Advances in medicine and medical technology are leading to healthier populations and longer lives. As the population continues to grow and live longer, the need for more trained medical professionals will continue to rise. Phlebotomy is an exciting medical career that continues to be in great demand.
What is a Phlebotomist?
A phlebotomist is a medical professional trained to draw blood from patients for a variety of reasons. Medical doctors primarily determine if a patient needs to have their blood drawn. Some of the reasons why a doctor may request to have the patient’s blood drawn include:
- Diagnostic tests
- Blood donations
Hundreds of patients are sent to the lab everyday to have their blood drawn. The results of this blood work helps the doctor to determine the patient’s current state of health and diagnose illness.
What Does a Phlebotomist Do?
Mainly, phlebotomists use needles to puncture the vein and obtain blood samples. Many patients are extremely anxious when it comes to needles. Some even pass out. Phlebotomists should be friendly and relatively sociable. One of the main tasks is making sure the patient remains calm and comfortable. Phlebotomy plays a major role in patient care. The skilled phlebotomists has the following duties:
- Properly identify the patient prior to collecting blood
- Protect patient and themselves to safely collect the sample
- Follow medical orders precisely
- Select the correct collection system for the desired tests
- Correctly label all samples
- Transport all blood work in a timely manner
- Process blood samples according to established protocols
- Follow safety guidelines at all times
In addition, phlebotomists may also perform data entry and medical billing.
Education and Training Requirements
As in most states, phlebotomy training in Kansas is relatively short. Classes at a local college may lasts a few months while on-the-job training may be only a few weeks. A traditional education path for phlebotomists involve enrolling in a phlebotomy training program at a college or medical career school. Most colleges and schools of higher learning require all students to have a high school diploma or GED. There are several training centers and colleges throughout the state of Kansas that offer phlebotomy programs. In addition, some hospitals train the phlebotomists they hire.
What about Certification?
In the United States, certification requirements vary by state. Only four states require certification: California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington. However, other states, including Kansas, have no certification or licensure requirements. Keep in mind that employers may require national certification through the American Society of Clinical Pathologists ASCP Board of Certification
The average annual salary for phlebotomists nationwide is just over $31,000.00. Phlebotomists in Kansas can expect the following salary range:
- Entry level – $25,000.00
- Median – $30,000.00
- Experienced – $36,000.00
Become a Certified Phlebotomist in Kansas
Take these steps to start an exciting and rewarding career in phlebotomy:
1. Be 18 years of age or older
2. Earn a high school diploma or GED
3. Enroll in one of the many phlebotomy training programs throughout the state of Kansas
4. Complete the program and pass final test
5. (Optional) Obtain national certification through:
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- American Association of Medical Personal