If you are considering a career as a phlebotomist, then getting your phlebotomy certification is a requirement. Places hiring for a phlebotomist want to make sure you have the proper training and credentials to perform blood draws and other invasive procedures.
Think about it, when you are having your blood drawn at a doctor’s office, do you want someone to do it that has had no training? Wouldn’t you prefer to have the procedure done by someone who has had training and practice doing it? This is why getting your phlebotomy certification is so important.
There are some great benefits with passing the National Phlebotomy Certification Exam. Those who are making a premium Phlebotomy Salary in this field are the ones who have taken the courses, passed the exam, and received the certification.
Taking the course gives you a better understanding of phlebotomy, valuable experience to do a better job, and rigorous training to deal with any situation. Phlebotomy courses last for anywhere between eight to twelve months so you will learn all of the aspects of becoming a phlebotomist, with an Associate’s Degree obtained after two years of schooling. You will be well rounded with knowledge of venipuncture techniques, anatomy, and medical laboratory administration. If you live in the states of Florida and Louisiana, you cannot become a phlebotomist without being certified.
You will be required to have your phlebotomy certification if you are planning to work for a hospital, private blood clinic, or laboratory. As stated previously, different states require different training. For example, California has a three tier certification system of Phlebotomy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician I, and Phlebotomy Technician II.
You will need to check with your state to see what specific requirements you must meet to become certified. Once you have completed your generalized and any specific state requirements, then you can sit for exam and gain your certificate. Most courses combine in class and hands-on training for phlebotomy classes. The hands-on training is the most important because it allows students to work directly in a laboratory setting and practice phlebotomy procedures.
There are a couple of things to think about before applying for phlebotomy certification. Do you want to take the class at your local community college or would you benefit by taking an online phlebotomy certificate program? It is important to note that taking the course online will require a specified amount of hands-on training also.
You also need to decide which organization you will apply to receive your phlebotomy certification. You have a choice of the ASCP, ASPT, and NPA. The ASCP is the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the ASPT is the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, and the NPA is National Phlebotomy Association; all can give you a certification. Depending upon what field you want to work in, will determine the type of certification you will need to get.
Phlebotomy Certification – Step-By-Step
So how exactly do you get your phlebotomy certification? Just to recap, you must take comprehensive phlebotomy courses, meet the requirements of one of the ten phlebotomy certification organizations, and sit for the exam. You will also be responsible for continuing education and courses to keep your certification current on all of the new techniques and breakthroughs. The phlebotomy certification exam is usually a paper exam, but it can also be taken on the computer. Computer phlebotomy exams utilize a computer technology called “CAT” which allows the software to choose the next question based upon the previous answer.
When choosing a phlebotomy certification course, you should choose one which meets the requirements and standards set by the Clinical and Laboratory Sciences Institute (CLSI), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and National Accrediting Agency of Education (NAACLS) plus the United States Department of Education. These courses train the phlebotomist on blood collection, blood storage, first aid and CPR, human anatomy, human physiology, administrative activities, interpersonal skills, and other relevant skills needed. It is an excellent career choice because the United States Department of Labor states that phlebotomist opportunities will increase by 14% by the year 2016. They work a 9 to 5 schedule and make a starting salary of around $27k. You can work this career full time or part time, or even work as a mobile phlebotomist. Depending upon where you work, you may have to work a variety of hours such as at the hospital where there is shift work.
Once you complete your phlebotomy coursework, you will have to sit for the phlebotomy certification exam. You can find practice tests online to practice for the exam and you will also be expected to know vein locations, puncture locations, how to draw blood comfortably, human anatomy of the circulatory system, and possibly other general questions about human anatomy. If you have attended phlebotomy courses for a period of time, then you should be prepared for the examination, but you should review any material that you may have forgotten.
Additional Resources On The Topic Of Phlebotomy Certification:
National Phlebotomy Association – Resource for additional information on phlebotomy training and education.
American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals – www.acacert.com
The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians – www.aspt.org
WikiPedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlebotomy