A phlebotomist is a clinical laboratory technician specializing in drawing blood from veins, and in order to do this work properly you will require phlebotomy training. Owing to the rapid aging of the population, the demand for professionals with these skills is increasing, and will continue to increase for the next decade. This means that anyone who undertakes this training can be sure of employment, and an excellent career.
What Do The Programs Involve?
Phlebotomy technician training will involve both theoretical classroom study, and practical hands on experience. The classroom work covers a wide range of topics, including physiology, anatomy, blood composition, medical terminology and the legal aspects of blood collection. On the practical side, you will learn techniques such as venipuncture (drawing blood), skin puncture and resuscitation, as well as patient care, testing samples and infection control.
How Do I Get On A Program?
In order to be accepted for phlebotomy training, you must be a high school graduate, or hold a Graduate Equivalency Diploma. You need to have good aptitude in written and spoken English and in mathematics, particularly algebra, as well as computer skills. In addition, because the work involves interaction with people, you need to possess good interpersonal abilities. Some programs may ask you to provide a letter explaining why you want to pursue this career, along with your application.
When looking for a course, you first need to decide how much time you want to spend in studying. It is possible to enroll on a four year bachelor’s degree program, but most students choose either an associate degree program lasting for two years, or a certificate program which lasts from four to eight months. Alternatively, you can study online, which will provide you with much more flexibility in the amount of time you can take.
There are large numbers of phlebotomy schools all over the country where you can undertake your phlebotomy training. If you are in California, an excellent place to study would be the Center for Prehospital Training at the University of California, Los Angeles. This would provide you with a qualification that would be recognized everywhere, and would make it very easy to find work. You must ensure that whatever program you apply to is approved by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
What Happens Afterwards?
Not all states require certification as a condition for practicing as a phlebotomist, but even in the states where it is optional, it makes sense to be properly qualified, as it will greatly improve your career prospects. In order to obtain the required credentials, you will have to pass a national exam, which is accredited by one of the national certifying organizations. These organizations include the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the American Association of Medical Personnel (AAMP), and the American Medical Technologists (AMT).
The prospects for jobs in this profession are excellent, as phlebotomists are required in all hospitals and clinics, in order to free up nurses and doctors for their own specialized work. You can expect a starting salary of at least $15,000, and this can rise to as much as $50,000, as you gain in experience and acquire more qualifications. Completing your phlebotomy training will qualify you to work in a wide variety of settings, and can be your first step in a satisfying and worthwhile career.