Negosentro | Explained in 5 Steps: How To Become a Phlebotomist | Phlebotomy is a rewarding field in the healthcare industry that is also rapidly expanding. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that phlebotomist employment will grow by more than 10% between 2021 and 2031.
With phlebotomists already earning competitive salaries (the median annual wage for phlebotomists in the United States is $37,380 as of May 2021), it’s easy to see why this is becoming an appealing field.
If you want to become a phlebotomist but don’t know where to begin, here are five steps to help you get started.
Obtain a High School Diploma
You don’t need a college degree to work as a phlebotomist, but you need a high school diploma equivalent or higher to apply for a phlebotomy program. You can do this by taking the General Educational Development exam (GED), which allows students with no high school diploma to get their diploma and start college immediately.
Enroll in an Accredited Phlebotomy Training Program
Phlebotomy training programs are typically offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and some hospitals. Typically, phlebotomy school programs take about a year to complete and may involve classroom instruction and hands-on training. Because your phlebotomy courses will focus on anatomy, physiology, and other medically related courses, it will be helpful if your diploma courses are science-based.
Complete Your Courses and Earn Your Certificate
Before you can graduate from the program, you must complete certain courses. This will include classroom instruction as well as hands-on training sessions. To successfully complete your phlebotomy program, you must have understood the codes related to your practice, including selecting the appropriate equipment and supplies, patient preparation for a phlebotomy draw, and how to label and properly store the collected blood samples.
These practical training sessions typically last 40 hours on average, and on completion, they offer you three possible certification types depending on blood puncture and collection. They are LPT (Limited Phlebotomy Technician), CPT I (Certified Phlebotomy Technician I), and CPT II (Certified Phlebotomy Technician II).
After completing your phlebotomy school program and receiving your certificate, you can take a certification exam offered by a professional organization such as the National Phlebotomy Association (NPA) or the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Although this certification is only required in four states (California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington), it gives you an advantage in the job market and is frequently required by some private employers. In addition, certified phlebotomists earn more than non-certified phlebotomists across the country. So, get certified.
Maintain Your Certification
Most professional organizations that offer phlebotomy certification require you to complete continuing education credits to maintain your certification. This may involve taking additional courses or attending workshops to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date.
Becoming a phlebotomist is a rewarding career choice that offers the opportunity to make a difference in patient’s lives while providing stability and financial security. So why not take these steps today and begin your journey from phlebotomy school to a rewarding future?