How to Get Cross-Training in Nursing and Phlebotomy
Nursing and Phlebotomy are considered two different fields. However, there is no reason why an individual can’t study both and become qualified to practice in either field. This is known as cross training and can be a valuable approach for health care professionals in that may increase their employability. Having two related skills makes a professional seem well rounded, knowledgeable, and competent. Cross training generally refers to the simultaneous study of two different disciplines, or perhaps to their concurrent study in close temporal proximity. Let’s take a look at how this principle would be applied to the fields of nursing and phlebotomy.
Nursing and Phlebotomy
Something should be made clear at the outset of the discussion of cross training in nursing and phlebotomy. This is the fact that these two disciplines are not really comparable as to their breadth, scope, and the amount of study needed for each. Registered nurses have a much longer course of study and the field includes much more than phlebotomy. So to get a sense of the cross training options and advisability let’s look at the education required for each field.
Nurses either get Bachelor’s degrees (4 year degrees), Associates degrees (2 year degrees), or complete dedicated nursing training programs given by hospitals. The latter usually take about 3 years to complete. 4 year degrees are generally known as Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees and 2 year degrees are called Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) degrees. The nursing training programs often result in nursing diplomas.
Nurses perform patient care activities and are also qualified to perform various medical procedures, educate patients, administer medications, and offer patient support. This is a large field that is involved with directly assisting doctors with their activities.
Phlebotomy, on the other hand, is considered a branch of the medical technology field and doesn’t have anywhere near the breadth and scope that nursing does. Phlebotomists perform one fairly simple activity – they draw blood from patients. The blood they draw is then used for various tests in medical laboratories. The training for becoming a phlebotomist is briefer. Phlebotomy courses often consist of 40 hours of training which can be completed over a course of a few months. This training is taken at accredited career schools.
After completing a course in phlebotomy that covers such areas blood collection, handling of samples, patient care, anatomy, and physiology, the student needs to take various certification exams offered by professional organizations such as the American Medical Technologists (AMT), the American Credentialing Agency (ACA), the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). These organizations certify an individual who has completed a phlebotomy training course as being competent to practice phlebotomy in various medical and clinical situations.
Bearing all this in mind, it becomes obvious that cross training in the field simply involves studying both at once, with the nursing education occupying much more time and dedication than phlebotomy, simply because nursing is so much more involved. The following are a few ideas concerning this.
Academic Colleges and Career Schools
An individual may be able to cross train by taking a phlebotomy course at the academic college where they are pursuing a nursing Bachelors or Associate’s degree. They may also be able to enroll at a smaller career school (for instance that offers night classes) at the same time as being enrolled at the college or university where they are studying nursing. Owing to the fact that phlebotomy requires so much less training, it will often be relatively easy for an individual to complete both courses of study simultaneously.
There may also be diploma programs at hospitals that integrate nursing training and phlebotomy. Both fields are in high demand in hospitals, and often hospitals may offer simultaneous courses in them or simply offer two programs that an individual can arrange to complete in a way that is convenient for them.