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Why Should You Become a Phlebotomist?
Are you considering a phlebotomy career? Then you’ve made a great choice!
If you’re here, then you’re interested in becoming a phlebotomist. And you’ve made a great choice. Healthcare jobs in the United States are on a dramatic rise. In fact, 17 of the 30 fastest growing jobs are in the healthcare field.
That’s why so many job seekers are turning to phlebotomy. Phlebotomy classes are a great way to start a healthcare career because:
- Classes are quick
- Enrollment requirements are low
- The experience leads to more exciting career opportunities
What Exactly is a Phlebotomist?
A phlebotomist is specially trained to take blood samples from patients, so every day, you will meet new patients. Expect a unique challenge with every new face! Once you complete your phlebotomy training, you will have a rewarding work life ahead of you.
Bloodwork is needed in every medical lab. So good Phlebotomy Technicians(or Phlebotomists) are sought out by a variety of employers. Most hospitals and blood donation centers hire Phlebotomists to collect blood samples. Other potential employers include:
- Doctor’s offices
- Health units
- Home health agencies
- Health insurance companies
- Research institutions
- Pharmaceutical firms
How Easy is it to Find a Job as a Phlebotomist?
Phlebotomists are in high demand. The demand for phlebotomists will always exist since almost all medical work requires a blood draw at some point. Only those who have the proper phlebotomy training will have the skills to fulfill this need.
An exciting new development in the phlebotomy field is the blood drawing robot. A Miami-based firm is currently developing a blood-drawing robot called the Veebot. The Veebot uses infrafred scanning and ultrasound to determine where to stick a needle.
For those of you worried that robots will take your job, think again. Who do you is the most qualified to operate and to supervise a machine that performs blood draws? You guessed it – a phlebotomist.
How Do You Become a Phlebotomist?
The steps are simple. All you have to do is:
- Find a local phlebotomy class
- Complete the program
- (Optional) Take a test for a national certification
- Apply for a job!
So in a short amount of time, you can switch to a career in phlebotomy. If you want to get started on the first step, check out the state directory below!
Phlebotomy Class State Directory
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What Happens During a Phlebotomy Class
Classes will last from a few weeks to several months.
Each course will require some clinical experience where you perform blood draws on a live person. Some schools will provide this work experience at the end of the class. Local Technical schools offer courses that are quick and you might even qualify for federal or state aid to pay for your schooling.
Someone without experience can gain work hours needed to become licensed by applying to work at blood donation centers. They will train you for free! Then you can take a state exam and go work anywhere else! To prepare for the exam, you should have gained mastery of the following topics in your phlebotomy classes:
The Most Common Topics You’ll Learn from Phlebotomy Training
- The basic of how to draw blood
- Basic anatomy needed to draw blood such as vein and muscle names in the arms diseases related to blood
- Preventing infections
- Names of all equipment used when drawing blood and how to use them properly names of blood sample tubes and what order to use them in the importance of correctly identifying a patient before you do any work how to handle specimens
- How to act and maintain professionalism in the workplace communicating with patients
- Keeping patients’ information private
Do I Need a College Degree to be a Phlebotomist?
A college degree is not required to become a phlebotomist. A high school diploma or GED can get you started on this career path. There are programs that offer specialized coursework for phlebotomy in addition to necessary hands on work.
Do I Need a Certification to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
This depends on the state you live in:
- California: You need a license in this state. Licensing requires a minimum of 1,040 credit hours of verifiable experience in addition to accredited phlebotomy coursework, a 20-hour didactic phlebotomy course and successful completion of a certification exam, followed by an application to the state for official certification.
- Florida: This state has no state license or certification requirement, but all phlebotomists must attend a minimum of a three- to six-month phlebotomy course in order to practice
- Nevada & Louisiana: These states require a certification. Most of the national certification exams are sufficient
- Other states: No formal requirements are needed for most other states. However, it can be much harder to find a job without any education or experience. The way to gain experience is through a formal training program.
Can I Take a Phlebotomy Course Online?
There are a handful of places to take phlebotomy courses online. These are often ideal for someone that already has some venipuncture experience. Also, there are many factors that you should consider when you try to get phlebotomy certification online (Read More).
- Contra Costa Medical Career College Online (http://online.ccmcc.org/)
Remember that online isn’t the only option. Medical career colleges and community colleges are great places to obtain both the practical knowledge needed and hands on experience. These programs are a great environment because you get to learn side by side with others. The national average cost for a community college is $4,000 – 5,000 in tuition each year.
Online programs tend to be cheaper, but lack the hands on experience. Online classes range from $200-500 dollars, while community colleges charge per credit hour.
How Much Does a Phlebotomy Technician Make?
A phlebotomist salary can range from $20,000 to $36,000 a year. Someone with no experience and right out of school can expect to make about $8.00 – $9.00 an hour in a small town and about $15.00 an hour in a larger city.
A background with phlebotomy training provides a solid foundation of medical experience and allows a comfortable transition into higher-paying medical jobs. Many phlebotomists choose to continue their education to become Certified Nursing Assistants or Registered Nurses. Their combined phlebotomy experience and education makes for an attractive resume when applying for positions through their medical careers.
More employment opportunities appear everyday for those with phlebotomy training. The demand for trained Phlebotomy Technicians is expected to increase 10%-20% over the next decade. This is mainly because the older population is growing larger; older people tend to have more medical issues and will require more lab work. The largest area of growth in this field is expected to be within independent medical laboratories. Hospitals will continue to send a larger amount of their lab work to outside facilities.
Are Phlebotomy Training Classes Right for You?
A good candidate to become a phlebotomist would be a person who cares for others and enjoys helping someone to get better. It’s very rewarding to know that you were essential to someone’s health care. You will come into contact with people who share their stories and their wishes to get well.
On a daily basis, you will deal with people who may be afraid of needles. Can you keep them calm? Can you handle their emotions? If you’re a warm, caring person who puts others at ease, this will help you tremendously in your job.
If you enjoy working without direct supervision, phlebotomists will suit you. You can spend your days walking through the hospital to patients’ rooms, drawing blood, and sharing a story or two with them.
If college is not an option, but you want to work in the healthcare field, then phlebotomy training is a great fit. It requires little experience to get started. And even if you want to further your education and pursue college, studying phlebotomy is a great start. You can work part-time in the healthcare industry while you go to school.
How Long Do Phlebotomy Classes Last?
The length of a phlebotomy class varies with each program. So you can never say exactly how long will a phlebotomy training and/or classes take. Online classes will generally take a couple months to finish. Finishing faster may not be ideal for full retention of the material covered.
Community colleges may offer training as part of a larger degree program or as a stand-alone certification.
- An associate’s degree will take approximately two years or longer if going part time.
- A stand along certification can likely be completed over a series of 3 – 4 weekends.
Hands on experience is an integral part of phlebotomy training. Some programs may combine this with the lecture, while others wait until you have finished the classes to start the hands on portion.
What Happens After Completing a Phlebotomy Program?
After the classes and hands on experience is completed, the each programs has a final exam. Sometimes this will also be a national certification, while other times this is a separate exam.
After you have completed a national certification exam, and any other requirements your state has, you are ready to begin your job hunt.
Get started today and search for phlebotomy classes in your area! Or check out more requirements for phlebotomists at the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians.