Have you ever wondered what it's like to take blood from someone for a blood test? If you like working with people and want to be in a medical field, becoming a phlebotomist may be the right choice for you! Taking blood is a vital part of the healthcare process and phlebotomists are an important part of the team.
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How Do You Become a Phlebotomist?
Phlebotomists are allied health professionals. There are also phlebotomy nurses, who have specialized in taking blood. Phlebotomists are often considered clinical technicians and in most states, they must have a phlebotomy degree or phlebotomy license to practice.
Finding a Phlebotomy Program
Many community colleges offer programs that prepare you to take the exam for a phlebotomy certificate. You must be a high school graduate. Nurse phlebotomists are trained in nursing school.
Before you can take the exam to earn a phlebotomy certificate (if you are not a nurse), usually you must complete 40 classroom study hours and 120 hands-on training hours, and have taken 100 blood collections on your own successfully.
The American Society for Clinical Pathology offers accreditation to those who meet their criteria and pass their exams. Programs approved by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences can be found on their Web site.
Salaries and Opportunities for Phlebotomists
The employment outlook is good for healthcare workers with a phlebotomy certificate. As baby boomers retire and the general population ages, the need for phlebotomists is increasing. It's reported that need will increase by 14 percent from 2008 to 2018. Phlebotomists who work in laboratories make an average of $27,000 annually.