Phlebotomists collect blood from patients and take the specimen directly to the laboratory for diagnosing the illness. They have to ensure that they do this without any disturbances or harm to the patient. They also collect blood donations. A phlebotomist may further their career by working as a part-time assistant healthcare scientist or as a clinical support worker. This job is a responsible one as they should maintain professional standards as well as codes of practice. It is not difficult to acquire a certificate as it is possible to attend classes and complete the necessary coursework.
Here are some tips on how to make a career by becoming a Phlebotomist.
1. Minimum Qualifications required to become a Phlebotomist
A student has to complete a high school diploma or GED as a basic pre-requisite for entering a training program. The minimum age is 18 years for entering the program. A student then enrolls in a program that is held at colleges or technical schools for the duration of a year or less. During this time they learn lab safety, how to handle legal issues and equipment disposal. Hands-on training is important in any clinical environment or hospital. In order to become proficient it is necessary to practice skin punctures and venipunctures. The classroom instructions completed should be over 40 hours and the student should practice repeated tests till they are confident of taking the tests without harming the patients.
2. Licensure and Certification
Students complete the education program and become certified professionals. Certifications can be obtained from AMT (American Medical Technologists), American Society of Clinical Pathologists or from the American Association of Medical Personnel. Each association has certain eligibility requirements which include stipulated hours of work experience in order to pass their exam. If you get a Registered Phlebotomy Technician credential from AMT, you can easily get a good job as a phlebotomist. Each state has their own requirements of licensure and a student should check with them before they start work.
3. Employment opportunities for a Phlebotomist
Try to get jobs in a private healthcare clinic or in a hospital. Laboratory technicians can look forward to a 15% increase in jobs from 2010 to 2020. If you plan to work immediately after high school or college, you should focus on biology and learn about the living organisms and the functioning of the human body. Students who get good grades in chemistry can also start work as a phlebotomist. Try to work as a volunteer in nursing home or hospitals. Once you decide you can do the job you can do a short course and get a phlebotomy certification.
4. How to work and make a career as a Phlebotomist
As a Phlebotomist you should work consciously and make sure that the integrity of blood samples are maintained. The sample should not be contaminated or create a risk for any other patient. In order to further your career, you can cross-train in related fields which include histotechnology, cytotechnology or blood banking. You will get paid higher wages if you hold multiple certifications.