Healthcare & Medical
Pathology collectors and phlebotomosts gather biological samples such as blood, urine or swabs from patients to aid in medical diagnoses.
What does a Pathology Collector/Phlebotomist do?
Pathology collectors gather biological samples such as blood, urine or swabs from patients for processing and diagnosis. A phlebotomist usually draws blood only.
As a pathology collector or phlebotomist, you would:
- explain to patients what is happening
- deal with people of all ages and with all types of illnesses
- use hypodermic needles to draw blood
- use swabs to collect mucus or DNA samples
- explain to people how to correctly give urine samples
- label all samples accurately
- follow exact procedures to ensure no contamination or mix ups with samples
- deliver samples within set timescales
- follow strict hygiene regulations
- keep accurate computerised records of what tests have been carried out.
Key skills and interests
To become a pathology collector or phlebotomist, you would need:
- good written and spoken communication skills
- a sympatheic and calming nature
- a steady hand
- practical skills
- accuracy and attention to detail
- the ability to follow instructions and procedures accurately
- the ability to work under pressure.
Working hours and conditions
As a pathology collector you would usually work a standard number of hours per week but depending on your role, you may work weekends or evenings on a shift basis. Part-time work should be readily available.
Pathology collectors and phlebotomists work mainly in hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centres, medical centres and doctors’ offices. You would be required to have certain immunisations and follow strict handling guidelines.
How to become an Pathology Collector/Phlebotomist?
Entry Level Education
To become a pathology collector or phlebotomist you usually have to complete a VET qualification in laboratory technology or laboratory operations. You may be able to study through distance education.
You may also become a pathology collector through a traineeship in Laboratory Technology. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Employment of pathology collectors and phlebotomists is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
As doctors use more blood and tissue tests to diagnose illness and disease, hospitals, diagnostic laboratories and medical centres will need pathology collectors and phlebotomists to collect samples and arrange tests.