Become a Certified Phlebotomy Technician
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, blood tests are an integral part of diagnostic procedures, helping health professionals to check for specific illnesses.
Blood tests allow doctors and physicians to determine whether a patient’s organs function well and enable them to diagnose a specific disease and develop a treatment plan.
Collecting blood samples is a standard method used in hospitals and clinical settings to diagnose and monitor diseases. Health professionals can avoid painful examinations by collecting blood samples because these procedures, including tests, allow them to determine the patient’s overall health and reveal conditions.
However, a compromised laboratory test starts with appropriate blood collection, labeling, handling, and storing procedures. Therefore, hospitals hire certified phlebotomy technicians to collect blood from patients and prepare the samples for lab testing.
Certified phlebotomy technicians primarily work in hospitals and clinical settings, but air and ground ambulance services. These charitable organizations donate blood to needy patients, nursing homes, and outdoor patient centers and hire certified phlebotomy technicians. In short, these professionals work in settings like:
- Hospitals and clinics
- Assisted living facilities
- Blood donation organizations
- Community healthcare centers
- Emergency departments
- Public health agencies
- Nursing homes
- Surgical facilities
- Veteran Affairs clinics
- Pediatric clinics
What Does a CPT Do?
A certified phlebotomy technician draws blood and conducts specimen collection at a hospital or clinic. These professionals recognize conditions that may alter specimens, correlate different lab tests/types, inscribe test results, and communicate between doctors and patients. The primary duties/responsibilities of a certified phlebotomy technician are:
- Communicate with the patient and explain the procedure
- Find a vein or artery to insert the needle for blood collection
- Clean the pressure point after collecting the blood
- Gather patient’s information and label the blood samples
- Use a software system to input patient data
- Clean and sanitize medical tools/instruments/equipment
- Dispose of used blood drawing equipment, such as needles
- Maintain hygienic practices in the laboratory settings
How to Become a Certified Phlebotomy Technician?
To become a certified phlebotomy technician, you need to understand the requirements. Remember that the requirements vary from state to state in the U.S. However, completing the course or certification program is essential to becoming a phlebotomy professional.
Research shows that technical, nursing and vocational education institutions offer phlebotomy programs, schools, and colleges. It takes around 12 months to complete the phlebotomy tech certification program.
After graduating from school or college, you will appear in the certification exam. The results of the exam will determine your eligibility for the license. Let us now give you a few practical tips and tricks to become a certified phlebotomy technician.
Apply to Phlebotomy Tech Certification
Many seek a career in phlebotomy because it is a promising career within the healthcare sector to earn a stable living and streamline finances. Likewise, job opportunities for phlebotomy professionals are increasing in the United States.
So, the first step is to apply for a certification program. Fill out an admission application, provide educational documents, including high-school or college graduation, and meet the minimum GPA requirements.
Depending on the certification program offered by the institution, the administration may perform background checks. Likewise, you may undergo a drug test and pass it before admission.
Complete and Earn the Certification
The average duration of a phlebotomy tech certification is between eight and twelve months. However, this depends on the school/college/program. The certification program usually includes in-person or online classes for theoretical coursework and hands-on training/practical work.
Taking classes is essential to learn about the roles and responsibilities of a phlebotomy professional in a healthcare setting. You will learn about adhering to the standards, codes, and protocols, blood sample collection techniques, proper labeling, and storage.
The purpose is to maintain the patient’s safety and reduce the risk of complications. An ideal phlebotomy tech certification program offers three certification levels, including:
- Limited Phlebotomy Technician or LPT: Earning this certification authorizes you to puncture the patient’s skin and draw the blood by following the medical protocols.
- Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT I): Earning this certification authorizes you to puncture the patient’s skin and draw the blood. However, this also qualifies you to perform venipuncture blood collection and related procedures.
- Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT II): This certification allows you to draw blood from the patient’s arteries and veins. Arterial blood collection is a slightly more complicated procedure than venous blood collection.
