Become an Phlebotomist for Animals

How does one become an phlebotomist for animals – veterinary phlebotomy training? Phlebotomists generally work with human subjects. One of their main job duties is to collect blood from infants, young children and adult patients. A phlebotomist who prefers animal subjects, however, need not be discouraged from pursuing this profession as their services are also highly needed in the veterinary field.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for support professionals in veterinary medicine is predicted to grow 52 percent over the next eight years (until 2020). When compared to the need for allied health professionals in human medicine, this growth rate is much higher. Overall, the need for veterinary phlebotomy training is going to be much more urgent as the field expands much faster than all other occupations.

This growth rate can be attributed to the fact that there is a growing population of pet owners. These clients generally consider their pets as important members of the family and devote a good portion of their resources to pet care as compared to those in the past.

Additionally, there is a forecasted need for public veterinary medicine in the next few years, and this will further drive up the need for support professionals in animal care.

This trend implies that there will be more need for veterinary assistants. A veterinary assistant or technologist performs a host of duties around the clinic, and collecting blood samples is just one of them. This means that a current practitioner who wants  to shift to pet care and become an phlebotomist for animals – veterinary phlebotomy training would have to comply with the requirements of the veterinary field (and not of the phlebotomy field).

To be a registered veterinary assistant or technician, a (certified) phlebotomist would have to complete coursework in veterinary technology and sit in for certifying or licensing exams (state requirements vary). Veterinarians prefer assistants who are highly skilled not only with needles but also with other tasks such as operating the ultrasound equipment, administering sedatives to animal patients, managing the clinic and even keeping the books. Hence, training in animal care and not just in venipuncture (making incision in the veins) is required to fulfill these job duties satisfactorily.

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            Formal training and even certification in phlebotomy is in fact an advantage for someone who wants to shift careers. For one, animals are more challenging to handle compared to human subjects, given the prospect of getting attacked when animals are handled improperly. An innate understanding of animal anatomy is definitely essential, but so is deft handling of blood collection instruments. Veterinarians would most likely prefer someone with such training over veterinary assistants without.

            The best time to switch careers to the veterinary field is now. The need of the industry is emergent such that anyone with even the most basic training is readily accepted. For a professional with existing certification in human allied health, the advantage is considerable compared to those who are just entering the profession.



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