HOW TO BECOME A PHLEBOTOMY TECHNICIAN
If not, keep reading – this is a unique job that is very rewarding and fulfilling.
WHAT IS A PHLEBOTOMY TECHNICIAN?
A phlebotomy technician is the person in charge of drawing blood samples or donations from patients and donors. The phlebotomy technician is also responsible for preparing the blood samples so that they can be tested. Phlebotomy technicians are given a great amount of training, so their expertise and mannerisms can assist those donating blood or getting blood taken if the experience is anxiety-provoking for them.
WHAT EDUCATION DO I NEED?
In order to become a phlebotomy technician, you have to complete a training program. No degree is required, just the certificate from your phlebotomy technician training. These programs are available from community colleges and technical schools all over the United States. There are a variety of topics that you will study in your program that are clinical, practical, and/or theoretical. Here are a few of the topics that you will study in your program:
- Blood collection techniques and sampling procedures
- Medical terminology
- Patient interaction issues
- Medical ethics
- Possible legal issues
- Anatomy and physiology
- Blood and cell composition
- Laboratory safety and cleanliness
- Lab equipment handling skills
- Cleaning up spills of bodily fluids
It takes about 6 months to become a phlebotomy technician with these training programs.
DO I NEED TO BE LICENSED?
After you receive your certificate from an accredited phlebotomy training program, you can apply for certification from the American Medical Technologists (AMT), American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians. These require you to pass testing. Most employers require their phlebotomy technicians to be certified, so do this shortly after you receive your certificate.
In certain states, you have to be licensed as well. You will have to contact your state health board and/or other organizations to determine if you need to pursue licensure in your state. If so, they will give you the information required to become a licensed phlebotomy technician (which usually involves being certified, as well). Do all of these shortly after receiving your certificate as to prevent delays in your employment.
DO I NEED ANY OUTSIDE TRAINING?
If you are certified as a phlebotomy technician, you are required to obtain continuing education credits, to get extra training, or to complete certification management programs in order to keep their certification. These will help you keep up with the changes in protocol and technology that you may encounter.
As a phlebotomy technician, you can also opt to be certified as a Donor Phlebotomy Technician (DPT). DPT’s are able to work in blood collection centers that accept donations, which can open you up to other employment opportunities as well.
WHAT IS THE PRIMARY SKILL SET OF A PHLEBOTOMY TECHNICIAN?
There are some skills you may definitely need as a phlebotomy technician. Here are the primary ones:
- Verbal communication
- Interpersonal relationship skills
- Physical wellness
- Ability to be on your feet for long periods of time
- Critical thinking skills
- Ability to learn quickly and adapt to technology
- Patience and compassion
- Manual dexterity
Becoming a phlebotomy technician takes a lot of hard work, but it is worth the time and effort invested into it. If you’re considering going into an allied health field, phlebotomy technology may be for you.