This is a great time to enter the medical field as a phlebotomist as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a twenty-seven percent job growth until 2022.
Completing a training program is mandatory in all states. Admission requirements vary by school, and the basic ones are:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Up-to-date immunizations
- A criminal background check and a drug test
Here’s What You Need to Know Before Enrolling in a Program
Not all programs are created equal, which is why it’s important to know the following:
- The curriculum
- The cost
- If financial aid is available
- If the program has accreditation from an organization such as the National Phlebotomy Association (don’t enroll if it’s not accredited)
- Class size
- The program’s duration
- Is there job placement assistance?
- How much experience the instructors have
- The school’s reputation
- The percentage of students who pass the certification exam
Online Versus Classroom
Many schools allow students to take online courses, which allows greater flexibility for those who have jobs. However, students need to keep in mind that online courses don’t provide hands-on training which is a vital part of a phlebotomy program. Students also need to make sure an online program is accredited, as many aren’t.
Phlebotomy courses give students the knowledge and skills needed to have a successful career. Courses vary in length depending on the institution and state training requirements, and may include:
Human Anatomy and Physiology – The study of the body’s major organs as well as how they work. This is an important course because it’s vital for phlebotomists to pay attention to the cardiovascular, circulatory, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems.
Safety Procedures – Students learn the proper safety techniques to reduce risk to both phlebotomist and patient.
Venipuncture Techniques – This course teaches students a range of blood draw and collection techniques including how to take a sample from patients with blood disorders such as hemophilia.
Sample Labeling Procedures – During this course, students learn the proper labeling techniques along with the best protocols that relate to the transfer of vials to the lab and record keeping methodologies.
Theory of Phlebotomy – This course centers on teaching students common phlebotomy practices for adults and children. Students learn how to draw blood using venipuncture and capillary puncture methods, and will also learn how to perform finger sticks or heel sticks for infants and young children.
Medical Terminology – Medical terminology gives students effective communication skills between phlebotomist and physician. Students also learn an overview of common prefixes, suffixes, and root words that are often used in the medical field. Proper spelling and pronunciation will be emphasized.
Practicum – During the practicum, students practice blood and specimen collection in a medical setting while being supervised by a phlebotomist. Usually this lasts for a minimum of forty hours, and most students find this portion of their education enjoyable as they get to work with a variety of patients.
Some schools now offer courses that allow students to become a cardio-phlebotomy technician. Those who work in this field have the necessary training to work with cardiologists to perform a heart catheterization, electrocardiogram, and rhythm strips. The intensive six-week program offers:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Rhythm interpretation
- Line flushing techniques
- Tube knowledge
- Phlebotomy procedures
- Intravenous insertion
Upon completion, students can complete a forty-hour internship where they can gain real-world experience in cardio-phlebotomy.
After the practicum, students can take a certification exam administered by one of the national phlebotomy organizations. Those who work in California, Nevada, and Louisiana are required to obtain certification.
To discover more about a career in phlebotomy, please contact us for additional information.