What is a Phlebotomist?
Blood analysis allows doctors to learn a great deal about a patient’s health. Because blood work is an essential diagnostic tool for healthcare, the people who are responsible for taking blood samples must be specially trained. These important medical professionals are known as phlebotomists.
Phlebotomist Job Duties
Phlebotomists often work in a medical clinic setting, where they are tasked with collecting blood samples from patients. The phlebotomist may then use special medical equipment to study the sample and record specific findings, or he or she may prepare the sample to be submitted to another location for analysis. Other places a phlebotomists commonly work include hospitals, laboratories and blood banks. In addition to possessing the technical skills that are required for obtaining and handling blood samples, phlebotomists must also be able to communicate effectively and work well with patients.
Although most phlebotomists receive training while on the job, employers typically require candidates to have completed a related education program. In some instances, individuals may acquire training by taking individual courses. However, specifically designed phlebotomy training course are most common. Depending on the program, participants receive a diploma or certificate upon satisfactory completion. A college degree is not required; however, a bachelor degree in a medical-related subject can make future phlebotomy job candidates more competitive.
Education Program Duration
There are several schools in Ohio that offer phlebotomy programs. Individuals who attend a community college program may earn a certificate in as little a one or two semesters. Two-semester programs generally include a clinical component in which the student will spend several weeks practicing the skills he or she has learned in the classroom. Some two and four year colleges and universities also offer certificate and degree programs that are beneficial to those who wish to begin a career in phlebotomy. Two and four year programs offer the advantage of increasing a graduate’s likelihood of qualifying for a higher-paying, more advanced position. Shorter certificate program allow students to learn the required science, procedure, terminology, and equipment as quickly as possible and enter the workforce more immediately.
All phlebotomy certificate and degree programs begin with basic courses that are intended to teach students the basics elements of anatomy and physiology that are involved in drawing blood from a patient as well a potential complication that may arise. Student are also taught how to maintain, adjust and use phlebotomy equipment. Psychology and communication are also taught in most phlebotomy programs as phlebotomists must often calm their patients, answer questions and also assess the patient’s condition without causing undue stress. Educational programs that are longer in duration typically cover a broader range of subject and prepare student for a career in a supervisory role or as a medical technologist.
Ohio does not require certification for phlebotomists. However, employers may require or expect certification as a condition of employment. This is particularly true in larger metropolitan areas such as Cleveland. Therefore, most phlebotomy students should consider becoming certified. Certification can be obtained through three national organizations: the American Society for Clinical Pathology, American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, and the American Medical Technologists. To become certified, students must typically complete an educational program that is approved by at least one of the certifying organizations, successfully complete the organization’s exam, and pay a certification fee. Phlebotomists who have gained extensive work experience but do not have a certificate or degree may be permitted to bypass the education requirement in some instance.
Phlebotomist Salary in Ohio
The average salary for a phlebotomist in Ohio is $29,460. The highest-paid phlebotomists tend to work in specialty hospitals and in the insurance industry. Phlebotomy jobs are projected to grow by 27 percent nationally within the next 10 years.
Certified phlebotomists must complete continuing education courses to maintain their certification. Continuing education courses are typically offered by community colleges, technical schools, and two and four year college and universities. By completing continuing education courses, phlebotomists are able to demonstrate that their skill set up-to-date and remain knowledgeable of the latest developments in their field.