The medical profession holds a lot of possibilities for a rewarding and profitable future, and phlebotomy certification courses may be just what you need to set yourself on this path for a better future! You truly do have a lot of different choices available to you as you consider entering the medical industry as your career path, and phlebotomy is often an overlooked yet very promising niche in this industry.
A phlebotomist is an expert at drawing blood, and this is a professional who is generally in high demand and has the ability to work in a variety of settings throughout the industry including in laboratories, research facilities, medical offices, and more. Before you sign up to take your course, however, you certainly want to take some time to learn more about what life in this profession would be like as well as what is involved in the training and certification process.
What Does A Phelbotomist Do?
One of the great things about signing up to take this course and pursuing this career as your choice for the future is the wide variety of job opportunities available to you. Of course, as a phlebotomist, your main job in any setting will be to draw blood from patients. These samples will be used for diagnostics and treatment purposes in most cases, and because of this, your job serves a very useful purpose for patients of all ages and levels of health.
Once you have completed your certification course, you essentially will have your choice of job settings that you want to work at. In many areas of the country, phlebotomists are in high demand. Some people have an aversion to this job as a career path because of their own fear of needles or blood, and because of this, once you have taken your phlebotomy course and have your certification, you may be a professional in high demand.
So just where might you find a job? Each job environment offers you a different work experience, and this means that you have a lot of flexibility in finding a job that best suits your personality and work preferences. Some of the options include:
- Hospitals, including specialty hospitals such as children’s hospitals, heart hospitals, and more
- Assisted living and nursing home facilities
- Laboratories and research facilities
- General and specialty medical offices
- Traveling services that visit patients in their homes, places of business, and so forth to collect samples
As you can imagine, some of these job environments are more relaxed and low-key while others are more fast-paced and energetic. Some allow you to travel on a daily basis while others allow you to enjoy a stable work environment each day.
A Phlebotomist’s Salary
Another aspect to consider about a job as a phlebotomist is the salary. You certainly do not want to enter into a job that doesn’t provide you the ability to support your family or the lifestyle that you want to lead. Even if the job is fulfilling, you would eventually become dissatisfied with the job if the pay doesn’t meet your needs. So before you sign up for the course, you should be aware that the general salary range for this job is about $25,000 to $35,000 as a starting pay rate for full-time professionals.
However, there is quite a bit of fluctuation in this salary range. Different factors can affect your actual salary, and some of these factors include:
- The work environment you choose to work in. For instance, an emergency room phlebotomist may pay more than a professional in a general office environment.
- The location you live and work in. For instance, professionals in a major metropolitan area may command a higher fee than those in a rural area.
- The need for your services, and this includes if there is a shortage of professionals with your skills in the area
- If you have any prior background or experience in the medical industry
- If you have a high school diploma versus a two-year or four-year college degree
These are just a few of the factors that can affect your paycheck. The pay is considered to be lower in terms of other jobs available in the medical industry. Yet with the general ability to work in a hands-on capacity with patients, earn the certification in a matter of weeks, and work without the firm requirement of a college degree in many cases, this is an excellent opportunity to earn a living wage in a respectable career.
Are You Right for A Career in Phlebotomy?
While you certainly want to make sure that the job is a good fit for you and the life you want to lead going forward, before you take the course, you want to make sure you are a fit for this job, too. You may be right for this job if:
- the sight of blood does not make you uneasy
- you work well in high-pressure situations
- you are able to take charge of situations and influence people to stay calm
- you enjoy working with people and are a “people person”
- you are comfortable or could be comfortable poking those you don’t know with a needle
- you have the ability to build rapport with others quickly and easily
When you consider if you are right for the job and are thinking about signing up for course, you certainly want to make sure that you are comfortable with the physical tasks the job involves, which is drawing blood from relative strangers multiple times a day. Beyond this, however, there is the “people aspect” of the job, which involves your ability to happily work with people. There may be times when you have to draw blood from those who are severely ill or injured, young infants being held by nervous new mothers, and other such intense situations. Being able to take charge of the situation, keep emotions at low levels, and get the blood drawn for testing and diagnostic purposes is a critical aspect of the job.
