In the Vein of Phlebotomy: Training for Secure Employment and Technical Expertise
Testing for disease and blood donation are both perennial fixtures in the healthcare industry– they aren’t going away. In fact, the need for such services is exponentially rising. That’s why phlebotomy training is a good investment for a secure and obtainable career. In as little as 10 weeks, you can become a certified phlebotomist and seek employment in a hospital or clinic near you!
While the term “phlebotomy” might sound a little foreign upon first pronunciation (it means “to cut a vein” in Greek), it refers to a rather narrow set of procedures in modern medical practice. Phlebotomy in today’s parlance relates to venipuncture, or drawing blood from a patient’s vein. The primary duties of a phlebotomist are to draw blood and store the samples for lab testing. While this might sound simple, formal training and hands-on experience are necessary to master the skills required to be a successful phlebotomist and earn good money.
More importantly, employers can be quite discerning and often expect and demand their prospective technicians to have state or national certification and some previous experience working in a clinical setting. Although only California and Louisiana mandate certification, other states are increasingly using these states’ requirements as a barometer for their own health care institutions. Certification requires a completion of an accredited education; so, don’t delay, begin on your path of formal phlebotomy training and certification today!
Phlebotomy Schools by States:
The first step to pursuing a degree in phlebotomy and securing employment is to decide which school and which program to attend. Today there are a ton of options to choose from, and one is bound to suit your needs. There are generally three educational tracks you can take: a short certification program, often spanning only a few months; a one-year course at a technical or vocational school where you can earn a diploma, but not a degree; and a two-year associate’s degree. Those who decide to attain an associate’s degree can then pursue further education in nursing or a related field. Each program culminates in a certification exam proffered by the American Medical Association.
Phlebotomy training usually has two components. Before engaging with patients and drawing blood, phlebotomy students must learn about human anatomy, blood composition, some basic information about test results, and “beside” care for patients. The second component entails working with real people to learn how to draw blood. This segment of training is crucial because the crux of a phlebotomist’s work is working with patients and extracting blood for medical testing. That means as a phlebotomist you must be prepared to interact with young children, the elderly, and the exceedingly squeamish. It has been said that the real artistry of phlebotomy is harmonizing exacting expertise with human empathy.
*It is very important to note that while there are online phlebotomy courses available, they will likely include a hands-on, clinical portion that will be conducted at a facility of their choosing. Therefore, make sure to choose programs with facilities accessible to you.
Once you’ve completed your program, whether it be a 10-week course or an associate’s degree, and passed the certification examination, you can pursue a secure career as a phlebotomy technician at a hospital, a clinic, a mobile lab, or even the American Red Cross– it’s as easy as that. If there is a particular hospital or facility you hope to work for, contact them before initiating your training and find out what their exact education and certification requirements are. Many hospitals offer their own phlebotomy training programs and often hire their staff from their pool of students.
With an ever-growing demand for skilled, certified phlebotomists, today is the perfect day to take a stand against your dead end job and apply yourself to an active, financially-stable career as a phlebotomist.