Why choose to become a certified phlebotomist? Becoming certified in your field shows a sense of pride and a willingness to adhere to the highest standards. Phlebotomy is a profession on the rise with many trade schools and community colleges turning out educated students. The competition for the better paying positions can be fierce. Certification can be your key to getting the best job.
Benefits of Certification
• Certification is proof of your experience.
• You can demand a higher salary.
• It demonstrates your knowledge in such things as: anatomy, venipuncture and storage techniques, interpersonal skills, first aid, CPR and medical laboratory administrative practices.
• It can open up more job opportunities.
Standards for the training and profession of phlebotomy and subsequent certification are usually set by one or more of the following agencies in any given state.
• Clinical and Laboratory Sciences Institute
• Occupational Safety and Health Administration
• National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
• United States Department of Education
• In order to take the certification test, you must have worked either full time for six months or part-time for one year.
• You must have one hundred unaided withdrawals
• You must have at least two hundred hours of in-class experience. The longer and more in-depth the education program is, the better chance there is of passing the certification test.
• The different agencies may have additional requirements for testing such as a high school diploma or GED. Some agencies break their testing levels down into three categories such as limited, Phlebotomy Technician I, and Phlebotomy Technician II. In order to take the next level of certification you would have to take further classes to demonstrate continuing education and experience.
While other agencies may offer certification, the following three agencies are the only nationally recognized certification entities. Testing through these agencies would allow you to apply for jobs nationwide.
• The American Phlebotomy Association for Clinical Pathology
• The National Phlebotomy Association
• The American Association of Phlebotomy Technicians
While most states do not require certification, it is extremely difficult to get a job without one. There are only two states that officially require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy technician; these states are California and Louisiana.
Certification is not required in all states, but prospective employers are hesitant to hire anyone not certified because of liability. Should a mistake be made, it could affect the employer’s business and result in law suits especially if the employee making the mistake is not perceived by the public as being qualified due to a lack of certification. In addition, employers prefer certified prospects because it indicates the applicant is serious about the job, and they take pride in the quality of work they do through their education and testing.
Becoming a Certified Phlebotomy Technician can open job opportunities, and put your application at the head of the line with prospective employers. In addition, certification alone shows professional pride and an adherence to national and state standards.