First thing first: what is phlebotomy? Simply, phlebotomy is the process of making an incision into a vein. It’s one of the simpler processes in medicine and is required with many procedures in various circumstances. For instance, the practice of collecting blood samples, such as when someone has to take a blood test or decides to donate, requires phlebotomy. Often, a person that fully understands the process of phlebotomy is called a phlebotomist. Phlebotomy is also known as venipuncture, the science of drawing blood for medical purposes. One of the main reasons why people undertake phlebotomy training is because of the career opportunities it opens up. For instance, many people who become certified in performing phlebotomy have a great chance at becoming a phlebotomist.
Before deciding to take on phlebotomy training, it’s first vital to understand what kind of careers are available for someone who specializes in phlebotomy. Many of the careers that exist for someone with phlebotomy training are surprising – but, all in all, most of the careers have good pay and are very rewarding. Some of the more common types of careers for a phlebotomist include:
Nurse: A nurse is becoming one of the highest in demand jobs in the world. Why? Because very few people are deciding to take the necessary training to become a nurse. One of the techniques that are learned by people attending a nursing school is phlebotomy training. Phlebotomy training for a nurse often requires them to act as a doctors assistant, performing, for example, blood transfusions.
Healthcare Testing: Without a doubt, healthcare testing is one of the best careers that someone with a phlebotomy certification can undertake. A job as a healthcare technician usually involves a person working full time at a local clinic. In essence, this is similar to being a doctors assistant, as much of the tests that are done at a healthcare clinic include blood transfusions and blood tests.
Lab Testing: Ever watch CSI? Probably. The show CSI works so well, and is so popular, because of how they portray what goes on behind the scenes. What it ultimately shows is simple: there is a lot of testing in a lab. Any kind of test that has to do with blood requires phlebotomy training – simple as that. Therefore, most phlebotomists seek jobs in labs.
The number of careers available for a phlebotomists is growing substantially. As healthcare systems grow throughout the world, so will the demand for people who have high quality phlebotomy training.
Phlebotomists are, most simply, people who are trained to draw blood from live persons and animals. Remember, a phlebotomist is someone who has taken phlebotomy training. The techniques used by a phlebotomist are:
Venipuncture: In medicine, venipuncture is the process of obtaining intravenous access. The purpose of this intravenous access if for intravenous therapy. Intravenous therapy includes blood sampling. This is one of the more routinely performed procedures in the medical field – and is required to be learned in all forms of phlebotomy training.
Heel Prick: One technique learned in phlebotomy training is called the heel prick. The heel prick, also known as the neonatal heel prick, is one of the oldest procedures used to draw blood from a person. The process is simple: a pinprick puncture is made in the heel of the infant’s foot; the blood is then soaked into what is known as Guthrie cards. This test is used for various genetic tests.
Transfusions: Another commonly practiced technique in the medical field are transfusions. Transfusions are simple in nature. They are the practice of removing blood from one individual and giving said blood to a patient who needs it. Many healthcare clinics proceed with transfusions often.
The above three mentioned techniques are a few of the more common techniques that are taught in phlebotomy training. In actuality, there are many more – tedious, even – techniques that are required by a phlebotomy specialist.
Becoming a certified phlebotomy technician requires, like any job, a person to get an education. There are numerous ways to go about for gaining phlebotomy training. For those that wish to pursue a more specialized career, phlebotomy training may be included in the program itself; for others who just wish to become phlebotomy specialist as part-time means, there are many short term programs. In general, the type of jobs that require extensive phlebotomy training are:
Laboratory Scientists: Many degree programs at University require an individual to learn the techniques of phlebotomy within the program itself. This kind of phlebotomy training is self-imposed and isn’t as specialized as some programs. Those who get their training in a lab program, such as those pursuing a degree in chemistry, often will only use their phlebotomy training for scientific purposes; in other words, a lab technician won’t be doing blood transfusions.
Phlebotomy Programs: More specific phlebotomy programs are called short-term programs. Short-term programs are aimed at training individuals on the numerous different ways that one can draw blood from a patient. For instance, phlebotomy programs will cover techniques such as the heel prick and the blood transfusion. Because of this, many people who go into phlebotomy programs do so because they have a larger career goal in mind – such as becoming a nurse or, even, becoming a doctor. The duration of such programs is usually very short and can be a supplement to other kinds of schooling.
Phlebotomy Scholarships: For many, phlebotomy training is an essential part of their schooling or their career. Because of this, many institutions offer phlebotomy scholarships. Phlebotomy scholarships are money given by the government, school, or company to an individual towards a specific kind of phlebotomy training. Applying for such a scholarship is easy and should be pursued as the number one option.
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One type of phlebotomy training that has become more and more popular in recent years is online training. Online training is a great way to become a phlebotomists. Why? Because it’s one of the cheapest options for phlebotomy certification and, further, is an efficient way to learn phlebotomy, while at the same time maintaining a home and a job. Some important features of online phlebotomy training include:
Requirements: The requirements for taking online phlebotomy classes are fairly simple. All that they require is a high-school diploma or a GED. In other words, before you can be accepted into an online phlebotomy course, the company or institution that runs the course must first acknowledge that you’ve graduated high school.
Expectations: The online phlebotomy training program differs from other programs. The program is much more generic and covers a wide range of techniques needed for a phlebotomist. This is a good thing as it provides a great launching pad for anyone looking to pursue a more specialized career in phlebotomy. For instance, an online training program may teach both communication skills (something which a nurse needs), as well as skills such as learning how to do the heel prick.
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What phlebotomy training program is right for you? This is one of the most important questions everyone must ask themselves before applying for a training program. It’s vital to first determine what kind of career you want to pursue after training in phlebotomy. For instance, for people who want to become a doctor, than perhaps taking phlebotomy classes at the same school as the doctoral program is the most efficient method. For others, online phlebotomy programs may be the more suitable choice.