How to Become a Phlebotomist
Wondering how to become a phlebotomist? Well, wonder no more! Today, we’ll talk you through the process of how to become a phlebotomist, touching up on topics such as education requirements, phlebotomy training, phlebotomist certification, and more. You might actually be surprised at how easy the whole process can be, which can be extra incentive for starting as soon as you’d like. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s continue with how to become a phlebotomist!
How to Become a Phlebotomist
Step 1. Is Phlebotomy Right For You?
The first step on how to become a phlebotomist is probably the most important, and it’s as simple as asking yourself a question. Is phlebotomy right for me ? Before you sign up to become a phlebotomist, you’ll want to ask yourself this and make sure that phlebotomy is the right career choice for you.
Does the job fit who you are? Is it something you can be good at? Are you generally interested in phlebotomy? A lot of people squirm just at the sight of blood or needles, but how about you? If you are having any doubts, we suggest you take the time to research the occupation to find out whether it can be a potential match.
Step 2. Earn a High School Diploma or Its Equivalent
Before you enter the field, you’ll have to complete the basic requirements of the workforce. That will include obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent (e.g. GED). You will also need to be at least 18 years old in order to become a phlebotomist.
Step 3. Choose a Training Option
There are two phlebotomy training options you can choose, which will depend on your preferences:
- On-the-Job Training
Believe it or not, there is the option to become a phlebotomist through on-the-job training. Although it can be hard to find offices that provide this type of training nowadays, it is very much possible if you look hard enough. After one year of practice in an accredited laboratory, you will be qualified to test for certification thanks to the American Society for Clinical Pathology. To find offices that provide on-the-job training, you’ll want to search the classifieds or job listings in your area for phlebotomists, and either look for specific details that states they provide on-the-job training or call them up to ask. This option is recommended for anyone who enjoys hands-on learning.
- Phlebotomy Training Programs
There is also the option to attend formal phlebotomy training programs, which are offered by many trade, technical, and community colleges. Most accredited programs last less than one year, with some programs taking less than 8 weeks to complete. These formal programs will consist of a classroom learning portion as well as a clinical training portion, which will teach you everything you’ll need to know to become a successful phlebotomist. This will include skills such as proper (and different) ways to draw blood, using equipment correctly, and basic legal and lab safety.
Step 4. Obtain Certification (Optional)
Certification is not absolutely necessary for the majority of states. In fact, only four states in the United States requires you to become certified (some also require licensure): California, Washington, Nevada, and Louisiana. However, we do recommend obtaining certification if you are truly interested in phlebotomy as it can provide numerous benefits, of which includes:
- Complete and thorough phlebotomy training
- Professional attitude and commitment to excellence
- Advantage over other potential job candidates
- A higher salary (average increase of 10%)
For most states, in order to become certified you will have to:
- Complete an accredited phlebotomy training program
- Provide documentation of clinical or laboratory experience (number of hours depending on state)
- Complete a state certification exam once qualified
As for the official agencies that provide phlebotomist certification, here are some of the most well known (accepted in majority of states):
- American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals (ACA)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT/MMCI)
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- National Phlebotomy Continuing Education (NPCE)
Step 5. Apply For a Job
Obviously, the last step is to apply for a job by looking through the classifieds or looking online for jobs in your area. The most popular places for employment are hospitals and laboratories (clinical, medical, or private), although phlebotomists are employed in a variety of other settings.
So, there you have it. Now you know how to become a phlebotomist. If you are still interested in becoming one, you can start looking for suitable phlebotomist training programs today.