What are the Requirements for a Phlebotomy Certification?
A phlebotomist is a professional specifically trained in the skill of drawing blood through venipuncture and preparing and storing samples in a safe and clean environment. It is one of the fastest growing jobs and promises quick ascension with a little further education for ambitious individuals. However, in order to begin your career as a phlebotomist, there are certain requirements you need to fulfill to secure a phlebotomy certification.
You would need at least a high school diploma or an equivalent such as a GED to be able to enroll in a training program for Phlebotomy. Taking courses in physiology, biology, math and the sciences will also help. The school or hospital you apply at might also run a background check on you and would require you to have current immunization.
You can then enroll in a Phlebotomy program, which needs to last for at least 6 – 10 weeks. This will earn you a certificate, which is the minimum requirement to begin your career. However, you can also opt for an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree, which provides more fine tuned skills and knowledge and will earn you better and higher paying jobs, maybe even at supervisory levels. However, all these programs need to be accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
Classes and Courses
Your courses and classes in a basic Phlebotomy program consists of anatomy and physiology, which teach you the skills of extracting blood, and prepare you for potential complications. You will also learn to operate, adjust, put together, and maintain lab equipment. In addition to this you will be introduced to relevant medical chemistry, pathologies, anatomy, medical terminologies, healthcare law and even psychology and interpersonal communication to better deal with anxious patients.
Practical training and experience is a huge part of the training, and is carried out at special training sites under professional supervision. For this reason you do not need job experience when you apply for a phlebotomist position.
There is no exam that needs to be taken for certification, but instead each state has its own requirements for certification. On average you will need to have about 42 hours of classroom training and 120 hours of clinical experience. Some states even specify the number of venipunctures and other phlebotomy procedures that need to be completed in order to be certified.