Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Interested in becoming a phlebotomist? You made a smart choice! Phlebotomy is expected to grow at least 27% through the year 2022, a rate that is considered “much faster” than the average occupation. It’s no surprise why individuals like yourself are picking this job as your next career move. When there is economic uncertainty, and jobs are being cut left and right, you want to be employed where you are relatively safe at keeping your job.
So what does it take to become a phlebotomist? Let’s look at some of the general requirements you can expect to come across. Keep in mind, each state has its own requirements, but below are requirements typically common nationwide.
To start things off is the age requirement. You have to be at least 18 years old. Because of the physical and sensitive nature of the work, you will find this requirement across state lines. Besides meeting the age requirement, you will tend to see the requirement of completing high school. But if you do not have a diploma, its equivalent, such as the GED, is accepted. If you meet these two requirements, which nearly all interested persons do, then we can examine the major requirement of being a phlebotomist: training.
Training to become a phlebotomist is of course the major step to be one. Now you might be asking yourself what does the training consist of, where do I go to train, how long is training, how much does it cost, etc., and here are answers to some of those questions:
Training programs can be found at your local community college, vocational, or technical school. This programs must be approved by the state, and it is in your best interest to verify that information before signing up. The average program takes less than a year to complete, and the costs of enrollment vary from program to program.
So what does the program consist of? Your classroom discussions will cover topics on anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology that are commonplace in the phlebotomy profession. You can expect a great deal of the training to consist of laboratory work. The lab portion of the program gives students hands-on experience with the day-to-day routine of practicing phlebotomists. Besides the expected training in drawing and labeling blood samples, students will also be instructed on how to communicate with patients. It’s not an aspect of the job many people think about, but effective communication with patients is important.
After training is where states vary considerably with what is the next step for the would-be phlebotomist. In Florida, for example, after training there is no certification process. Once you have completed the in-hospital training as part of the course, you are officially recognized as a phlebotomist. This process differs from California and other states. In California, upon completion of training, you are required to take an exam, which consists of a written and practical exam. If you pass the exam, you have to then submit all required materials (including copy of high school diploma, proof of completion of training program, and proof of successfully passing the test) to the state agency in charge of phlebotomy certification. If approved, you will be awarded your certificate.