How to Become a Phlebotomist – Success Stories from Real People

When someone asks how to become a phlebotomist in this economy, it’s hard to give a good answer.

Finding a new job is never easy. For the past two years, the average length of unemployment has been over 37 weeks.

Despite these conditions, dedicated individuals who put in a little extra effort can land a new phlebotomy job. Even without experience.

In this “How to Become a Phlebotomist” series, we’ll feature interviews with a variety of professionals including:

  • Job seekers who quickly got phlebotomy job offers in this economy and without prior experience.
  • Hiring Managers who reveal the most common mistakes people make during the job hunt
  • Established phlebotomists who have experienced phlebotomy careers in a down economy

Expert Interview #1 – How a Former Finance Professional Became a Phlebotomist in Months with No Prior Experience

Today, we’re happy to interview Alan Doyle, a new phlebotomist who landed his job within a few months. And with no experience in the medical field.

how to become a phlebotomist

Alan Doyle quickly flipped his career from finance to healthcare within months

Thanks for agreeing to interview with us Alan. Can you tell us a little about yourself? You have a very surprising background…

My name is Alan Doyle, I’m 36 years old and started my working life as a police officer in a small town in Georgia. After a few large life events, I decided to move to California where I got involved in banking. I have been involved in many aspects of the banking world most notably my fraud career.

My father became ill in Tennessee which prompted my move from California to Tennessee. After working for a year for a credit card processor, I was laid off. I was unemployed for 8 months during which time I took the phlebotomy class.


You had a career focused on finance for years. What specifically inspired you to choose phlebotomy as your next job?

I chose phlebotomy because of the length of the class (3 months in Tennessee) and because I love helping people. I also chose phlebotomy because it is in healthcare and healthcare is almost recession proof.


What do you feel are your short, medium, and long-term goal with your career in healthcare?

My career goals are very simple, my short term goal is to hone my phlebotomy skills at my current job. My medium term goal is to continue my education to become a nurse. My long term goal is to eventually become a flight nurse for a trauma helicopter.


In an economy where most people can’t even get an interview, how did you land a phlebotomist position so quickly? And without any experience in medicine?

Landing a job with no phlebotomy experience was tough. I had to think outside of the box and think about other options rather than the doctors offices and hospitals. I thought about the places that may not have the most desirable working hours which is how I ended up with my current job.

If I have any advice to give, it is to think outside of the box, blood donation centers, plasma centers, anything other than hospitals and labs to get your foot into the phlebotomy field. The problem I always ran into was experience.

With unemployment so high, what are most jobseekers doing wrong? And how can they fix their mistakes?

The one constant for all job seekers in today’s market is to make yourself stand out. Be friendlier than other applicants, don’t be afraid to tell your interviewer that you are open to change to fit what the employer needs. Job seekers can not be timid in interviews, you really have to sell yourself not only as a worker but also as a person, tell them who you are.

The main goal in an interview is a connection with the interviewer and yourself, when asked if you have any questions, ask them about their experiences in the health care industry. Ask them about a funny story, anything to build a connection and make you more memorable.


I noticed you’re a nationally certified phlebotomist. Which certification do you have, and why did you choose it over the others?

I am certified through the National Healthcareer Association. It is the certification provided by my school after you completed your class. I would advise students to research which certification is the most widely excepted in their area and go for that one.


It seems like you got certified fairly quickly. Can you walk us through the timeline of your certification?

The timeline of my certification was that I had gone through my three month training program and then took my certification program. During my training we did at least 100 sticks, learned capillary blood extraction, blood pressure, and all of the written knowledge such as order of draw and what tests go with what tubes.


What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give someone who wants to quickly get a phlebotomy certification?

The only advise I can give to quickly get a phlebotomy certification is research all options, price doesn’t always mean quality. I was able to get my phlebotomy certificate and certification for a little over $500.00. Markets are different every where but do as much research on your prospective school. See if they offer job assistance, what their placement rate is, see if they offer clinical training (my school didn’t). Be persistent, memorable, and think outside of the box when job hunting and a phlebotomy job is just around the corner.

Many thanks to Alan for this interview! If you enjoyed Alan’s story and want to share your experience with Phlebotomy, please contact us! We’re always happy to hear the stories of other phlebotomists! Also, if you want to know more about being a phlebotomist, click here and read on.

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