How to Become an Independent Phlebotomist


Phlebotomists, who draw blood from a vein for the purposes of tests and cultures, traditionally work in a hospital or laboratory setting, where they take blood from patients either in their room or as they come in for their tests. Branching out on one's own is not impossible, however, and a phlebotomist can establish an independent career. Attending an accredited training program is required; if you plan to go independent, seek accreditation from the American Society for Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) or another association.

Things You'll Need

  • Reliable transportation
  • Business cards
  • Well-written form letters
  • Think creatively. Although you can draw blood at a lab and hospital, other reasons exist for drawing blood and performing tests. Many insurance plans require a blood test, and many agencies need a phlebotomist to go to high-level client's homes or offices and draw their blood. Also, offices and schools often require blood tests for drug- and alcohol-related tests.

  • Establish yourself with a lab. Many laboratories are chains; begin by finding out which ones would be comfortable accepting blood draws not performed in their facility. When you find one that will work with you, establish a professional and friendly relationship. Go in person to meet the lab employees, and bring treats such as cookies or candy. Make the lab your best partner in business.

  • Find clients by writing a form letter that you individualize to each potential client and send to insurance offices, schools and businesses. Highlight your skills as well as the convenience you will create by performing the blood draw where the client works or lives. Stay on the "high end" client side, since you'll need to charge a larger fee for the service ($25 to $100) than a walk-in lab would charge.

  • Establish billing. Send out invoices, and keep your books for your business. Purchase or download a billing program for your computer. Stay on top of your accounts receivable, and make those tough collection calls.

  • Hand out business cards. Keep your business card should professional, and avoid "cute" cartoons or artwork. Think of yourself as a medical professional---because you are.

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