The medical field has a variety of options for those interested in healthcare, especially if you want to develop a phlebotomy career. Phlebotomy has been practiced for a long time since its discovery. However, it died down when people started to think it wasn’t safe. (Read: History of Phlebotomy) With further studies and researches, phlebotomy is back on its feet and is now one of the most promising careers you can choose to have. If you are interested in landing a career in this field, there are several career paths you can choose from.
Phlebotomists will start off as team members that draw blood. But the experience working with patients and analyzing blood samples will lead to better opportunity down the road.
What Training is Required to be a Phlebotomist?
First you need a high school diploma or a GED to enroll in a phlebotomy training program. There are different kinds of training programs around. There are some which you can get for free (read: how to get free phlebotomy training). There are also training programs which concentrates on a certain specialization. Some schools offer training programs to become a phlebotomy technician.
Upon completion of this training program, you will be prepared to take a national certification. If you choose to get certified(it’s not required in most states), you will receive your certification after passing a state-administered exam. This certificate can open up many opportunities down the road. There are also added benefits if you get certified compared to those who are non-certified phlebotomists.
To find training, you can search for community classes or medical programs in your state. There you will learn the basics and fundamentals of phlebotomy.
Will I be able to take more classes for phlebotomy?
Some phlebotomy classes take only weeks to complete. Others can last for multiple semesters at a community college.
The choice is up to you, on how long you choose your education to be. If you’re interested in getting certified to supplement your existing medical career, you might want to consider taking a shorter program that lasts only a couple months.
But if you’re not currently working, and you’re still in college, it may make sense to take classes at a community college for one or two semesters. There, you will gain more comprehensive knowledge on how to become a better phlebotomist in the future.
What are my career options after I’ve gained experience as a phlebotomist?
When it comes to phlebotomy, the skillset is needed for multiple levels in an organization. There are many job options available. Experience can even lead you to management positions and even positions working outside of the hospital. Here are a few examples:
Paramedical Examiner – once you have established knowledge and experience in the field of phlebotomy, you can move forward to becoming a paramedical examiner. The responsibilities include handling mobile drug screenings, tests as well as activities involved in insurance exams. Most facilities that look for paramedical examiners require at least a year of work related experience.
Nursing Degree – The experience working with patients and performing blood draws directly ties to nursing. So phlebotomy jobs are an excellent stepping stone to becoming a real nurse. Nursing schools and future employers love to see previous hospital experience, as they know that you understand what to expect down the road as a nurse.
Phlebotomy Supervisor – If you want to specialize in phlebotomy, remember, someone needs to watch over the staff. The best leaders need to intimately understand their subordinates tasks, so years as a phlebotomist can potentially lead to a promotion as a Phlebotomy Supervisor. Upon becoming a supervisor, you will manage a team of phlebotomists. Leadership and delegation become your focus. Instead of performing blood draws, you will leave that to your team as you shift to overseeing the lab operations, scheduling the staff, and managing employee relationships.
There are many other career opportunities for those who have undergone phlebotomy training. The possibilities are endless. Just remember, though, to take in all the information you have during training because it might come in handy in case you’ll experience something that wasn’t in your job description. With your knowledge at hand, you’ll be ready for anything.