Phlebotomy Training and Certification Guide

Phlebotomy Technician Overview

A phlebotomy technician is a healthcare professional that is responsible for drawing blood from patients and preparing it for further medical testing. Phlebotomy technicians are primarily stationed in doctor’s offices or hospitals, and will routinely work directly with patients and families. Because some patients have a fear of needles or blood, it is important for the technician to develop a sense of confidence and trust with the patient. Some states require a technician to be licensed or registered, while others do not. Because of the nature of the job, excellent communication skills are required to thoroughly explain procedures to patients. The average salary of a starting phlebotomy technician is $36,400. Phlebotomy training and certification procedure is relatively cheap compared to other medical professions.

phlebotomy Career Guide

Phlebotomy certification is done through the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT). The cost to take the certification exam is $55. It is common for registered nurses to start out in phlebotomy in order to gain their training in the field up front before pursuing their chosen careers, mainly because phlebotomy is a requirement in many nursing professions.

Job Description of Phlebotmist

The activities of a phlebotomy technician are primarily hands-on, with the exception of tasks such as analyzing specimens and other computer automation. But, for the most part, their job involves physical duties more so than mental. The amount of responsibility a phlebotomist has is based primarily on the amount of education and experience they possess. Salary is typically based on the same factors, as well.

What is Phlebotomy

Here are some of the examples of tasks performed by a phlebotomy technician:

  • Assembles the tools/equipment necessary for the procedure. This involves blood collection devices, needles, alcohol, gauze and bandages, tourniquet, etc. Usually these are assembled on a work tray on a per-patient basis.
  • Verify the identity of the patient and confirm medical records are correct. Maintains a sense of comfort with the patient to instill an environment of trust.
  • Responsible for locating the vein and swabbing with disinfectant, then withdrawing the blood into a collection tube or bag.
  • Once the blood is drawn, the tech will then treat the punctured area and label and record the sample collected.
  • Other duties can include pricking the finger to draw blood, taking vital signs, interviewing patients, withdrawing test samples to screen donors at a blood bank, etc.
  • As you can see, a phlebotomy technician is required to learn a specialized skill and master it. Handling blood at a hospital or doctor’s office is not taken lightly, and can be very dangerous if not performed properly. A phlebotomy training can help with certificaton and career progress as long as the employee is willing to take the necessary steps and put in the effort to get there.

How to get Phlebotomy Certification ?

One of the best and most frequently asked questions regarding phlebotomy is how you can go about becoming a certified phlebotomist. To answer this, it is critical to start by looking into the specific requirements in your state. Some states, like California, have very strict education and experience requirements for certification, while other states, such as Arizona, do not have any state mandated requirements at all. It is important to realize, however, that even if your state does not have specific requirements, your best chances for employment will almost certainly come from gaining certification that shows that you already possess the skills and expertise needed to do the job properly.

If you are interested in gaining phlebotomy certification, you will want to start by seeking out accredited programs in your area. There are some online certification programs that offer valuable learning experiences as well as the chance to gain clinical experience in a lab or clinic near you. Hands on experience should always be a part of any quality certification program, and when you are able to find a course that enables you to learn how to physically draw blood, handle samples and specimens, and perform vital first aid measures, you will find that you are much better prepared to enter into your job search.

Should I Become a Certified Phlebotomist?

Wondering whether the decision of becoming certified phlebotomist right for you?  This is certainly not a job for people who are afraid of needles or who panic at the sight of blood. It is also not ideal for people who are not healthy, as it frequently involves performing tests on sick patients. If, however, you are a healthy individual who can handle blood and needles, it is certainly a great paying career that offers a significant number of opportunities to those who are able to do it properly.

When you become a certified phlebotomist, you will find that you get to interact with a variety of patients of all ages. This is a great option for people who have strong social skills and who are capable of helping people to feel calm and relaxed in stressful situations. Many phlebotomists also find that the career leads them to want to further their medical studies down the line, with many becoming nurses or even doctors. The medical industry is certainly recession proof and it is one that will always be in high demand. If medicine seems like a good fit for you and you are seeking a job with many opportunities and significant stability, why not consider the idea to become a certified phlebotomist. There are certainly many perks, and the health care field is a top place to work given today’s economy, especially in hospitals that offer excellent health care benefit packages.

The Red Cross is certainly a great location for a certified phlebotomist, and there are also a large number of jobs available at hospitals around the country. Many phlebotomists also seek employment within clinics and doctor’s offices around the country. Diagnostic labs and other facilities also regularly employ phlebotomists.

The Employment Outlook for Phlebotomists : After you have received phlebotomy certification, you will find that there are a large number of job opportunities available. According to the bureau of labor statistics, jobs within this field are also expected to rise rapidly within the next decade or so. Most of the available jobs will still be found in a hospital setting, but other phlebotomy jobs will see a sharp increase as well. Employment opportunities and job prospects are predicted to be quite excellent, and the number of available positions is expected to remain larger than the number of people seeking these positions. For employees who are willing to relocate, the job prospects increase even more.

What Does Pay Look Like? : According to the BLS data from the year 20012, the average salary of a certified phlebotomist in a hospital or private clinic was $12.50 per hour. For those employed within a physician’s office or laboratory, the pay average increased to $13.00 hourly. This is certainly well above minimum wage and is considered to be an excellent wage when considering the relatively minimal schooling and education required to obtain the necessary certification to become a licensed and registered phlebotomist.

