We seldom enjoy having our blood drawn for medical tests. However, this job can be quick and almost painless with a qualified phlebotomist. Phlebotomists play a large role in the treatment and diagnosis of sick and injured patients. Read below and learn how you can become a phlebotomist and work in a variety of medical settings throughout Indiana.
If you are interested in becoming a phlebotomist in Indiana, the first thing you need to do is find an accredited phlebotomy training program. The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Services (NAACLS) is the agency that accredits most phlebotomy programs, although there are other certifying bodies as well, such as the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.
The training programs are usually short-term programs that consist of both coursework and hands-on training in a clinic or medical laboratory. Students take courses in venipuncture, urinalysis, medical terminology and anatomy/physiology. They may also learn CPR and First Aid while in the program.
Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?
Phlebotomy training does not typically require prior education or training other than a high school diploma or equivalent. However, there may be some requirements to complete the hands-on training.
Prior to starting the clinical portion of the training, the student may be required to show documentation of negative drug screening, criminal background clearance, liability insurance, health insurance and current immunizations. Phlebotomy students are usually required to be 18 years old.
Are Phlebotomists Required to be Certified or Licensed in Indiana
Indiana does not require their phlebotomist be licensed. This state also doesn’t require certification. However, because this career is so competitive, certification should be treated and obtained as though it were a requirement. Phlebotomists who have certification generally see the best employment options.
How Can a Phlebotomist Become Certified?
There are several avenues from which Indiana phlebotomists can be certified. To earn a certification, the individual must show proof that he or she has completed an approved training program or has equivalent work experience and must pass a certification examination.
There are several certifying agencies from which to choose. Although their requirements may be very similar, the aspiring phlebotomist is advised to check with the agencies prior to choosing the training program to ensure that they’ll be eligible for certification.
The National Center for Competency Testing offers the National Center Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT) credential; the American Society for Clinical Pathology offers the Phlebotomy Technician (PBT) credential and the American Medical Technologists offers the Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT) credential. Each organization offers a different credential and therefore, their requirements for eligibility and continuing education may vary as well.
Is Continuing Education Required?
To maintain their certification, phlebotomists must complete continuing education (CE) credits. The amount and type of CE required depends on the certifying organization, so phlebotomists should research what is needed for re-certification. Failure to complete the CE in time will result in the individual having to retake the certification exam. Many continuing education courses are offered online.
Salaries for Phlebotomists in Indiana
According to reports by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), phlebotomists earned average annual wages of $30,150 nationwide as of May 2013 with the lowest ten percent earning $21,760 and the top ninety percent earning $43,190. Salary.com reports that phlebotomy salaries in Indiana are close or slightly below the national average.
As of a September 2014 report, phlebotomists in Gary earned $30,082 while those in Fort Wayne and South Bend earned $28,941 and $28,497. Further south in Indianapolis and Anderson, the earnings for phlebotomists were $29,828 and $28,553, respectively.
Factors that may influence wages are years of experience, location of employment and education. There were approximately 2,770 phlebotomists employed in Indiana in 2013, according to the BLS.
What Job Duties Does a Phlebotomist Have & What Can They Legally Not Do?
Phlebotomists work in many healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, insurance companies and independent laboratories. Their job duties include more than just drawing blood and taking urine or other liquid samples from patients. Their day may consist of the following duties.
• Meet and greet patients
• Verify the patient’s identification and medical history
• Assemble needles, vials, bandages and all necessary equipment
• Make sure entire area is sanitary and sterile
• Discuss the procedure with the patient and reassure them with compassion
• Locate the vein and draw the blood
• Label the vial or container and ensure its safe arrival at the correct destiny
• Clean up area after the procedure
• Enter data on the database
Phlebotomists are not allowed to make a diagnosis to the patient and should let the patient know that only the doctor can provide the test results. Phlebotomists in Indiana are also not allowed to start an IV on the patient unless the phlebotomist is also IV Therapy-certified.