A Quick Look At Phlebotomy Training
Phlebotomy is a becoming a great option as a profession for many people today, especially now with many centers providing instruction and accreditation. If you are considering phlebotomy training for a career as a phlebotomist, here are a few things you will want to know.
Phlebotomy: The Definition
Strictly speaking, phlebotomy is the process of opening a vein. This is done in order to draw blood and other liquids, or the opposite, to inject blood or other liquids such as medicine. Still it is not as simple as that and will require phlebotomy training.
Specific tasks vary depending on the institution employing the phlebotomist, and these involve different duties as well. As long as you are employed as a phlebotomist, however, your job will always involve proper procedures for drawing blood from patients, as well as strict handling of blood specimens according to protocol. Knowledge of correct procedures and protocols, use of correct equipment and materials are therefore important. An additional requirement is the ability to clearly describe what is being done to the patient.
Steps To Becoming A Phlebotomist
In order to become a professional practitioner of phlebotomy, there are several things you must have and do. One, finish high school (or equivalent GED courses) and secure your diploma. This is often necessary when signing up for phlebotomy training courses and certification. The length of training involved in the study of Phlebotomy varies from school to school and may take from six months to a year (one semester or two.) Choose one with accreditation in order to make the job search easier after training.
The next step after completing phlebotomy training is getting certification– whether this is included in your tuition and training fees vary from school to school. If your training program does not include certification, it is worth the added cost and effort to take the test and be certified. While not all medical institutions require their phlebotomists to be certified, it is best to get one in order to broaden your prospects.
Requirements For The Study of Phlebotomy
Being a medical student or having a background in medicine is not required in order to study Phlebotomy. Still, there are a few things you must have before enrolment:
• A high school degree, diploma or equivalent GED certification
• Certification in CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. (Certifications for this may be offered along side phlebotomy training in some schools)
• A clean record. Many institutes will check your records for occurrences of theft, abuse and other criminal or similar charges in your history
• Prior to participating in classes, schools will also require testing for physical fitness and mask fit. Other requirements may also be needed, and as this varies from school to school, you may want to check with the registration offices.
Phlebotomy Training Courses
How long do phlebotomy courses last? The standard period for courses is eight weeks, broken down into four-hour sessions, but again, this varies from school to school– some are longer, some are shorter. While some people prefer schools that offer short courses that last only a few weeks, it really depends on you paying maximum attention and retention to the material covered in the lessons. Length of phlebotomy training time often has little or nothing to do with the quality of instruction– what is important is that at the end of the period, you are prepared for certification.
There are two major sections that comprise phlebotomy training: clinical study and practical study. In practical phlebotomy, you will be learning about the hands on practices and procedures about performing phlebotomy itself: anatomy, safety, standard laboratory procedures and the like. In clinical study, modules concentrate on blood drawing and injection techniques as well as their performance. Different states have different certification requirements regarding the number of hours completed studying each section.
Online classes are also available from some phlebotomy schools, particularly for the lectures involved. This is a practical arrangement for those who want to learn faster in a shorter time period. One caveat, however, is to ensure that your online classes are equipped to allow you to ask questions and receive study help, preferably personalized.
How Much Does Phlebotomy Training Cost?
As with the length of the training period, style and requirements, costs for training as a phlebotomist varies from school to school, with some costing as little as $200 to around $1200. While the most expensive courses do not guarantee the best level of instruction, neither does going with the cheapest always the best bet. Make sure you investigate the entire offering rather than choosing based on price. You want to choose the one that equips you best.
What to look at? First, check what is included in the tuition. Some may require lower outlay but will not include textbooks and certification exam and requirements. Others may seem high up front but include all of these.
Financial aid options such as grants and loans are also available for eligible students, particularly in accredited schools which are more readily able to offer plans to deserving students. Check them out as well as what easy payments plans are offered by the schools you are interested in. Try to see if there are work-study arrangements that can be made, as well as other options that make payments easier for you to handle.
Phlebotomy can be a very fulfilling career but requires good planning and thorough training before you begin. This is why choosing the right school to train in is the biggest and most important decision you will make before embarking on it. Think about all your options and talk to people who know– your future career depends on it!