Phlebotomy is a sector of the medical industry that is responsible for blood samples. Phlebotomists are people who are specially trained to obtain blood samples from patients in hospital, clinic, mobile, and home settings. Phlebotomists typically work in the blood collection clinics or pathology departments in hospitals, and while certification is not required by all states, it is highly recommended in order to be competitive and obtain employment in your chosen field. Like many areas associated with medical support positions, there are a number of training options to get employment including university degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Choosing the right program for you depends on your career goals and aspirations. Here’s a number of things to consider before choosing the right phlebotomy course for you.
Phlebotomy Training Classes
There are a number of routes one can take to start a career as a phlebotomist. You should consider whether you want to work strictly as a specimen handler, taking blood and other samples from patients, or if you want to include phlebotomy as part of a nursing career or caregiver career. Many phlebotomy training programs incorporate a number of required skills such as how to accurately identify a patient for specimen collection; how to properly prepare equipment for sample collection; how to correctly label samples for testing and follow up; how to keep yourself safe and others around you when handling specimens from people; and how to actually obtain specimens, including blood, from a patient. Your day-to-day life as a trained phlebotomist will differ depending on your location: hospitals tend to be very busy, while nursing homes are more quiet. Walk in clinics are often overcrowded and mobile clinics are more predictable as those patients typically book appointments. You can also work for insurance companies who travel to and from homes of people who have applied for medical insurance and need samples collected of their blood and urine to qualify for insurance coverage.
Is a Career in Phlebotomy Right for Me?
If you enjoy interacting with many different people every day in a medical setting, or if you think you would be interested in a career that sees you working with people from all over your area, then a career in phlebotomy might be the right choice for you. In order to work as a phlebotomist, you should be comfortable touching people in close proximity, comfortable handing biological samples, including blood, and you should be comfortable dealing with people who may become uncomfortable or anxious about having their blood drawn, especially children. You might want to think about the kind of setting you would like to work in, such as a hospital or even insurance companies. If you are reliable, can be accountable for important information and specimens, and understand that samples are vital to helping patients get better or determine diagnosis, then you might want to be a part of the health care industry as a phlebotomist.
How Can I Train for a Career in Phlebotomy?
While there are a number of states that do not require formal training to obtain a job as a phlebotomist, it is highly recommended that applicants apply to and complete a phlebotomy training program so they can be competitive in the market. This is a highly stable and sought after area of the job market and the training programs vary in length to accommodate the different needs and wants of those pursuing a career in phlebotomy. When choosing a certification program, pick a phlebotomy course that offers exam preparation; hands on training, as well as informational learning sessions. There are also a number of distance options available for people who can’t travel to learn the skills they need to get a better job, and there are part-time and night classes held in some parts of the country to accommodate those who wish to upgrade their skills while keeping their day jobs.
How Long Does it Take to Complete Phlebotomy Training Courses?
The time required to complete a phlebotomy course depends on the type of course you enroll in. If your course is distance learning, you may have to take several years to complete all of the modules and complete the practical exercises to become certified. If you enroll in a full-time, face to face program, you can be finished your training program between 6 weeks to 8 months, depending on how in-depth your program is. It will be important for you to check your local regulations related to hiring phlebotomists before enrolling in a training program to make sure your program meets the needs of your local hospital and medical clinics.
Is There a Phlebotomy Certification Exam to Become Employed?
There are a number of associations that require new and experienced phlebotomists to take a written test before they can become certified with the association. While association membership is not mandatory, it does look favorably on an applicant’s resume when applying for jobs in the field. The more robust someone’s application is, the more likely the candidate is to get the job. Membership means you have completed a number of hours of venipuncture (drawing blood), and have a certain number of hours of training in class and in person behind you. Some associations welcome brand new phlebotomists, but generally, exams are required for these as well. Don’t be surprised if your potential employer asks you to take a phlebotomy certification test to determine your range of knowledge and skillset. This is common in the medical industry and should be expected.
Whatever phlebotomy training course you choose, remember that you are entering into an exciting and rewarding career. You aren’t just drawing blood from patients; you are part of a vast network of people who help thousands of people get better and determine diagnoses so they can work to get better. You will be a step in the chain that keeps the health care system running, and you can take pride in knowing your work will matter to many people.