Phlebotomy Certification and Certificate Programs with Course Info
Phlebotomists are medical professionals responsible for collecting blood samples to be used in medical testing. Typically, phlebotomists have no additional responsibilities other than venipuncture (drawing blood). The limited scope of duties means that training for phlebotomists can usually be completed through a certificate program.
Phlebotomy Certificate Program
Students in phlebotomy certificate programs learn how to perform venipuncture in a laboratory setting. In addition to phlebotomy skills, students in these programs may also learn basic medical terminology and skills like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). These programs teach students about communicating in a medical setting, working as part of a medical team as well as dealing with stress and pressure. Students gain an understanding of the role a phlebotomist plays in a medical team and how to safely perform the duties of a phlebotomist.
For most programs, students will only need to have a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in classes. However, some schools may have additional requirements, such as passing general education examinations, completing a health history form, passing a criminal background check and providing proof of health insurance coverage.
Coursework in phlebotomy certificate programs is usually focused specifically on phlebotomy and essential topics with little or no general education coursework. Most programs require students to participate in a hands-on phlebotomy practicum or internship as a program requirement. Programs vary from school to school with some schools combining all the necessary topics into one classroom course and one laboratory course while other schools' programs may spread coursework out over several classroom and laboratory courses. Some typical topics covered in phlebotomy certificate programs include:
- Blood collection techniques
- Infection control
- Safety in a medical setting
- Laboratory specimen preparation
- Medical legal issues
- Medical ethics
- Medical terminology
- Healthcare communications
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The focused training of a phlebotomy certificate program is designed to prepare students to become phlebotomists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups phlebotomists with clinical laboratory technologists and technicians. According to the BLS - in 2008 - there were 328,100 jobs in this field (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected that from 2008-2018 there would be a job growth of 14% for the field.
According to the 2010 survey published by the American Society for Clinical Pathology, staff-level phlebotomists earned an annual wage of roughly 28,080. Those that supervised other phlebotomists took home a median annual wage of $41,766 (www.ascp.org).
Completing a certificate course in phlebotomy is generally considered sufficient preparation for a phlebotomy career with no need for additional education. However, some graduates may choose to improve job prospects by gaining certification. Certification may be earned through professional organizations, such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
The NHA offers the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) designation, which helps individuals prove their skills in the field (www.nhanow.com). To qualify for the certification, individuals must have a high school diploma or equivalent and have one year of experience in the field or complete a phlebotomy training program. Individuals must also complete the NHA's certification exam.
According to the BLS, clinical laboratory personnel may be required to be licensed, certified or registered by the state in which they work. Requirements vary widely and some states may have no special requirements for phlebotomists.
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