Before You Sign Up For Phlebotomy Training Course
Once you have decided that this is the right career path for you and you are ready to sign up for your course, your next step involves doing a little bit of research. First, you will want to research what the certification requirements are for your unique state. Some states have no certification requirements at all. Even if your state does not have a specific requirement in place, you will find that you get preference over other candidates for higher paying and better jobs if you have a certification in hand.
While a handful of states do not have a certification requirement, most states do. Some states require that you are certified through a specific organization while others give you a choice of organizations that you can get certified through. Some of the most recognized national organizations and agencies in this field include:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Credentialing Agency (ACA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
From that point, will then want to research educational facilities in your area or online that offer the certification that you need to meet your own state’s requirements. Phlebotomy certification courses generally only take a few weeks to complete, but this can vary slightly depending on if you take online or live classroom courses, and what the requirements are for your state.
You will also want to verify that you have the prerequisites in place to take your phlebotomy certification courses and to become certified. In most states, the requirement to earn your certification involves having a high school diploma or GED, and passing the certification exam. Your phlebotomy certification courses are designed to prepare you for the exam. There are a handful of states, however, that do require you to have at least some college hours under your belt, and some even require at least a two-year college degree to work in the field with a certification.
It is typically pretty easy to find these courses. Most community colleges and trade schools offer these courses. You can often find them in online versions, which allow you the flexibility to take them around your current work schedule and while tending to other responsibilities you may have, such as family obligations. Many people do learn better in a traditional classroom environment, though, and you can generally find the phlebotomy certification courses in this type of learning environment, too.
Taking Your Phlebotomy Certification Courses
Once you have done your research and found out what your state’s requirements are as well as what your educational options are for taking your classes, you are ready to sign up and get started. These courses generally will take just a few weeks to complete, and at the end of the training and education session, you will be ready to sign up to take your certification exam!
While the course generally can be completed quickly, they are rather intensive and cover quite a bit of valuable information that you will need not just for your exam but also in a real-life setting to work effectively and successfully in your future job as a phlebotomist. Here are just a few of the many topics that will be covered in your training:
- an overview of human anatomy and physiology
- techniques for drawing blood, which include minimizing pain, finding the right vein to draw from, and special situation cases such as drawing blood from infants and babies
- strategies for building rapport quickly and calming down those who are nervous or fearful of needles and blood
- how to work with biohazards common with the job like blood samples, syringes, and more
- working with common medical devices and equipment
- medical records and orders, including how to read them and charting basics
These and other topics are covered in detail during most certification courses. While the courses are short in length, they are very in depth and you will want to allow plenty of time to study during the length of the course as well as to prepare for your certification exam after the courses are complete.
After completing your phlebotomy certification courses, you can then sign up to take your exam. The exam generally will take just a few hours to complete, and afterward you will need to wait for your exam results to be sent to you. After you receive confirmation that you have passed your certification exam, you can then begin applying for a job in this field and start working in the medical profession as a phlebotomist!
Room for Career Advancement As A Phlebotomist
Many medical professionals use their phlebotomy certification as a starting point for a great career in the medical industry. You may work as a phlebotomist for a few years, and then decide that you want to expand your horizons and branch out into other areas of medicine. As a phlebotomist, you will find that you are exposed to a wide variety of different medical professionals, and with this exposure, you may gain new interest in different niches in the industry.
With your phlebotomy certification under your belt, as well as years of experience working in the medical profession, you can then use this as a great starting point for expanding into other areas such as becoming an EMT, a medical assistant, an EKG technician, and so much more. The medical industry as a whole is a rewarding and fulfilling way to earn a living as your unique efforts with each patient help them to find the diagnosis and treatment they need for long-term health and longevity. Whether you continue on as a phlebotomist for the remainder of your working years or use this as a stepping stone for other new and exciting opportunities, you will find that this is a great opportunity to work in a fun, exciting career.
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