ASCP Certification Requirements
Many people assume that medical careers require a lot of training and education. While this is true for many health occupations, it is not the case for some jobs such as phlebotomy. Phlebotomy is a rewarding career that offers a livable income while requiring a small and manageable amount of training.
Phlebotomists are certified by the The American Society of Clinical Pathology, or ASCP. The lower level of certification is called ‘phlebotomy technician’. These are the people who draw blood in hospitals, clinics, and labs. The following are the minimum ASCP phlebotomy certification requirements:
• High school diploma or GED
• Graduation from a phlebotomy training course that is ASCP accredited OR
• Experience performing phlebotomy work, totally 1040 hours in the past 3 years
• Passage of an ASCP certification exam
What to Expect from a Phlebotomy Certification Course
Graduation from an ASCP phlebotomy certification course does not require as much time as many other health careers. For example, the course for the minimum certification can be completed in just a two day workshop.
In the short phlebotomy training course, you will everything you need to know to pass the certification exam and work as a phlebotomist. You will learn the anatomy and physiology necessary for the job, especially the most common sites where blood is drawn and the components of blood. You will learn how to draw blood from different sites. In addition, you will learn how to keep yourself and patients safe while drawing blood and how to handle blood specimens. You will also learn about how to work in a hospital, including patient care, patient privacy, and professional standards in health care.
These skills will be taught by both bookwork and hands-on training in drawing blood. Once you pass this course, you will complete the last requirement for ASCP phlebotomist certification: the certification exam.
The ASCP Phlebotomist Certification Exam
Many phlebotomy course allow you to take the exam at the end of your training. Others will have you register and take the exam independently. Regardless of where you take the exam, it will have the same material. You will be tested on the coursework from your training program, especially in practical skills.
If you fail the test, you can re-take it. There are several study guides to help pass the test. The ASCP also has practice exams on their website as well, if you are concerned about whether you are prepared enough for the test.
The test will be about two and a half hours, and have a maximum of 100 questions. The test is taken on a computer. Each question will get slightly harder until the person gets one wrong, and then they will be given more questions at that level before moving on again to more difficult questions. More difficult questions are given a higher weight, and you must pass a high number of them in order to pass the test.
At the end of the test, you will be told if you passed or failed. The actual score will be emailed to you around two days later.
Opportunities for Advancement
In addition to these requirements for phlebotomy techician, people who wish to advance in their careers can complete higher requirements for a higher level ASCP phlebotomy certification. People who finish a bachelor’s degree, for example, can qualify for a higher level of technician that makes considerably more money.
While these may seem like a lot of requirements, a person who already has a high school diploma can complete them in less than a week. Being a phlebotomist is not right for everyone, but it is a rewarding and high-paying job for people who enjoying working in health care.