Steps to Become a Phlebotomist
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for phlebotomists are excellent as they are in very high demand. Better still, there are hardly any chances of the demand dropping in the future. Many people looking to make a career in the medical field tend to choose phlebotomy, and for very sound reasons too. For one, the study course usually extends over just a few months and is economical too. Also, salaries are pretty decent.
How much you could earn would depend on your years of work experience, your expertise level and the state where you’re working. But generally, average salaries for a year vary from a little above minimum wage levels to around $40,000 or above. For instance, in 2010, the median salary earned by phlebotomists was $29000. They can find employment in hospitals, medical laboratories, doctors’ offices, and blood banks. Now read on, and we’ll take you through the steps required for becoming a phlebotomist.
1. Do the necessary research about Phlebotomy
First of all, do a thorough research of the job requirements and what exactly is involved in phlebotomist jobs. You might already be aware that phlebotomists are the technicians who collect blood for having it tested or for blood donation purposes. Therefore, they need to know everything about finding veins for blood collection, handling needles, tubes, and bags and other such equipment associated with blood collection.
Find A School But beyond this, phlebotomists have to know how to interact with sick people, gather information from them, label equipment properly and carry out different procedures. If patients are nervous, phlebotomists should have to calm their fears and explain the procedure involved to them. All this is taught to students who enroll for training courses. Some good sources for getting authentic information would be the Center for Phlebotomy Education, the Better Business Bureau, and your state department of health.
2. Find the right Phlebotomy training course
Provided you have completed high school, you have several options for embarking on a career as a phlebotomist. If you want to take the training course route, a number of community colleges as well as technical schools offer a 2-year associate degree program in phlebotomy or a short certificate course. If you check the website of the National Phlebotomy Association, www.nationalphlebotomy.org, you’ll find it has 75 accredited hospital and also postsecondary programs. Around 50 programs are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Another option would be to get on-the-job training at for-profit institutes, medical centers, hospitals and also the armed forces.
Typically, phlebotomy courses last from 4 to 6 months, though some may be shorter or a little longer, depending upon the level of training and the kind of certification offered. During the phlebotomy training classes, you will receive both theoretical knowledge as well as practical training.
3. Get licensed or registered in your state
The requirements and procedures may vary from state to state. Some states don’t have licensing requirements for practicing phlebotomy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, suggests that phlebotomists should check with their state health department or their respective occupational licensing board.
4. Get Phlebotomy Certification
On completion of a training course or acquiring on-the-job training in phlebotomy you could get certified by taking the phlebotomy certification exam conducted by any nationally recognized association. The exam involves a written test for checking your theoretical and practical knowledge of phlebotomy. Certification is a crucial step for career advancement so don’t skip it even if phlebotomy certification is not legally required in your state.
Follow these steps about how to become a phlebotomist, and earn a steady income for your future.
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