
  • Tracking specimens
  • Transporting specimens to laboratory
  • Venipunctures
  • Writing reports, correspondence and policies

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