Becoming A Trained Phlebotomist: To Be Or Not To Be?
Should you be a certified phlebotomist? If you’ve been wondering whether or not this is the right career for you, read on. If you’re one of those people who turn white or feel faint at the sight of blood or feel squeamish over needles, then it most likely isn’t a good idea. Neither is it a good career path for those who are not at the peak of health– it is a job that requires interaction with sick patients and handling blood as well as other bodily liquids. For healthy people who have no problems handling blood and needles however, phlebotomy training can be a lucrative career with many job opportunities in a growing industry– especially for the good ones!
Are You Right For The Job?
One of the requirements for a trained phlebotomist is the ability to interact with different types of people of different ages in the course of the job. If you have great people skills and are able to help people calm down and relax in a stressful situation, this is the right career for you!
Many people who start out as phlebotomists also find the medical field fascinating enough to develop their skills and knowledge further. In fact, many end up as nurses and even doctors later on. Medical practitioners are always in high demand and phlebotomy is a great entry point into the health care industry – an industry that is recession-proof, offers great stability and many job opportunities. If you are interested in medicine and it is in line with your skills, you’ll certainly find being a certified phlebotomist a great way to get your foot in the door.
The Employment Opportunities Overview
As previously mentioned, there are many job prospects available for phlebotomists after training and certification. Statistics on labor and employment all show that job opportunities in the medical field are on the rise and are predicted to improve in the years to come, with the number of available positions always more than the number of possible candidates. Job prospects also increase drastically for candidates willing to relocate.
One of the best institutions for a certified phlebotomist is The Red Cross, but there are also many clinics, doctors’ offices and of course, hospitals that will also have jobs. Another growing source of jobs is diagnostic clinics and other health-care facilities.
How much should a phlebotomist expect to make? Here are a few points that influence salary projection.
• Geography. Location plays a role in determining salary. As a rule, areas on the Coast states such as New York, Connecticut and Maryland usually pay higher. This does not mean that the West Coast states are significantly low– places in metropolitan areas, particularly in California give good good salaries. Other areas may pay lower but compensate with lower costs of living.
• The Work Environment. The setting also plays a role in determining the salary. Hospital phlebotomists are paid on a different scale as traveling phlebotomists, on-call consultants and the like. You will want to choose one that fits your lifestyle more than the salary.
• Work Levels. Various institutions differ in terms of workload and work situations. A phlebotomist in an emergency room will be required to draw more blood from more patients under more stressful situations as opposed to one in a diagnostic clinic. Hours will also differ, so it is good to factor these in when choosing where to work.
Career advancement is definitely one of the most important factors in choosing a career. When it comes to strictly phlebotomy, the room for advancement may indeed be minimal, with the ceiling pegged at a leadership or management position handling groups of phlebotomists.
However, many medical practitioners have started with phlebotomy as an entry-level position, later on opting to further their phlebotomy training and education to become nurses, medical technologists and even doctors. As in any field, advancement in phlebotomy as a career requires for their study, but it is definitely a wonderful starting point for a medical career!
Training as a Phlebotomist
Phlebotomy training and education is necessary to pass the certification exam– a requirement in becoming a practicing phlebotomist. This training equips aspiring phlebotomists with the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to practice, and is more or less standardized regardless of chosen training school.
Many institutes such as colleges and other medical educational facilities provide phlebotomy training programs for certification. These are classes that are both practical and theoretical that last anywhere from three weeks to six months– some even lasting a year. Those with practical experience may not even take phlebotomy training programs in formal classes– taking certification tests may allow them to get the credentials they need to get a better job or keep their practice.
Choosing the Right School or Training Program
The most important factor in choosing the phlebotomy training school or program is ensuring that one is equipped to perform phlebotomy at the end expertly enough to pass the tests and requirements for certification. This means thoroughly investigating the offerings by the different institutes and school with regards to the courses offered and time involved in training. This will also require practical courses, so make sure they are included.
Schedules and Other Personal Considerations
If you have another job or need to take care of a family while undergoing phlebotomy training, that must be factored in as well. You will want to choose the course program and phlebotomy training center or institute that accommodates these needs while allowing you to study effectively and at the pace that is perfect for you.
Advanced Training Options
The most basic phlebotomy training will equip you to perform blood draws and handling and will surely allow you to get a job as a phlebotomy technician. Still, you need not be limited to this. Many phlebotomy training facilities offer advanced courses that will equip you to also administer injections, insert intravenous lines, and even perform arterial blood draws. Having advanced training expands your job opportunities drastically, and thus enables you to command higher salaries.
As a career, there is definitely much promise to considering phlebotomy as a career, offering excellent opportunities and options with regards to employment, advancement, satisfaction (financial and otherwise) and growth. With the medical field consistently growing at a rapid pace, one can be sure that there will always be a need for phlebotomists, especially certified, well-trained ones. Consider these: high salaries, minimal training, easy requirements for certification and fairly minimal training and certification requirements and a great number of jobs to choose from– it’s definitely a career to consider, and a good one for many people!