Phlebotomists are specialists who collect the blood needed from patients for diagnostic tests or surgery. Their primary responsibility is to draw and handle blood safely and adequately, which is crucial for most medical procedures.
However, as a phlebotomist, you must educate yourself thoroughly about all regulations and safety practices.
If you are wondering how long it takes to become a phlebotomist, this article will explain it.
How to Become a Phlebotomist?
You will require a high school diploma or a GED to pursue studies in phlebotomy. The first step is to enroll in an approved Phlebotomy program. Community colleges, vocational schools, and teaching hospitals are some places where one can take phlebotomy lessons.
During this program, you will learn to administer venipunctures, gather specimens, prepare lab equipment, care for patients, properly label and categorize samples, and much more. The phlebotomy program integrates classroom and practical education to ensure absolute knowledge and prepare students for employment in various clinical settings.
However, you must attend and pass the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) exam after completing the program. You can take part in it either offline or through online proctoring mode. Usually, you need to have a score of 390 or more to pass the exam. If successful, you will obtain your phlebotomy license and now be eligible to apply for jobs. See more about how to become a phlebotomist.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Phlebotomist?
The complete duration of the phlebotomy curriculum and license acquisition may vary depending on your chosen institution and training program. However, it usually takes a few months to finish the entire process, including getting a certification.
You must finish at least 3 months of on-the-job training to gain practical experience. You may also sign up for a formal education course that may take between 4 months and a year and a half.
To become certified, you must plan to complete around 20-40 hours of courses in addition to study and practice time. Anatomy, medical terminology, physiology, and practical training will all be part of your phlebotomy education.
You can easily become a phlebotomist in less than 1 year, especially if you enroll in a state that doesn’t need certification, such as North Carolina, Massachusetts, Kansas, and more. In comparison to community colleges, vocational institutions may provide shorter programs.
To earn a certificate or diploma and land a job, you must complete a program’s instructional and clinical hours. National certification is usually unnecessary, but it can help you get work and stand out among other candidates. Depending on how well-prepared and driven you are to pursue certification, this might take several months or longer to accomplish.
What to Expect from a Phlebotomy Program?
Phlebotomists must be well-versed in medical language, follow safe procedures, and have good communication skills. Students are prepared for the demanding yet rewarding life in the medical industry through brief but frequently intensive classes. Here are some aspects of the phlebotomy program that you can expect.
- You will learn how to use a needle to locate veins and arteries effectively and draw the required blood from them.
- You will learn about sanitation and infection prevention.
- You are given extensive knowledge of human anatomy. In-depth research of the circulatory system’s veins and arteries is essential to the curriculum.
- You will receive instruction on safely handling potentially dangerous or toxic bodily fluids and other bio-waste.
- Preparatory seminars emphasize keeping organized records because medical professionals will use many of the samples collected by you for medical testing.
- In the medical field, you must regularly cooperate with hundreds of donors and patients. To prepare you for this, you will study customer service methods and approaches to guarantee donors have a pleasant time.
What is the Career Outlook for a Phlebotomist?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average hourly salary for this field was $17.92 to $19.63, or $37,280 annually, according to a 2020 report. However, the mean annual wages for phlebotomists were more in California, New York, Alaska, and Washington, all of which were above $41,000.
According to ten-year predictions from the BLS, phlebotomist occupations are expected to grow by 10% from 2021 to 2031. It has high employment prospects for those with the credentials, practical skills, and experience.
While medical school takes significantly longer than phlebotomy training, both programs cover some of the same ground. Phlebotomists will draw, handle, and store bodily fluids daily once they are in the field. Hospitals, clinics, outpatient laboratories, and nursing homes are a few places where phlebotomists might find employment.