What is Phlebotomy?
Phlebotomy can be defined as the medical procedure in which blood samples are drawn from a patient’s vein. These samples are then analyzed and tested in laboratories which help in the diagnosis of a disease or ailment. Healthcare professionals who have expertise in this procedure are commonly known as phlebotomists, phlebotomy technicians and medical assistants.
These people are among the first to interact with patients and often play a key role by acting as liaisons between doctors, patients and laboratories.
With the evolution of technology and medical advancement and with a continuously growing population, jobs in the healthcare industry are increasing at a rapid rate. This makes the healthcare industry a very appealing choice for individuals seeking to pursue a financially sound career with job security.
As a matter of fact, The National Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated an annual growth in demand of 17% for healthcare industry positions. We can safely assume that job prospects for phlebotomists are excellent as they are in very high demand. Becoming a certified phlebotomist is one of the top career choices for graduates who are looking to enter the healthcare industry today. “Why”, you ask? Read on to find out more.
Why Should I Pursue a Career in Phlebotomy?
It is a known fact that in order to have a successful career in a field such as the healthcare industry, you need eons of practical medical experience and extreme knowledge of your expertise. That is the case for most medical occupations, however, when it comes to phlebotomy that does not hold water. In fact, all you really need to do to become a certified phlebotomist is have a high school diploma, attend a formal phlebotomy certification training program and take a phebotomy certification exam. It really is as easy as that.
In addition to the relative ease of becoming a certified phlebotomist, there are also many other reasons why individuals are seeking to pursue a career in phlebotomy.
For one, a job in the healthcare industry is intrinsically rewarding. The feeling you get from helping an ailing individual is amazing. Being an integral part of a system that is dedicated to helping people and making the world healthier is a reward like none other.
Secondly, a certified phlebotomist can work in a number of places and is not limited to working at a hospital. Phlebotomy jobs are available at blood banks, independent laboratories, plasma centers, physicians’ offices and pretty much anywhere blood work is being carried out. The ability to choose your work environment is also one of the reasons attributed to the popularity of this profession.
Finally, phlebotomy wages are very competitive and are on par with the median pay scale nationally. Research conducted by the National Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed that the average phlebotomy salary in the US is around $38,000 per annum.
By now you probably are convinced of pursuing your career as a certified phlebotomist, if you were on the fence in the first place. To kick start your successful career as a phlebotomy technician, we have outlined the following steps you will need to take.
How to Become a Certified Phlebotomist
Now that you are seriously considering a career in phlebotomy, your first priority should be to get yourself a phlebotomy certification. Currently it is mandatory in only two states, California and Louisiana, to get a phlebotomy certification. Even if you don’t live in either of these states, you will still benefit greatly if you decide to get one. Its a fact that employers are reluctant to hire an individual who is not properly trained and has the right knowledge. This is especially true in the healthcare industry where a mistake in a procedure could mean a potential lawsuit. A phlebotomy certification is a guarantee to the employer that you are an expert who has the proper knowledge, training and has passed the national phlebotomy certification exam.
A prerequisite for the phlebotomy certification exam is that you will have to attend a formal phlebotomy training course. Many phlebotomy schools offer phlebotomy certification training programs that provide you with the theoretical knowledge and the practical know-how to perform phlebotomy procedures. Furthermore, these programs also prepare you for the phlebotomy certifying exam. A typical phlebotomy training course can last up to 8 months and the curriculum will include classroom hours, laboratory hours and a clinical externship.
Make sure you do your homework and choose a phlebotomy training course that is approved by an accrediting authority or your local Department of Health or Department of State. There is no point in wasting your time and money on a program that will not prepare you and deem you eligible to write a certifying exam. For a complete list of approved phlebotomy training please contact your local Department of Public Health. Alternatively you can browse our articles for approved phlebotomy training courses in your vicinity.
After you have completed your phlebotomy training program, you can now register yourself for a certifying exam. You have the option to choose which accrediting body’s exam you wish to take, currently there are 10 such accrediting institutions in the United States. It is a good idea to ask your future employer as to which accreditation is most preferred. The examination pattern of each accrediting body is slightly different, but a candidate is tested on the same curriculum and a separate practical session
Following a successful examination, you will then receive a certificate that will deem you a certified phlebotomist and you may now embark upon you successful career as a phlebotomist!
For more information on getting a phlebotomy certification: