Phlebotomists work with patients and take, draw, and label blood in order for medical testing to be completed. Individuals who are interested in a career in the medical field and are not bothered by working with blood may be well suited for phlebotomy. There are several steps to take in order to become a phlebotomist. These steps include obtaining certification and licensing. Phlebotomy can be a rewarding career for individuals who are interested in working closely with patients and medical professional teams.
Phlebotomists must first obtain a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) certificate. Classes that relate to biology, anatomy, and science are useful for individuals working in phlebotomy. After obtaining a high school education, you may attend a phlebotomy school or program. Generally, phlebotomy training usually takes one year. Classes related to the phlebotomy program can usually be taken through a community college or a technical college. Phlebotomy programs will require some in-person work, as you need hands-on experience working with patients.
Prior to choosing a phlebotomy program, you should ensure that the program is accredited. The main accreditation agency for phlebotomists is the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Attending an accredited program will ensure that your education will be useful throughout the United States. Certain states have slightly different educational requirements for phlebotomists. Attending an accredited program will ensure that you are able to be prepared for your job through learning the best practices related to phlebotomy.
Applying to Become a Phlebotomist
After you’ve decided which program you would like to attend for phlebotomy, you must apply. You will submit an application, recommendation letters, an essay, and transcripts. The essay you complete should state your reasoning regarding why you would like to be a phlebotomist. After you are accepted into a program, you will attend classes that give you training regarding blood collection, safety, and storage. You will also attend classes that give you background knowledge regarding human anatomy. While you attend classes, you will also engage in practicum training. Practicum training may include an internship in order to meet the number of face-to-face hours you must have to obtain certification. Keep in mind that certification may not always be required, but usually allows for an increased salary and other work opportunities. Phlebotomists must also complete approximately 100 venipunctures that are successful in order to become certified.
After completing your program, you may apply for certification. Certification requirements may differ depending on the type of certification you seek. In order to become a certified phlebotomy technician, you typically must complete 20 hours of phlebotomy classes and have a certificate from an accredited program specializing in phlebotomy.