Phlebotomy Technician Career Guide
Phlebotomy Training: Get Certified and Start Earning
In today’s economy, there are increasingly fewer career options that are both stable and rewarding. The compelling profession of phlebotomist, however, offers a distinct respite for individuals looking for job continuity and a chance to make a meaningful contribution as a medical health professional. And finally – it won’t take years of schooling to achieve! Read further to learn how to become a phlebotomy technician in a matter of months.
What is Phlebotomy?
Phlebotomy is a specialized subgenre in the medical health industry that is defined by its main procedure: venipuncture, or drawing blood from a patient’s vein or artery using a needle. The phlebotomist must be skilled in extracting blood from a variety of patients – including children, the elderly and blood-phobic folk – as well as preparing the blood to be tested in the laboratory. To properly perform venipuncture, phlebotomists must be well versed in human anatomy, human technology and human psychology.
Phlebotomy’s contribution to the medical health infrastructure is invaluable; blood samples obtained by technicians are used to detect and ultimately treat a variety of illnesses. Blood work is often the first go-to procedure that physicians order to diagnose a patient, and there is a high need for skilled technicians to perform the procedure.
Why Should I Choose a Career in Phlebotomy?
The reasons to pursue the profession of phlebotomy are numerous and compelling. While many sectors of the economy are shrinking, the medical health industry continues to grow in leaps and bounds. This is partially due to the fact that medical services are immune to economic downturn – people simply need to be treated for illness, injury and disease. It is also a direct effect of the United States’ aging population, who require more tests and procedures relative to their younger cohorts.
These two causal agents ensure that medical professionals like phlebotomy technicians will enjoy job stability and remain in high-demand in the near and far future. High demand mandates competitive wages and excellent health care benefits and vacation time. According to the US Labor Bureau of Statistics, the median salary for phlebotomy techs is approximately $27,000. However, phlebotomy technicians’ wages are highly dependent on their level of education, expertise and place of employment. Experienced phlebotomists can earn over $50,000 a year!
In addition to handsome renumeration potential, a career in phlebotomy presents prospective employees with an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and contribute to the health ans wellness of their community. Because phlebotomists are the mediators between patients’ comfort and good health, they have the unique ability to improve individuals’ well-being while they undergo the sensitive procedure of venipuncture. Empathy and understanding are such crucial aspects of phlebotomy that most training programs offer explicit instruction on correct patient bedside-care.
Perhaps the more apt question is, why wouldn’t you choose a career in phlebotomy?
How Can I Become a Phlebotomist? What Kind of Training Do I Need?
Relative to other careers in healthcare, the steps to becoming a phlebotomy tech are simple and manageable – for even the busiest individual!
While only a few states mandate their phlebotomists to undergo formal training and certification, doing so highly increases your chances of obtaining work and earning better wages. To ensure optimal career options, it is highly advisable to receive an accredited education and pass the American Medical Association’s certification exam.
Schools and Training Programs
If you possess a high school diploma or GED – a prerequisite for entering any phlebotomy training program – then the next logical step is to begin your search for a course tailored to your needs. Phlebotomy courses can be found at vocational schools, community colleges, online schools and universities in every state; a quick internet search or browse of our site will provide you with many viable educational options.
Online classes are generally ideal for an individual who plans to work an alternate job while working towards certification, because they allow students to complete lessons at their convenience. They also tend to be the most cost-effective and expedient option. However, please note that even online classes require a hands-on component at a physical facility.
Regardless of the school or course you ultimately select, always verify it has received accreditation from one of these three bodies: American Society for Clinical Pathology, Association of Phlebotomy Technicians or the National Phlebotomy Association.
Common Paths to Certification
Generally, these programs last a few months to a year and prepare you for the impending certification examination proffered by the AMA. The major drawback to the certificate course is that it does not culminate in a degree and cannot be used as a springboard to higher educational heights, like an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree. Therefore, the Certificate Course is perfect for individuals who are certain that they do not want to pursue a profession down the line where a Bachelor’s degree may be an asset.
Another education option is the Associate’s degree. Associate’s Degrees typically take two years to complete and can be used to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in a related healthcare field, like nursing or X-ray technology.
Places of Employment
An overwhelming majority of phlebotomist techs – about three fourths – are employed by hospitals. A significant number of phlebotomy technicians also find employment in physicians’ offices. Others find gainful employment at private clinics, mobile phlebotomist operations or The American Red Cross.
As a result of the 24-hour nature of hospital operations, phlebotomists are often faced with extremely flexible schedule possibilities. It is fathomable that you could work during traditional business hours, “9 – 5”, or graveyard shifts. Again, the constant and overwhelming need for phlebotomist technician in the healthcare industry usually enables prospective employees to opt for full-time or part-time employment based on their personal volition.
After reading this abridged guide to becoming a phlebotomist, you are now invested with the wherewithal to begin your journey to a lucrative and satisfying career as a healthcare professional. Begin your quest today!