The Quick And Easy Guide For Phlebotomy Certification
In today’s economy and job market it can be extremely difficult and frustrating to find well paying, secure and rewarding employment. One of the few areas of activity to still offer all of these things is the medical field, and people who invest in an education in a medical discipline such as phlebotomy certification are usually well rewarded for their efforts.
One of these medical disciplines that offers a high salary and chances for advancement is the field of phlebotomy. In many areas of the country, graduates of phlebotomy courses are able to land a job relatively quickly, and for this reason it is a popular and fast growing area of expertise.
Since the field of phlebotomy offers these kinds of benefits and advantages, it is natural to want to find out more about how to gain the requisite skills and effect entry to the profession, and relevant questions concerning the subject need to be addressed.
These questions include: What exactly is phlebotomy? What is the job description of a phlebotomist, and what qualities should one have? What licenses and/or certifications are required to become a phlebotomist? What is the outlook for phlebotomy training, and which are the best schools that offer phlebotomy courses? What is the salary a new phlebotomist can expect, and what are future projections for the field? Lets answer these questions.
WHAT IS PHLEBOTOMY?
Phlebotomy is a medical procedure that involves using a needle to draw blood from a patient for the purpose of medical testing. In many cases, people who make trips to hospitals for medical attention will routinely have their blood drawn for examination. Many medical professionals, such as nurses, have training in phlebotomy, but there is a large enough demand for the procedure that a staff of dedicated phlebotomists is critical to hospital function.
WHAT IS THE JOB DESCRIPTION FOR A PHLEBOTOMIST, AND WHAT ARE NECESSARY QUALITIES?
A phlebotomist is a medically trained blood drawing technician that works with doctors, nurses, and others at places such as hospitals, clinics, and blood banks. A phlebotomist’s primary activity is the collection and labeling of blood samples for analysis. They work with people of all ages and types, so a calm demeanor and good bedside manner are key. Also important are steady hands and good organizational skills.
WHAT LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED TO BECOME A PHLEBOTOMIST?
A phlebotomist is required to have a high school diploma or GED before enrolling in a training course. Transcripts of these documents will need to be made available, as well as personal ID’s, and a background check will be performed in most cases. Once these requirements are met, the prospective student is free to join a program, many of which are provided by community colleges.
The phlebotomy certification student will be taught in a classroom setting as well as receiving clinical instruction. They will receive training in human anatomy, blood drawing and storage procedures, first aid, medical terminology, lab procedures, and CPR. At the same time that they are receiving this instruction, they are usually being prepared for the national certification examinations.
After a training period of from 4 to 6 months, or about 160 hours, the student will be ready to take the phlebotomy certification tests from a nationally accredited source. There are 3 major certifying bodies, the ASPT, the NHA, and the ASCP. The ASPT offers certification tests to either experienced phlebotomists or to student that have completed an accredited course.
The NHA offers the exam to those who have a high school diploma or ged, and have either one year of relevant work experience or a certificate from a vocational school. The ASCP offers the test to candidates who have either a diploma or a ged and meet certain criteria such as graduation from an accredited school or a minimum number of class hours or blood draws.
WHAT IS THE SALARY OUTLOOK, AND WHAT ARE SOME SCHOOLS THAT OFFER PHLEBOTOMY CERTIFICATION COURSES?
With a few exceptions, no matter where in the country prospective phlebotomists are plying their trade, the salary outlook for is fairly rosy. This is illustrated by the United Stated Department of Labor, which has an excellent website that is operated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.
The BLS does a great job of listing most of the jobs and careers which are available to everyday Americans. But, that is not all. Not only does the Bureau of Labor Statistics document the various available employment opportunities, they also publish information about working conditions, salary levels, license and certification requirements, and much more.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014 job outlook publication, prospective phlebotomists will not have a shortage of places in which to ply their trade. The BLS report indicates that certified phlebotomists can find employment in a variety of settings that include general medical and surgical hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, ambulatory health care services, doctors offices, home health care services, and even employment services.
According to the 2014 BLS handbook, the states with the highest level of employment for certified phlebotomists include California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. The annual salary breakdown for each of these states is: CA, $37,770 per year; Texas, $30,230 per year; Florida, $28,350 per year; Pennsylvania, $31,190 per year; and Illinois, $33,850 per year.
These numbers are decent, but the top paying states for certified phlebotomists, including New York, Alaska, Washington, DC, and Maryland all pay qualified phlebotomists about $38,000 per year!
Nationally, the average pay for certified phlebotomists is holding steady around a livable $31,890. Given the training time involved and the tuition amounts that generally charged to phlebotomy students, this career path offers one of the better returns on investment in comparison to many similar medical support occupations.
In addition to that, many current phlebotomists are now reaching the end of their working careers and preparing for retirement. This trend means that there should be a large number of job vacancies in the industry in the very near future.
As far as training schools go, the best bet is to probably attend any one of the state community colleges. They are all accredited by the relevant certification agencies, offer class instruction as well as practical studies at hospitals, and the cost per course for most of them will be below $2000; this cost can be even less if the student qualifies for federal or state financial aid.