Phlebotomy Education Requirements and Career Information

Phlebotomists do blood work that is used in laboratory testing, blood transfusions and medical studies. Phlebotomists work at blood banks, hospitals, laboratories and neighborhood health centers.

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Education Requirements for Phlebotomists

Degree Programs

Most phlebotomists receive a combination of classroom training and on-the-job experience. Although a college degree is not required, many phlebotomists obtain an associate's degree. A bachelor's degree in medical technology is also an option for aspiring phlebotomists. Topics of instruction focus on venipuncture, vascular anatomy, vascular physiology, skin puncture techniques, safety procedures and proper handling of blood specimens.

Certification

Certification is required for phlebotomists in some states. Certifying bodies include the National Phlebotomy Association and the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians. Guidelines for certification vary by organization but may call for a specified amount of work experience and membership in one of the certifying organizations. Certified phlebotomists are required to renew their certification, usually annually. Continuing education is a requirement for maintaining certification. Topics of study for continuing education can include blood contamination, venipuncture, patient injury, lawsuits and other related subjects.

Career Information

Phlebotomists, also called phlebotomy technicians, are specialized clinical laboratory technicians who collect blood samples (venipunctures) for use in diagnostic testing, blood transfusions and medical study. Phlebotomists work in hospitals, clinics, doctor's office laboratories, blood banks and health centers. Phlebotomists may also train and supervise other phlebotomy technicians and organize continuing education programs.

According to the American Society for Clinical Pathology (www.ascp.org), phlebotomists working in hospitals and clinics earned approximately $12.50 per hour in 2007. Phlebotomists working in laboratories in doctors' offices earned an average wage of $13.00 per hour. According to PayScale.com, some of the most popular U.S. cities for jobs in phlebotomy include New York, Chicago, Houston and San Diego. Employment is predicted to grow 16% between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).

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