If you are not panic-stricken by the sight of blood, phlebotomy may be the perfect career choice for you. As a phlebotomist, you will work within various health care facilities, providing assistance to doctors and nurses. In order to work in this flourishing position, you will need to obtain phlebotomy training.
When choosing a phlebotomy program, you should choose a program that meets all of its state accreditation requirements. As a phlebotomy student, you can expect a combination of in-class (or online) and in-lab training. The demand for phlebotomists within the health care industry is high, and it will continue to grow in the future.
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Types of Phlebotomy Training
In order to become a phlebotomist, you must attend an accredited college or educational institution that offers a state-approved phlebotomy program. These programs generally last between a few weeks, or a couple of years, depending on the type of phlebotomy program you choose to enroll in. There are various types of training that you could receive, such as:
• Collection donation
• Medical testing
• Administering subcutaneous and intramuscular injections
• Working with IV lines
Training and Education
The training and education that you receive will depend on the type of phlebotomy program that you enroll in. Expect to learn more when enrolled in a two year program, in comparison to a three or 12 month certification program. You could also enroll in a four-year medical science degree program in a related area. The hands-on training that you receive will teach you how to obtain blood specimens by micro-collection and venipuncture techniques. You will also be trained on how to collect and process other clinical specimens.
The coursework and training that you receive in a phlebotomy program will prepare you to work in a physician’s office, hospital, laboratory, and other health care settings. Some of the courses that you will take in this program include:
• CPR and First Aid
• Laboratory and Communication
• Medical Terminology
• and more…
Certification & Licensing
Most employers will only hire a phlebotomist that has certification or licensing. In the states of California, Nevada, and Louisiana, all phlebotomist must be certified in order to practice. There are several organizations that offer professional certification to students once they have successfully completed their phlebotomy program. In addition to exam questions, phlebotomy certification testing will typically include drawing blood, as well as other practical components.
These organizations offer certification for phlebotomists:
• American Medical Technologists
• American Society for Clinical Pathology
• National Center for Competency Testing
Qualifications & Requirements
The requirements and qualifications necessary to work as a phlebotomist will vary from employer-to-employer, and state-to-state. To begin working in an entry-level position, you will generally need to complete a one or two-year phlebotomist program; however, if you want to move into higher-paying positions, including a management role or medical lab technologist, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree.
The primary job for a phlebotomist is to draw blood with the purpose of being used for various medical laboratory testing. There are a variety of job types that you could possibly qualify for once you become a certified phlebotomist. Those jobs include:
• Traveling services
• Medical offices
• Assisted living facilities
The type of organization that you work for will typically determine your salary as a phlebotomist; as well as the location of your job, and the type of education and certification that you have. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a phlebotomist is $29,730. The top 10 percent of phlebotomists earned more than $42,600 per year.
Employment & Job Outlook
The outlook for phlebotomists is great, and the need for this type of position is expected to grow by 27 percent over the next few years. The demand for phlebotomist to draw blood work in hospitals, blood donor centers, diagnostic laboratories, and other professional settings will increase each year.