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Phlebotomy Schools and Training Programs
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Health care support occupations are in high demand, as the population ages and medical treatment options multiply. Phlebotomists serve on the frontlines of medical care as medical technicians, collecting blood samples for diagnostic tests and blood transfusions.
What is Phlebotomy?
Phlebotomy is the practice of collecting and preparing blood samples for analysis. Phlebotomists are skilled in the safe and hygienic collection of blood samples from patients. Working as part of a team of clinical laboratory technicians, phlebotomists preserve the blood samples in microcollection tubes and submit them for laboratory testing. A phlebotomist may also draw blood for donation, transfusion or for treatment of blood conditions such as hemachromatosis, a condition involving elevated iron levels in the blood. Phlebotomists typically report to a medical technician or pathologist.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.org) reports that clinical laboratory technicians, such as phlebotomists, usually need an associate degree or a certificate. Phlebotomists typically launch their career by completing a formal training program, which varies in duration according to the school and whether or not it is an intensive course.
Instruction centers on the safe and proper collection, handling, transport, and processing of blood samples. In addition, a phlebotomy training course may cover:
You can find phlebotomy training courses at vocational schools, technical institutes and two-year colleges. A college degree is not a requirement, but some employers prefer higher education in addition to the phlebotomy training program. Degrees in medical laboratory technology or clinical laboratory science, available at the two-year associate and four-year bachelor's degree level, generally include phlebotomy instruction in the curriculum.
Certification for Phlebotomists
Phlebotomy certification is a preferred career credential for most employers -- and a requirement in states that license phlebotomists, such as California and Louisiana. Several national credentialing associations offer certification, including the National Phlebotomy Association, American Society for Phlebotomy Technicians and American Phlebotomy Association. Certification generally requires completion of an approved training program and some experience, including work experience and a certain number of successful venipunctures.
General medical technician associations such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology's Board of Certification, American Medical Technologists and the American Association of Medical Assistants also offer nationally recognized phlebotomy certification. These general programs are suited for technicians with broader training, such as medical assistants or clinical laboratory technologists.
Career Outlook for Phlebotomists
The bls.org projects job growth of 14 percent for clinical laboratory technicians over the 2008-2018 period, which is higher than the average for all occupations. The American Society for Clinical Pathology, or ASCP, found a job vacancy rate for phlebotomists of 5.9 percent nationwide, and 12 percent in outpatient clinic laboratories, per 2009 data. The rising demand reflects the increase of medical procedures involving blood draws, including diagnostic tests, transfusions and treatment. An aging population with chronic health conditions and the development of new diagnostic tests suggest continued expansion in health care positions.
Phlebotomists work in settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, physicians' offices and laboratories, and salaries vary for the different environments. The ASCP found that in 2007 phlebotomists earned a median hourly wage of $12.50 in hospitals and private clinics, and $13 in physicians' office laboratory settings. In 2009, the ASCP reported a national average of $13 per hour and $27,040 annually, with the highest wages in the Northeast.
The bls.org calculates a mean annual income of $38,190 for all medical and clinical lab technicians, as of May 2010. Salary.com's median salary estimate for phlebotomists nationwide is $29,553. Experienced phlebotomists can advance into supervisor roles, earning $18.14 per hour or $37,814 annually, according to the 2009 ASCP Survey. With the right training, you could take advantage of the strong job prospects expected for clinical laboratory technicians, such as phlebotomists.
Campus and Online Phlebotomy Schools
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Quick Summary: Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
Quick Summary: Get the hands-on training you need to succeed at Blake Austin College.
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