Take Phlebotomy Tech Certification Exam
Once you have completed the six, eight-, or twelve-month training or certification program, you will appear in a phlebotomy examination. However, some states require candidates to provide proof of job experience and on-hand practice with skin punctures, venipunctures, and arterial punctures.
Some agencies offer national-level certifications, but you can also get state phlebotomy tech certification if you live in Washington, California, Nevada, or Louisiana. The most famous certification agencies in the United States are:
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Certification Agency (ACA)
- National Health Career Association (NHA)
- National Credentialing Agency (NCA)
For example, MOMETRIX reports that the National Phlebotomy technician exam contains 150 questions. Preparing for the exam is essential because it has six content categories:
- Problems and Correction
- Quality and Professional Issues
- Blood Collection Methods
- Infection Control and Patient Safety
- Site Preparation and Patient recordkeeping
- Equipment/Instrument/Tools selection and usage
Make sure you learn crucial concepts and prepare for the exam. Focus on concepts like infection control, anatomy and physiology, pathological methods, blood collection techniques, non-blood procedures, patient IDs, assessment, education, explanation, ad preparation, safe drawing, collection and storing of blood specimens, quality assurance, and patient’s health and safety.
Certified Phlebotomy Technician Job Outlook
The U.S News and World Report highlight that certified phlebotomy technicians do not require a college degree and are among the fourth-best job in the medical sector. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that demand for phlebotomy professionals will increase by 17% in the next eight years.
Hospitals, clinics, and other health settings carry out diagnostic procedures that require drawing blood from patients’ bodies. However, this requires skilled and certified phlebotomists to streamline the process and ensure patient safety.
That’s why these professionals are in high demand within the health sector in the United States. According to Indeed, the average salary of a phlebotomy professional in the U.S is $33,907 annually.
However, the salary depends on various factors, such as the facility’s location, the employer’s policy, and your experience and skill level. For instance, expect to receive a higher salary when working in a reputable hospital in a city. On the other hand, if you work in a small town clinic, they will pay you less.
Moreover, certified phlebotomist technicians with eight to ten years of experience receive high salaries than amateurs or newly hired employees. According to the Nursing Process, the average salary is between $12 and $15 per hour in the U.S. The starting salary is about $26,000 a year. Let us now discuss the perks of being a certified phlebotomy technician.
Starting a career as a phlebotomy professional will let you enjoy a flexible schedule. However, this depends on the healthcare facility you work in as a phlebotomist. Sometimes, you will find yourself working eight, ten, or twelve 12 hours, but this rarely happens because more people have started working as phlebotomists in health facilities. So, flexibility allows you to achieve a better work-life balance.
One of the most significant benefits of being a phlebotomist is to work in different settings, allowing you to improve your healthcare experiences and skills. For instance, you can work in a hospital, clinic, outpatient facility, infusion center, urgent care centers, doctor’s clinics, laboratories, etc. So, you have the choice to apply for a job in different organizations, depending on your needs.
Low Training Costs
The best thing about becoming a certified phlebotomy technician is getting admission to a school or college that offers affordable training. Although the training cost varies from state to state, the average price is between $300 and $1,400.
Exploring different states, cities, towns, and urban and rural areas is another advantage of becoming a certified phlebotomy technician. For instance, a public sector hospital can assign you traveling assignments and tasks in different parts of the country. So, you can explore various cities and towns in the U.S and experience other cultures, traditions, and values.
Phlebotomists are professionals who work in the health system and play a critical role in blood collection, storage, and testing, allowing doctors and physicians to diagnose specific diseases and develop an appropriate/tailored treatment strategy.
In addition, you can work in a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, or diagnostic laboratory. However, to become a certified phlebotomy technician and earn an accredited license, you must complete the 12-month training program and pass the exam.
Therefore, choosing an experienced and reliable institution for the training program is essential to achieving your goals. The reason is that the institution provides evidence-based resources, theoretical information, hands-on experience via practical sessions, etc., to improve your skills. Contact us today for more details!