A career in an allied health field can be rewarding, both emotionally and financially. It can also be quite demanding and challenging, but never boring. Phlebotomy, or the science of drawing blood, is one of the allied health fields that is seeking new applicants for programs, and jobs are available in a number of clinical settings. Phlebotomist or national certification exam for phlebotomy tech training takes anywhere from six to eighteen months, depending on the program you choose.
You will need to take science and math courses in high school to prepare for phlebotomy technician training. Once you are enrolled in a program you will study anatomy and physiology, cellular and blood composition, laboratory methods and safety, as well as ways of drawing blood. You will need to be very aware of safety when you are working, as you will doubtless come into contact from time to time with infected blood or other contagious illnesses.
Part of the training for a phlebotomist also will include learning to work with patients to calm and reassure them, as this is one of the most stressful aspects of a visit to the doctor or a hospital emergency room.
Some of the courses for phlebotomist training can be taken through an online college, but you will need to actually practice drawing blood, learning to stain laboratory slides and do microscopic studies, as well as alternative methods of blood sampling such as heel sticks for infants and capillary blood draws.
Employment opportunities for those who have completed phlebotomy technician training include working in a doctor’s office or clinic, emergency room work, staff phlebotomist in a hospital laboratory, as well as various private laboratories and blood banks. This is a field that is growing and trained phlebotomists are in demand.
Certification for phlebotomists is not required by all states, but individual employers can and do require that a phlebotomy technician demonstrate successful completion of a college training course. Look for a college or program that is accredited by one or more of the following organizations:
American Association of Clinical Pathologists
American Association of Medical Personnel
National Credentialing Agency
In addition, you can become certified to work as a Donor Phlebotomy Technician, which will enable you to work at a blood collection center such as a blood bank. There are many employment opportunities in this exciting and challenging allied health field, for one with the proper phlebotomy technician training.