Anyone interested in becoming a phlebotomist should consider ASCP Phlebotomy Certification in order to work in the field. ASCP BOC, or the American Society of Clinical Pathologists Board of Certification, is the leader in certifying professionals who work in medical laboratories. Certification implies that phlebotomists understand their role in the medical community and are able to perform the necessary tasks and duties associated with that role in a safe, clean manner of action.
Skills and Job Duties for Phlebotomists
Every occupation has certain personal skills that are best suited to the position at hand. In phlebotomy, people who can show compassion to patients while being observant, tidy, and detail-oriented often succeed in their careers. Phlebotomists must also have excellent communication skills as they interact between patients, doctors, and laboratory technicians, as any misunderstandings can lead to dangerous results concerning the patient.
On the business side of phlebotomy, many duties are performed daily. Certified phlebotomists are able to draw blood and other take other specimen samples; perform tests in a laboratory setting; interpret the results of tests and procedures; and make recommendations based on those results. In Louisiana and California, certification is required for anyone who draws blood that is not a doctor, nurse, or clinical lab scientist. In other states where certification may not be required, it is still highly recommended as the industry moves toward stricter regulations. Those who receive ASCP Phlebotomy Certification often earn more than those who do not.
About ASCP Phlebotomy Certification
Students who have completed training may apply to take the ASCP Phlebotomy Certification exam. More than 200 testing sites are located all across the country in approved Pearson Professional Centers (Pearson VUE), but students must have approval through the ASCP in order to sit for an exam. Application fees are priced at $135, and applicants must satisfy one of six requirements to be considered.
- Have a high school diploma or GED, and complete an NAACLS-approved training program or a phlebotomy program that is approved by the California Department of Public Health (training documentation is required).
- Have a high school diploma or GED, and complete an approved phlebotomy program in the U.S. or Canada within the last five years, which consists of 40 classroom hours with instruction in anatomy; physiology; specimen collection; processing and handling of specimens; and laboratory operations. The course must also include 100 clinical hours in an approved facility with at least 100 unaided, successful blood collections (venipuncture and skin puncture).
- Have a high school diploma or GED, and complete a one-year, full-time work session as a phlebotomy technician within the last five years at an approved facility.
- Have a high school diploma or GED, and successfully complete an allied health professional course, such as RN and LPN, with at least 100 successful blood collections. A notarized copy of the RN or LPN license is required.
- Obtain MLS/MT or MLT certification through the ASCP.
- Obtain DPT certification through the ASCP, and log at least 100 successful blood collections (non-donor) within the last five years.
Since its formation in 1928, the ASCP BOC certified more than 450,000 individuals, which include many phlebotomists. The BOC states on its website that laboratory professionals who are certified, including those who earn ASCP Phlebotomy Certification, earn nearly 14 percent more than professionals who are not certified by the ASCP BOC.