Interested in Becoming a Phlebotomist?
Do you enjoy being around people and offering support when necessary? Are you interested in working in the healthcare industry where you can play a role in treating and diagnosing illnesses? If so, you may find becoming a phlebotomist the beginning of a rewarding career. Learn what it takes to become a phlebotomist and what the career outlook may be.
To become a phlebotomist, you must complete an accredited or approved phlebotomy program. The only real prerequisites for this program are being 18 years old and a high school graduate. For a phlebotomy program to an approved it should be accredited by an approved agency like the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) or a similar agency.
Phlebotomy training programs are short-term programs that can usually be completed in less than a year. The training consists of didactic courses and a clinical internship. To be successful in the program, you must demonstrate that you can successfully complete venipuncture and other phlebotomy procedures. Phlebotomy programs generally result in a certificate of completion.
Some states require phlebotomists be licensed before they can work in that state. Although requirements may vary by state, most licensure requirements include passing a certification exam. Even when state certification is not required, many phlebotomists obtain voluntary national certification to enhance their resumes and demonstrate their knowledge of phlebotomy.
There are several agencies that offer phlebotomy certification including the American Society for Clinical Pathology, American Association of Medical Personnel and the American Medical Technologists. Certification eligibility requirements may also vary by agency, but most require the student complete an accredited training program and pass a certification exam. To maintain certification, phlebotomists may be required to complete continuing education credits as determined by each agency.
Career Outlook for Phlebotomists
The career outlook for phlebotomists is very good. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that phlebotomists could see a job growth of twenty-seven percent between 2012 and 2022. Phlebotomists with certifications are expected to see the best career opportunities.
According to a Salary.com August 2014 report, the average annual salary for phlebotomists was $30,973. Those in the lowest ten percent earned $25,031 while those in the highest ninety percent earned $37,541. Factors that may affect earnings include location, place of employment, years of experience and certifications obtained. The BLS indicates that the top-paying states for phlebotomists as of May 2013 were Alaska, California, Delaware, New York and Massachusetts.
Benefits of Being a Phlebotomist
There are several benefits to becoming a phlebotomist. As a phlebotomist, you’ll not only find employment opportunities in hospitals but may also work in medical laboratories, physician clinics, analysis centers and educational institute. Another benefit is the impact you can have on patients.
To be a phlebotomist, you must be comfortable with drawing blood. This comfort will give your patient a sense of security in knowing that you’re experienced and will make the process as quick and painless as possible. Still another benefit is the knowledge you have that you’re playing a role in helping patients get and stay healthy.