Perhaps you’re getting ready to graduate high school and aren’t sure what you want to do with your life. Maybe you’re looking for a change of pace and atmosphere. Regardless of your reason for searching for a new career, you’re going to find a myriad of professions that enable you to help others. One often overlooked area of the medical field is phlebotomy. Phlebotomists are specially trained to draw blood for labs and testing and have quite a bit of patient interaction. As a phlebotomist, you’ll be a critical part of the health care team. Here are some things you’ll need to know to get started on this rewarding career path. Phlebotomy Training is just start of your career.
As a phlebotomist, you’ll be handling needles and hazardous materials, including bodily fluids. Because of this, the field of phlebotomy is highly regulated. Before you consider becoming a phlebotomist, you’ll need to learn about your state’s rules and regulations concerning schooling, certification, licensure, and continuing education. While most states require you to complete a training program and become certified, the actual hours and details vary.
Make sure you are familiar with the rules before you choose a school. For example, you must have a high school diploma or a GED before you can become a phlebotomist. If you are an adult with a criminal record, you’ll need to make sure that record will not hinder your ability to get a certification after your classes are complete.
Choose a Phlebotomy School
The type of program you complete will vary depending on where you live and the state’s requirements. That said, you’ll find that the average phlebotomy program can last anywhere from 4 months to a full year. The length of the program will vary depending upon whether you go to a vocational or job training school or a college program where you may be in school for a longer period of time but will also get additional training.
When choosing a school, you’ll need to take your personal life into consideration as well. Are you able to be a full-time student? Do you have a family who needs your care? Will you be working while going to school? The answers to these questions will dictate whether you attend phlebotomy school full-time or part-time and, ultimately, the length of your program.
Once you’ve graduated from your training program you’ll need to take a formal certification exam. The most esteemed organizations for a phlebotomy certification are the National Phlebotomy Association, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the Association for Phlebotomy Technicians. Talk to your school about your state’s requirements and make sure there is not a guideline mandating which association you must go through. You’ll also want to find out which association employers in your area hold in the highest regard. Once you have that information, you can register for your exam and obtain your certification.
Once your formal education and certification are out of the way, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a phlebotomist. You’ll be able to find work in doctors offices, clinics, labs, and even hospitals. Talk to your school about career placement programs and talk to those you meet during your training and internships. Job opportunities in this field are plentiful and you should have very little trouble finding work.
Entering the field of phlebotomy should be considered a strategic career move. If you’re happy, you can continue working in the field. If you’d like to advance, you’ll already have part of the medical training necessary to work as a nurse or in a plethora of other medical professions. The future is bright. Good luck!
Training in Action (Video clip of someone performing the task)