Phlebotomy is a career that can be very rewarding and challenging while also being a career that doesn’t require years and years of college. Phlebotomists work in medical labs and assist with the diagnosis of illnesses. If this type of career appeals to you, you’ll find all the information you need below to become a phlebotomist in Connecticut.
To work as a phlebotomist in Connecticut, you generally have to complete a training program. While some students may complete two-year associate degree programs, these are not necessary to become a phlebotomist. Most students complete certificate programs that can be completed in less than a year. Phlebotomy students complete classroom studies and also spend time in a clinical setting to satisfy the practical training required in the program.
Some possible course topics may include venipuncture, anatomy and physiology, medical and legal ethics, safely handling lab instruments, medical terminology, investigations in healthcare, and urinalysis. Students may study phlebotomy at a community college or may also take some courses online, although the clinical portion may have to be completed in a live clinical setting. To successfully complete the training, the student is required to complete a designated number of venipuncture procedures.
Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?
Candidates for this program are generally required to be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Other than that, prior education or training will usually not required to enrolled in a phlebotomy program.
Some programs may require the students become CPR-certified before entering the program while other programs include CPR training as part of the curriculum. Students must be current with their immunizations before the program and must stay current throughout the program.
Are Phlebotomists Required to be Certified or Licenses in Connecticut?
Phlebotomists are not required to be licensed in Connecticut. The Connecticut Department of Public Health also does not require that phlebotomists be certified. However, certification may be a requirement for employment.
How Can a Phlebotomist Become Certified?
Becoming certified requires passing a certification exam through one of the following certifying organizations.
• American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT)
• National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
• American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
• American Medical Technologists (AMT)
• National Phlebotomy Association (NPA)
To be eligible to take the certification, you must meet certain education and/or work experience requirements, which may vary from one organization to another. Students interested in obtaining certification are advised to check the requirements with each organization from which they wish to become certified.
Is Continuing Education Required?
Phlebotomists who are certified must complete continuing education courses to maintain their certifications and not have to take the exams all over again. However, certification is not required to be a phlebotomist. The number of hours of CE required is dependent on the organization because they all vary in their requirements. The continuing education courses can be taken online or through the different certifying agencies.
Salaries for Phlebotomists in Connecticut
Phlebotomists earned average annual salaries that ranged from $21,000 to more than $43,000 as of a May 2013 report by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The salaries may be different from city to city due to the various factors that can affect wage potential, such as place of employment, level of training, experience, location and number of certifications the individual has. According to Salary.com, phlebotomists working in Danbury earned $34,417 as of September 2014 while those working in New London earned $33,245 and those in Hartford earned $32,467.
What Job Duties Does a Phlebotomist Have?
Phlebotomists have a variety of job duties during their work day. They generally work in the lab drawing blood and other fluids for the purpose of testing and diagnosing diseases. Phlebotomists work in hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, doctors’ offices and clinics.
They may be required to work days, evenings and weekends. Their duties may include any all of the following.
• Verify the patient’s identity
• Confirming the accuracy of the patient’s medical records
• Talking with and reassuring the patient about the procedure
• Assembling the instruments and tools
• Performing the procedure, which includes finding the vein, disinfecting the site and drawing the fluid
• Labeling and recording the sample
• Ensuring the sample gets to the designated location
• Checking and monitoring the patient’s vital signs
• Correctly disposing of all used vials and needles
• Observe all safety requirements and ensure quality control
What Tasks is a Phlebotomist Not Legally Allowed to Perform?
Although a phlebotomist has many duties throughout the course of the day, there are some tasks that they may not legally be allowed to do. One of these tasks is starting or doing IV treatments. The only way phlebotomists can do IV treatments is if they are certified in IV therapy.
Once phlebotomists have drawn the fluid and submitted the samples to the lab, their duties are complete as far as the testing portion. The laboratory technicians or technologists are the ones who do the actual testing on the samples.