Phlebotomy Training Programs and Requirements

Phlebotomists are clinical laboratory technicians trained to collect blood samples for medical use using venipuncture and micro-techniques. Most phlebotomists work in hospitals, doctors' offices and clinical laboratories.

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Training Requirements and Recommendations

Phlebotomists usually complete a 6- to 10-week training program in drawing blood, which prepares graduates for entry-level positions. Potential phlebotomy students must have completed a high school education (or its equivalent), successfully pass a background check and have current immunizations. Phlebotomists must be able to converse comfortably with patients in order to allay concerns over the procedure.

Formal Education

Phlebotomy training programs are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), and they normally lead to a certificate of completion. After graduation, phlebotomy students are able to carry out all tasks required of phlebotomists in clinics and hospitals, including drawing blood and making sample micro-collections.

Certificate of Completion in Phlebotomy

An accredited phlebotomy training program includes at least 42 hours of classroom training and 120 hours of clinical experience. Students complete courses in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, medical terminology and health care law. Clinical experience is obtained through assignment at various training sites, where students are supervised by experienced technicians.

Job Experience

Beginning phlebotomists are not required to have any prior work experience. Generally, job-specific training is provided by supervisors or obtained through orientation programs. Over time, it is possible to move into supervisory or training positions.

Licenses and Certifications

During the course of accredited phlebotomy programs, students complete eligibility requirements and prepare for a certification examination, which is offered by several agencies, including the American Medical Technologists, the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians and the National Healthcareer Association. Most states do not have specific licensing requirements for phlebotomists, but most places of employment do require certification.

Workshops and Seminars

As part of the preparation for the phlebotomy certifying examination, hands-on workshops are sponsored by some certifying agencies. They usually last 1-3 days and are for current experienced phlebotomists, practical nurses or medical assistants who seek to improve their phlebotomy skills. Such programs cover all aspects of phlebotomy and update attendees on current laws.

Professional Development

Some phlebotomist certifying agencies require 5-6 continuing education hours per year in order to maintain certification. However, others only require current employment in the field and a recertification fee. The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians work with health care facilities to provide cross-training for phlebotomists in such career fields as EKG technician, drug collection specialist and paramedical insurance examiner.

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