An average phlebotomist salary is around $35,000 per year. At the entry level, you can expect to have anywhere between $25,000 and $35,000. Then, when you reach a superior level, you can expect to earn anywhere between $45,000 and $75,000.

Phlebotomy-Salary-Graph

Phlebotomists working in big hospitals earn generally more than those working in small clinics or physician offices. Also, phlebotomists working in specialized laboratories such as mobile collection service can earn up to $18.00 per hour.

There are several factors that impact the level of a phlebotomist salary:

  • Geographical location. In general, the East Coast states such as New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut pay higher. West Coast states, especially California also pay good salaries, as well as any large metropolitan area.
  • Work Setting. There is some variation of salary weather you work in a hospital or if you are a traveling phlebotomist for example. You need to consider though not only the pay, but also the fit of such work with your lifestyle preferences.
  • Level of work required. Workload varies in different jobs and so does the pay. If you work for example in an emergency room, you will need to draw blood much more than someone working in a small medical office.

Is There Room to Advance? : For many individuals, a career path is chosen based on the amount of room for advancement within the field. While advancement opportunities are minimal with phlebotomy, it is possible to become a lead or managing phlebotomist within many employment circles. Many who have gone to school to gain phlebotomy certification later work to increase their education and training and continue on to become nurses or other technologists. Additional education is typically required to achieve new job titles and positions, but phlebotomy certification is an excellent option for opening career doors within the medical field and offering sustainable employment within a booming industry.

Phlebotomy Training Program

In order to pass the certification exam, you will need to follow a phlebotomy training, to acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge at a satisfactory level. The information is pretty much the same, irrespective of the certification organization you choose.

There are many private training schools and colleges that offer classes and certification programs. Depending on the program you choose and on your state specific requirements, the classes usually take between three weeks and six months.

Some people don’t even attend a phlebotomy school to take  classes, as they actually worked in the field  for a long time. Still, they need the credentials to get a better job or to be able to keep their current one.

Phlebotomy Certification Tips

Phlebotomy is the practice of drawing blood through veins and arteries for the purpose of donation, sampling, or medical testing. Phlebotomists are in high demand in hospitals, clinics, and offices around the country these days, and the career prospects for these professionals are expected to increase in the coming years. Today, we will look at some great tips for individuals seeking phlebotomy certification.

Check with Your State First

Every state has different requirements when it comes to phlebotomy certification. Some states require a certain number of both classroom and clinical hours, and some even require that a student perform a certain number of punctures and tests before the certification examination can be taken. Know your state’s requirements and ensure that the certification program you are choosing will comply with all of them.

Accreditation Is Key

Choosing an accredited school or institution is very critical. For states with certification requirements, an institution that is not accredited will not usually count towards education requirements. Even in states with no specific regulations, most employers will not consider a certificate from a non-accredited institution for the purposes of hiring.

ACA Is a nationally accepted accreditation program. For further details you can check Here

Look at the Offerings

Not all phlebotomy training programs are the same, and you want to be sure that the program you choose will leave you equipped to do the job properly. Take a look at the courses and programs on offer and ensure that you are going to gain the skills and expertise needed to make you effective as a phlebotomist from the start. This means looking at courses in patient care, safety, needle handling, anatomy, and more.

Consider Your Personal Needs

Another thing you need to think about when looking for phlebotomy training is to consider your personal needs as well. Most people enrolling in these programs also have jobs and families that they are expected to manage while getting an education. Choose a program that can work with your schedule and that will enable you to study and learn at a pace that is a great fit for you.

Consider Advanced Training

While a limited phlebotomy technician is capable of performing standard blood draws and sample collections, you will find that many states also offer advanced phlebotomy training as well. With this training, you can also administer injections, insert intravenous lines, and even perform arterial blood draws, opening up more career prospects and the potential for a higher pay rate.

Traits of phlebotomist

Understand Education Requirements

Some states require that you take continuing education courses each year in order to maintain this certification. Many states require at least a few hours of continuing education each year to ensure that phlebotomists are up to date on the latest tests and techniques as well as any new diseases or safety protocol that must be considered in the course of this line of work.

Seeking phlebotomy certification can be much easier when you follow these tips. Choosing the right program for your needs is always critical, and you want to make a choice that will open up the largest number of career doors while aligning well with your existing career and personal life. Phlebotomy is an exciting job with an above average pay scale and rapid growth. The medical industry is one of few job industries in the United States that is recession proof, and in a time when many are seeking stability in an unstable market, phlebotomy is certainly a career option that is well worth considering.

The Bottom Line : Simply put, phlebotomy is an excellent career field. There are ample employment opportunities on offer for people who obtain proper certification and who have good patient care skills and standards. The medical field is certainly a high growth industry, and the need for phlebotomists is not one that is expected to diminish any time soon. With excellent wages and fairly minimal training and certification requirements, phlebotomy is an excellent career option for a wide variety of individuals. Certification and licensure can open up a number of job opportunities in various medical settings, and the position frequently leads to further educational advancement and progress throughout the individual’s career.

2 Comments

  1. Hello!

    I am currently wrapping up a phlebotomy course at my local college, and when I am finished, I plan to have an associates in science, as well as becoming a certified medical assistant (plus my phlebotomy certification.) I wanted to keep going up the ladder in my education, and want to start a bachelors program this time next year. Any recommendations as in regards of choosing a major for the bachelors with the above listed education?

    Thanks! Rebecca

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