Phlebotomy technicians are medical professionals who are trained to draw blood from patients either from a vein, a finger, or a heel stick on infants. Although that is the basic description of their job, phlebotomy technicians are often involved in a variety of tasks during their workday. In addition to the actual drawing of blood, phlebotomy technicians identify the tests to be performed as directed by a physician, practice safety procedures for both themselves and the patient, explain procedures to patients, properly label tubes of blood, and instruct patients how to care for the puncture site. Since many patients are nervous about having their blood drawn, phlebotomy technicians must have the ability to calm patients who experience anxiety while undergoing a procedure. Because they perform such an important role in the eventual diagnosis and treatment of patients, phlebotomy technicians are an essential part of a medical team.
Phlebotomy technicians often work in a variety of settings including doctors' offices, hospitals, clinics, laboratory facilities where patients have blood tests performed, and blood banks. The working hours of a phlebotomy technician can be a typical Monday through Friday schedule in a doctor's office, or if phlebotomy technicians work in a hospital, their schedule could consist of an unconventional schedule with weekend and evening hours worked. The job outlook of phlebotomy technicians is better than many other careers, since, like most careers in health care, it is expected to grow due to the expanding population and advances in diagnostic testing. Phlebotomy technicians can expect to make between 12 and 13 dollars an hour once they are employed.
Phlebotomy training is often offered at trade schools and state or community colleges. Generally, only a certificate is needed to begin working as a phlebotomy technician, but the certificate programs are stringently governed by several organizations and phlebotomy schools must be accredited in order for graduates to pass certification exams. State certification and/ or licensing is not required in most states; however, phlebotomy technicians can be nationally certified in to work in all 50 states, and national certification is often preferred when seeking employment. There are various organizations across the United States that offer certification for graduates. Although certification is not always required, all states require graduates of phlebotomy programs to complete a predetermined number of hours during school in classes and in clinical practice.
State or community colleges, trade schools, and medical technology schools are the types of schools that offer phlebotomy technician programs. Although many schools only give students the ability to achieve a certificate in phlebotomy, some schools do offer a diploma in the subject. Certificate or diploma programs usually take about three months to a year to complete. Usually, the first phase of a phlebotomy technician program involves coursework. It generally consists of about six credit hours achieved over a college semester which is usually eight weeks in duration. Classes may vary by program, but students can expect to take courses such as:
In addition to coursework, about 120 clinical hours in phlebotomy will need to be completed by a student. Clinical hours are spent working in a lab or a hospital setting and can usually be earned within a few weeks.
After satisfying all requirements in the program, students will receive a certificate or diploma, and are then eligible to take any necessary licensing exams in their individual states. They can then seek employment in:
Even though a certificate in phlebotomy is the minimum necessary to begin working as a phlebotomy technician, some students opt to receive an associate's degree in a related field or an associate's degree that combines phlebotomy with another specialization. One program option is an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technician. This degree focuses on the same curriculum a phlebotomy program does; however, there is often other training given in clinical chemistry, microbiology, and hematology. Because this is a degree program, students will need to take general education classes in English, math, and science, and like a phlebotomy certificate program, students will need to complete a specified number of core classes such as:
In addition, students will need to complete clinical hours in a hospital or lab. Possible career options can be found for graduates with an associate's degree in medical facilities such as:
We found 31 schools offering phlebotomy degree programs in the U.S.
|Southwestern College of Business||Cincinnati||OH||16|
|Delta Career Institute||Beaumont||TX||72|
|Medvance Institute - Houston||Houston||TX||85|
|Suwannee - Hamilton Technical Center||Live Oak||FL||88|
|Huntington Institute Incorporated||Norwich||CT||95|
|Louisiana Technical College - North Central Campus||Farmerville||LA||196|
|Louisiana Technical College - Alexandria Campus||Alexandria||LA||300|
|Technical Career Institute||Miami||FL||309|
|St Louis College of Health Careers||Saint Louis||MO||443|
|Baker College of Jackson||Jackson||MI||1027|
|The University of Texas Southwest Med Ctr - Dallas||Dallas||TX||1505|
|Baker College of Owosso||Owosso||MI||1905|
|Lake City Community College||Lake City||FL||2143|
|Mid - State Technical College||Wisconsin Rapids||WI||2584|
|Baker College of Muskegon||Muskegon||MI||2727|
|Baker College of Flint||Flint||MI||3896|
|Bossier Parish Community College||Bossier City||LA||4332|
|Roane State Community College||Harriman||TN||5099|
|Saint Louis Community College - Forest Park||Saint Louis||MO||6749|
|Pensacola Junior College||Pensacola||FL||9985|
|Des Moines Area Community College||Ankeny||IA||10998|
|Southwest Tennessee Community College - Union Campus||Memphis||TN||12194|
|Brevard Community College||Cocoa||FL||13265|
|Saint Louis University - Main Campus||Saint Louis||MO||13847|
|Milwaukee Area Technical College||Milwaukee||WI||14296|
|Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute||Albuquerque||NM||17265|
|Miami Dade College||Miami||FL||46834|