If you have a fear of needles, this is not the type of work for you. A phlebotomist works with drawing blood from patients.
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There are three levels of trained phlebotomists: limited technician, technician I, and technician II. A limited phlebotomy technician is the most basic level of phlebotomist.
All three levels require a high school diploma or a GED in order to get into the classes. A limited technician must have 20 hours of classroom training and 25 supervised skin punctures. A technician I must have 40 hours each of class room instruction and clinical practice. During the practice, they must do 10 skin punctures and 50 venipunctures under supervision.
A technician II must be a licensed technician I and have had at least 1040 hours of clinical experience in the past five years. They must also have completed 20 arterial punctures and have a letter written by an approved practitioner that says this has happened.
Application and Costs
The application process changes from course to course. Tuition costs – and what the covers – will as well.
At Central Main Community College, the phlebotomy class is $475. This cost includes the materials and the books. The classes in this course will cover collecting specimens, safety guidelines, health guidelines, the relationship between the patient and the technician, and more. Full information is available on the school’s website.
For a smaller class, visit Crooked River Adult and Community Education Center. The phlebotomy lessons here are kept small. Tuition is a little more expensive at $795. Entrance testing includes vaccinations for hepatitis B, varicella, TB, and tetanus. The office does the entrance testing. Students must also have a high school diploma or equivalent GED and proof of vaccination.
Phlebotomy Services offers an online training program – but the in person portion is only offered in three states a month. The tuition is $899, and a late fee of $50 is added if you register less than three weeks later. If more than three people from the same company or service register, $50 is taken off the fee.
The course goes over three days. The first two cover techniques and terminology online. These must be done to be able to attend the in person portion on the third day – no exceptions.
Maintaining and Renewing Your License
Everyone who is a licensed phlebotomist must renew national certification every two years. In addition to paying renewal fees, you must have completed six hours of continuing education training. This means three hours a year, at least. Every licensed phlebotomist also needs to show the certification or identification card in a prominent area in the work space – whether that’s an office or an ambulance. You will also be documented for competency annually.
For phlebotomy technician Is and limited technicians, reviews of skin punctures will be done monthly. These will be supervised.
If you are moving soon, it would be wise to look up state specific things. Many don’t require a national certificate, but do treasure those that get the certificate.
Salary and Jobs
An entry level job can earn a newcomer $21,000 a year. Higher end jobs earn $43,000 or more. It all depends on three things: where you work, who you work for, and where you live. Higher living costs can inflate a salary, and lower living costs can deflate a salary.
In Maine, the median average per year for a phlebotomist is $32,077. The lowest median payment is $25,901. The highest payment is $38,879. These are right around average numbers for the nation, and that’s a good thing.