Becoming a Phlebotomist: From Education to Certification
A large part of how to become a phlebotomist comprises the acquisition of skills necessary to the profession, along with gaining the certification required by health institutions. Phlebotomy may be one job in the medical field that is easier to aim for, however, the massive competition leads to the utter necessity to comply with as many requirements as possible in order to secure a spot in the industry.
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How to Become a Phlebotomist: Basic Skills
Although manual dexterity is an essential skill involved in how to become a phlebotomist, most of the other skills required in this field encompass an individual’s interpersonal and behavioral characteristics. A phlebotomist must, first and foremost, be able to understand and cater to the needs of the patient. The ability to work with anxious and distressed patients with empathy and compassion is a must for anyone wishing to work in the medical field.
Other traits needed in this line of work involve the ability to keep calm under stressful circumstances, capacity to work as a member of a team, efficiency and orderliness, and the capability to follow instructions. These basic skills and abilities ensure systematic specimen collection, while also paving the path for minimal errors, especially of the man-made kind.
How to Become a Phlebotomist: Basic Requirements
Another important aspect of how to become a phlebotomist includes two most basic requirements: first, is a high school diploma or an equivalent (such as a GED), and second, a completion of a phlebotomy training course. These requirements, however, are as basic as it gets. Other requirements may be set by individual health institutions depending on their location or employment standards.
Training to Become a Phlebotomist
Phlebotomy Training can take anywhere from hours to weeks, depending on the training center you choose to be affiliated with. It is imperative that you take some time deciding where to undergo your training depending on cost, number of class and training hours, and your foresight regarding employment (state, health institution, niche patients, etc).
Credible phlebotomy training programs must have a reasonable amount of hours spent in class and on-the-job training. Since phlebotomy schools are under little regulation, it is best to look up the different schools affiliated with the different phlebotomy certification tests available.
Becoming a Certified Phlebotomist
There are three credible certifying bodies available for phlebotomist trainees in the US: the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Association for Phlebotomy Technicians (APT), and the National Phlebotomy Association (NPA). Each certifying body has differing requirements in terms of experience, hours spent in training and in class, and number of successful blood collections and/or venipunctures. Different health institutions also tend to prefer a certain type of certification, so if you already are intent on joining a certain clinic or hospital, checking their certification requirements can help you decide which certification test you should be preparing for.
Interestingly enough, becoming a phlebotomy technician does not always necessitate the need for a certification. Only the states of California and Louisiana require certification for medical professionals who are neither nurses nor doctors before they can be allowed to draw blood. This means that the importance of a certification lies in the competitive nature of employment in this field: certified phlebotomists tend to get jobs faster, coupled with the chance of getting a much better pay.
Everything about how to become a phlebotomist can seem so easy while being somewhat difficult at the same time. Most of the ease comes from the relatively short training period and the basic social skills required of a phlebotomist. On the other hand, the difficulties lie in the competitiveness of the industry, and the varying requirements set by different states, certifying bodies, and individual health institutions. Deciding a certain path to take in terms of training and certification can make you gain an edge in the industry, while making the most of your resources, especially in terms of finances and time.