Phlebotomy jobs are plentiful, and phlebotomy technician positions are available for those who have a passion for blood draw for medical testing. As of 2018, the job growth rate for this particular position is expected to be high. They also do phlebotomy technician jobs at hospitals and clinical research centers. Most of their jobs require certification or a college diploma, so high school completion or college completion is often required.
This article will explain how to become a Phlebotomist as well as describe the jobs that they do. It will also answer other questions that are frequently asked to help a nursing student explore this career path.
What is a phlebotomist?
A phlebotomist is a medical professional trained to collect blood samples from individuals. They may be employed by hospital blood banks, blood centers, medical laboratories, and clinical research organizations. Their job duties include preparing blood samples for testing, collecting patient information, and providing support to patients who may feel uncomfortable with needles.
In order to become a phlebotomist, one must complete a formal education program, receive on-the-job training, and obtain certification. This education program typically involves training in medical terminology and laboratory techniques as well as hands-on experience in a medical setting.
Phlebotomists must also understand the best strategy for drawing blood. They must follow instructions for different draws, accurately label and deliver drawn samples and handle blood safely and correctly. Apart from these requirements, phlebotomists should also have good organizational skills, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, computer proficiency, and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Phlebotomist?
To become a certified phlebotomist, it is essential to complete a phlebotomy program of at least 120 credits. This program may last three to six months and cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, laboratory techniques, and medical terminology.
A phlebotomy certification exam may also be required before applying for certification. This exam tests knowledge of medical terminology and laboratory techniques necessary to draw blood samples safely. It can take from as little as 8 weeks to less than a year to become certified, with most programs taking 4-8 months to complete. Some phlebotomy certification programs may require completing a clinical internship or hospital certification program.
What Does Phlebotomist Training Look Like?
Becoming a phlebotomist typically entails classroom instruction and laboratory experience, covering topics such as anatomy, medical terminology and physiology. High school or GED diploma holders may qualify for on-the-job training but must be certified and take continuing education courses to adhere to state regulations.
A certificate from a phlebotomy program is often necessary to enter the occupation. Professional certification is preferred by many employers, who view it as an indicator of phlebotomy training and experience.
Tuition and fees for a phlebotomy program vary based on the institution, with certificate programs costing up to $5,000 per year and associate degree programs costing between $7,000 and $16,000 per year.
5 Steps on How to Become a Phlebotomist
If you have the desire to become a phlebotomist, then it’s important that you understand the ins and outs of this career. Here are the 5 steps you must follow to become a certified phlebotomist:
Step 1: Graduate From High School or Earn a GED
If you are interested in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s important to have a high school diploma or equivalent. This credential demonstrates that you have the basic skills and knowledge necessary to fulfill the role of a phlebotomy technician. Besides, completing any remaining studies and taking the GED exam can start your path toward becoming a phlebotomist. A GED certificate can be obtained for $150, depending on your state.
This certification can prove that you have the necessary training and education for the job. You can also be hired as a phlebotomist and trained on the job. If you did not complete a high school diploma, you can still get your GED as an accepted equivalency for schools and jobs.
Step 2: Apply to an Accredited Phlebotomy Program
Credentialing requirements for phlebotomy programs vary by state and can include certification exams such as Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CCPT) exam, NCAT Exam, or ABP Exam. The exam topics vary by certification and may include medical terminology, blood banking and transfusion, anatomy and physiology, blood pressure and hemoglobin measurement, venipuncture techniques, phlebotomy skills and many more.
To become certified as a phlebotomist, it’s important to understand eligibility requirements and certification exam topics. The certifications available vary depending on the testing agency but each one requires applicants to demonstrate proficiency in phlebotomy techniques.
Step 3: Complete a Phlebotomy Program
After completing a phlebotomy program, you must complete a certification exam to become certified as a phlebotomist. The exam is offered by the International Society of Phlebotomy Technologists (ISPT), and candidates must pass both an examination and clinical certification exam.
The general requirements to attend a phlebotomy training course include a high school diploma or certificate program completion, being over the age of 18, a clean background check (no felonies), a negative hepatitis test, a negative tuberculosis test, immunization records, and certification from a postsecondary phlebotomy program or on-the-job training.
This certification can prove your proficiency in drawing bloods and administering medical tests using venipuncture. Employers may prefer candidates who have earned professional certification as it demonstrates proficiency in blood drawing and medical testing.
Step 4: Take the Certification Exam
To become a certified phlebotomist, you must first obtain certification from an organization. Various organizations offer certification exams, including the ASCP, the AAMM, the AMT, and the ACCA. To be certified, individuals with no experience in the field must have a certificate of completion from a phlebotomy training school.
This certification provides them with valuable phlebotomy training and experience that can help them pass the exam and become certified.
Step 5: Earn a Certificate
There are different organizations that offer certification for phlebotomists. Some of the popular ones include the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, American Association of Medical Personnel, American Medical Technologists, and the American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals.
Once certified, individuals are able to use the title of ‘phlebotomist’ to denote their proficiency in this field of healthcare. They are also able to draw on their experience and knowledge of blood collection and processing to pursue various phlebotomy-related jobs.
What’s the job outlook for phlebotomists?
The role of phlebotomist has become highly specialized in today’s high-tech medical field as they are earning salaries ranging from $38,000 to $50,000 per year.
As the job of phlebotomy continues to evolve with technology advancements, job opportunities are projected to increase by 10% from 2021 to 2031, with an average of 21,500 jobs per year. As with any other profession, a phlebotomist’s earnings will depend on their experience and the geographic location of their workplace.
As a phlebotomist, you could be the first person in your family to earn a college degree, or you could be following in a family of phlebotomy professionals. Either way, phlebotomy training reflects the evolving field of phlebotomy and advances patient care.
There are many job titles and settings in this line of work, but the field of phlebotomy itself is constantly changing and evolving. However, with proper training and experience, you will most definitely excel in this field in no time!
What are the duties of a phlebotomist?
As a phlebotomist, your primary duty is to collect blood samples from patients for diagnostic testing and transfusions. This involves identifying the correct vein for blood collection, preparing the site for collection, collecting the blood sample, and properly labeling and storing the sample for analysis.
How long does it take to become a phlebotomist?
The length of time it takes to become a phlebotomist can vary depending on the program you choose and your level of dedication. Typically, phlebotomy programs range from four to eight months, depending on whether you attend full-time or part-time.
Is phlebotomy a good career choice?
Phlebotomy can be a good career choice for individuals who are comfortable working with patients, have strong attention to detail, and are able to work accurately in a fast-paced environment.
Are phlebotomists in high demand?
Yes, phlebotomists are in high demand in many parts of the world. As the healthcare industry continues to grow, there is a growing need for skilled professionals who can perform blood draws and other related tasks.