The medical profession offers a variety of jobs that are required to provide quality health care to people. One of the jobs that many other medical professionals depend on is that of the phlebotomist. Doctors often need to study blood in order to properly diagnose patients. The drawing and handling of blood is handled by phlebotomy technicians.
If you’re interested in a field that offers you the unique opportunity to work with medical patients every day and be a vital link in providing their health care, phlebotomy may be just the career for you. In Texas, there are a number of requirements you’ll need to start your career as a phlebotomy technician.
Anyone who wants to pursue a career in phlebotomy must complete an accredited training program. There are many phlebotomy training programs available in the state of Texas, and you’ll want to make you choose a program designed to prepare you for phlebotomy certification.
In order to enroll in a training program, you must first fulfill a number of requirements. You’ll need to have earned your high school diploma or GED. You’ll be expected to pass a typing test with a typing speed of more than twenty-five words per minute. You’ll also need to demonstrate basic computer skills and proficiency with Windows and Microsoft Word. Be expected to complete a mandatory drug screening periodically throughout the course of your program and submit to a criminal background check.
Phlebotomists work closely with blood on a regular basis, and this puts you in close contact with blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitus on a daily basis. Though you’ll be trained to work safely when handling blood to be protected from exposure to these diseases, you will be required to demonstrate proof of current health insurance coverage. You’ll also be expected to pass a health exam.
Students enrolled in a phlebotomy technician training program can expect to complete a minimum of 40 hours of instruction in the classroom. You’ll also be expected to complete 100 hours of clinical training by participating in an internship in a blood lab. In order to pursue certification, you will have needed to have performed a minimum of 100 skin punctures and venipunctures unaided by anyone else.
The curriculum in a phlebotomy technician training program is heavily science based. You’ll be expected to complete courses in medical terminology, pathophysiology, human diseases, CPR, phlebotomy, advanced phlebotomy, and clinical practice. Because you’ll be working with patients one-on-one on a daily basis, you’ll want to proficient in your communication skills, which may require you to take additional courses in interpersonal communication.
Phlebotomy Technician Certification
Once you’ve completed your phlebotomy technician training program, you’ll need to pass a certification exam before you can work as a phlebotomist. A number of organizations provide these certification exams. Some of these organizations include American Medical Technologists, National Phlebotomy Association, American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, and American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Some of these organizations require an annual membership and renewal fee.
To maintain your certification, you’ll be expected to take part in continuing education opportunities such as advanced training and seminars in addition to renewing your certification. Continuing your education also increases your chances for career advancement in the field and higher pay.
The ACSP’s 2010 salary survey reported the annual earnings for staff-level phlebotomists at $28,080 per year. Phlebotomy supervisors were reported to earn $41,766 per year.
Phlebotomist Job Duties
The duties a phlebotomist is legally able to perform include drawing blood, identifying blood tests that are required to perform with a patient, run the required blood tests, and send blood reports to the appropriate person.
Because phlebotomists are greatly relied on for their services in providing medical care, becoming a phlebotomist will provide a career with job security and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people in need of medical care.