If you’re interested in becoming a phlebotomy tech, there are a few things you need to do. Follow these five steps and you’ll be on your way to a successful career in phlebotomy.
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A phlebotomy tech is a healthcare professional who draws blood from patients for medical testing, transfusions, or donations. Phlebotomy techs work in hospitals, blood banks, or other clinical settings.
Becoming a phlebotomy tech requires completing a training program and earning a certification. The process typically takes about five steps and can be completed in about two years.
Step 1: Complete a High School Education or Equivalent
All phlebotomy tech programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may also require applicants to complete basic Math and English classes before beginning their training.
Step 2: Enroll in an Approved Phlebotomy Tech Training Program
After completing high school, the next step is to enroll in an approved phlebotomy tech training program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges or technical schools. They generally last one year and include both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience.
Some states may require phlebotomy techs to complete an internship before they can be certified. An internship is a period of on-the-job training that lasts anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Step 3: Earn Certification as a Phlebotomy Technician
In most states, phlebotomy techs must earn certification from an accredited organization before they can start working. The two main organizations that offer certification exams for phlebotomy techs are the National Healthcare Association (NHA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT).
To be eligible for certification, candidates must usually complete an accredited training program and pass an exam. Some organizations also require candidates to have prior work experience before they can be certified.
Step 4: Maintain Certification as a Phlebotomy Technician
Most certifying organizations require phlebotomy techs to renew their certification every few years. To do this, they must usually complete continuing education credits or retake the certification exam.
Step 5: Advance Your Career as a Phlebotomy Technician
After becoming certified, many phlebotomy techs find jobs in hospitals, blood banks, or other clinical settings. Some eventually move into supervisory positions or become instructors at phlebotomy training programs.
Step One: Research Phlebotomy Technician Programs
Research accredited phlebotomy technician programs in your area. Once you have completed a training program, you will need to take an exam to earn your certification.
Step Two: Enroll in a Phlebotomy Technician Program
Most phlebotomy technician programs last between four and eight weeks. The program will cover topics such as medical terminology, human anatomy, and proper phlebotomy techniques.
Step Three: Earn Your Certification
After completing a phlebotomy technician training program, you will need to take an exam to earn your certification. The Exam for the Certification of Phlebotomy Technicians (CPT) is administered by the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT).
Step Four: Find a Job
Once you have earned your certification, you can begin searching for a job as a phlebotomy technician. Many hospitals, clinics, and laboratories hire phlebotomists. You can also find jobs with blood donation centers and blood banks.
Step Five: Renew Your Certification
Your certification as a phlebotomy technician must be renewed every two years. To renew your certification, you must complete at least 20 hours of continuing education and submit a recertification application to the ASPT.
Step Two: Complete a Phlebotomy Technician Program
The next step to becoming a phlebotomy tech is to complete an accredited phlebotomy technician program. These programs are offered at community colleges and technical schools, and generally take about a year to complete. During your coursework, you’ll receive both classroom instruction and hands-on training in how to safely and effectively collect blood samples.
Before enrolling in a program, make sure it is accredited by a reputable organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Once you’ve completed an accredited program, you’ll be eligible to take the national certification exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Step Three: Become Certified
The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offer certification for phlebotomy techs. After you have completed an accredited training program, you can sit for the ASPT or NHA exam. Certification is not required in all states, but it may give you an edge in the job market and may be required by some employers.
Step Four: Find a Job
Once you have completed your training and received your certification, it is time to find a job. You can search for open positions on websites like Indeed.com or Careerbuilder.com. You can also check with your local hospital or blood bank to see if they have any open positions. Once you have found a few potential jobs, you can apply and interview for the position.
Step Five: Maintain Certification
In order to maintain your certification as a phlebotomy tech, you will need to complete continuing education credits. The number of credits required varies by state, but is typically between 10 and 20 credits per year. These credits can be earned through attending seminars, workshops, or taking courses related to phlebotomy or healthcare in general. Many employers will also offer continuing education opportunities for their employees.