Phlebotomy training is a must if you’re looking at a health care career involving blood extraction. No, not everyone is qualified to draw blood from others. Not even medical professionals like doctors or nurses.
Individuals who learn to become a phlebotomist are highly-skilled people who have been taught the proper techniques to collect blood samples for either laboratory testing or donations and the training they undergo is intensive hands-on.
Collecting blood from the vein or venipuncture is a skill that can be developed through a phlebotomy training program. But it takes more than skill to be a good phlebotomy technician because you need to have a feel for the job that will often be painful or inconvenient for those whose blood are being extracted. Excellent patient relations are just as important for the job.
If you want to be a certified phlebotomist, you can enroll in an associate or bachelor’s degree program offered at any accredited phlebotomy schools. Or, you can take the quicker and less costly route by completing a certificate course that can last from 12 weeks to one year.
Phlebotomy Training By State
Phlebotomy Training By City
These vocational programs are available at community or technical colleges, hospitals or private medical facilities. Don’t worry that such abbreviated training will not be sufficient. In fact, the end goal is qualifying for, and passing the phlebotomy certification exam, which aspiring phlebotomists are successful at.
Phlebotomy training starts with the basics – CPR and first aid, for one. It’s necessary because not everyone is comfortable with the thought of their vein being punctured with a long, sharp needle and seeing their blood spurting into a tube for laboratory analysis. It can be an anxiety-ridden experience so first-aid training is a must.
Then phlebotomy classes move onto human anatomy and physiology, blood collection and storage and safety procedures and protocols mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Whatever the length of your training, you will usually spend half in classroom or online instruction and the other half in clinical hands-on training.
Practice makes perfect in Phlebotomy Training
This technician career, more than any other in the medical field, requires an inordinate amount of practice because it is the only way you will learn the skills and acquire the competency to do the job. It goes beyond technique. Bedside manners – making the patient feel as comfortable and safe as possible – are as paramount as the actual procedure of drawing blood.
You can get phlebotomy training online, but a greater part of the program will still have to be spent in a laboratory or clinical setting to practice blood extraction techniques, as well as proper collection and storage procedures.
What to expect after phlebotomy training
Although only two states, California and Louisiana, require certification, most employers around the country favor technicians who passed the national certification exam. It’s understandable considering the sensitive nature of the work that patients or donors are fully aware of as it happens. That said certification in hand, and experience likely means you will not run out of employment opportunities after completing phlebotomy training.
Does the job pay well? The average salary of a phlebotomist will range from $10 to $11 an hour. The more experience you gain, the more highly skilled you become and the higher you get paid.
Hospitals pay more than private clinics, and you can choose to up your salary by obtaining a degree in medical laboratory techniques. Mobile phlebotomists, or those assigned to travel to different places to collect blood samples, are said to earn the most but also put in more hours.
So, if you’ve got a strong stomach for blood, have the knack to make people safe and comfortable, are accurate and detail oriented, and have a light touch, then finishing a phlebotomy training course could land you a stable career.