Phlebotomists have a crucial role in the healthcare industry as they are responsible for drawing patients’ blood in a safe and secure manner for diagnostic tests, transfusions, donation, and research.
How Long Does it Take to Be a Phlebotomist?
Phlebotomy is one of the easiest medical fields to enter as it generally takes a year or less. Though if you decide to obtain an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, it will take two and four years, respectively. However, the most common choice among prospective phlebotomists is a short-term certificate, which can be obtained in two to twelve months. They center on basic phlebotomy duties and studying for the certification exam, and during the course, you are likely to take the following courses: Basic Anatomy and Physiology, Legal Aspects of Phlebotomy, Medical Terminology, Interpersonal Communication, Infection Control, Basic Phlebotomy Equipment and Procedures, Practical Phlebotomy, and Phlebotomy Techniques.
Students are also required to participate in an internship toward the end of their program. It gives them valuable hands-on experience treating patients of all ages in a traditional medical setting. They are supervised by an experienced phlebotomist, and must complete at least of 40 hours of training.
By the end of training, students should have a solid understanding of the following:
- Health and safety regulations associated with phlebotomy
- Code of practice and their importance
- The variety of methods for collecting blood
- The role phlebotomy plays in the medical field
After training is complete, those who will work in Nevada, California, and Louisiana will first need to pass a certification exam. While other states do not require it, most employers do, so it’s important to take the exam in order to have better job prospects. The national phlebotomy organizations are: the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Healthcareer Association, the American Medical Technologists, the National Phlebotomy Association, the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, the American Certification Agency, and the American Society for Laboratory Science.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
Phlebotomists can gain employment in hospitals, laboratories, physicians’ offices, clinics, and with the American Red Cross.
When you apply for a job, you’ll likely be asked to have an interview before being considered for the position. Preparing beforehand is incredibly important because first impressions mean a lot to a potential employer, and you can do this by practicing with family and friends. During the interview, you will answer questions such as:
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why should we hire you over other applicants?
- Do you have any experience working in a medical facility?
- What do you fear most about drawing a patient’s blood?
- Are you considering taking any additional educational courses?
- Why do you want to be a phlebotomist?
- Have you ever had any difficulty working with a supervisor?
- What are your long-term goals or career plans?
- How do you get a coworker to accept your ideas?
- What progress do you wish to achieve in the medical field?
- What can be done to prevent contamination?
- What is the correct procedure for labeling and storing test tubes?
- Did you consider any other healthcare careers?
- How would you handle a difficult patient?
- What will you do if you are unable to find a vein to draw blood?
Job Outlook and Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, open phlebotomy positions are on the rise as the profession should see a twenty-seven percent job growth until 2022. In 2013, phlebotomists earned a median salary of $30,150.
As you can see, you can start a great healthcare career in a relatively short amount of time. If you have any questions, please contact us for more information.