Certified Phlebotomy Technician Education Requirements and Job Duties
Certified phlebotomy technicians are clinical laboratory specialists who collect blood. They're often employed in blood banks and labs, hospitals and health clinics. Becoming a certified phlebotomy technician typically involves completion of a certificate or vocational training program with classroom and practical elements.
Certified Phlebotomy Technician Education Requirements
Certified phlebotomy technicians may complete certificates in phlebotomy or a short-term vocational course to qualify for certification from one of several professional organizations. As of July 2011, the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) approved 57 phlebotomy certificate programs available through hospitals, community colleges and vocational schools. Phlebotomy certificate programs tend to last one year, while short-term courses can be completed in about two months. Both incorporate hands-on clinical practicums and equip students with the medical and technical skills for entry-level employment in blood collection. Classes may include anatomy and physiology, medical jargon, laboratory techniques, first aid and interpersonal communication.
American Medical Technologists
To be eligible for American Medical Technologists (AMT) certification, phlebotomists must be graduates of an accredited or AMT-approved phlebotomy program or have at least 1,040 hours of adequate experience (www.amt1.com). Candidates must then pass the Registered Phlebotomy Technician exam, which covers eight topics including specimen collection, safety procedures and clerical skills.
The American Society of Clinical Pathologists
The American Society of Clinical Pathologists outlines six routes for candidates to qualify for its PBT(ASCP) phlebotomy technician certification through postsecondary education, work experience or a combination of the two. Candidates with a certificate of completion require less documented on-the-job experience than those who have completed short-term courses.
National Heathcareer Association (NHA)
Eligibility for the National Healthcareer Association's phlebotomy technician certification exam requires a high school diploma or GED certificate. NHA phlebotomy technician certification candidates must also document either recent completion of a vocational program or one year of work experience.
California Certified Phlebotomy Technician Licensure
California requires phlebotomists to have a license as a limited phlebotomy technician, certified phlebotomy technician 1 (CPT1) or certified phlebotomy technician 2 (CPT 2), Licenses are granted after candidates complete a 20-hour or a 40-hour educational program, as well as progressive amounts of supervised clinical experience. CPT 1 or CPT 2 candidates must pass a written exam.
Certified Phlebotomy Technician Job Duties
Certified phlebotomy technicians draw blood from patients for medical testing, transfusions and blood bank donations. They may apply tourniquets and disinfectants before administering venipuncture, microtechniques or other phlebotomy methods. Phlebotomists are also responsible for assembling equipment, labeling specimen containers and transporting specimens to testing facilities for processing and analysis.
Along with these technical duties, certified phlebotomy technicians deliver patient care. In many cases, phlebotomists are clients' only contact in the blood lab and are responsible for reassuring and comforting them during the procedure. Phlebotomists may also collect and record patient information, which involves interviewing and taking vital signs.
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