When it comes to jobs in the medical industry, most jobs require you to have years and years of education under your belt, not to mention some very specific and specialized training, but this isn’t the case with certified phlebotomist jobs. In fact, in many parts of the country, you only need a high school diploma or GED equivalent along with a special certification that comes with a few weeks of training, and then you can be working in this field.
A Day in the Life of Phlebotomist
When you choose to pursue certified phlebotomist jobs, you will find that you get to enjoy many of the same benefits that other jobs requiring more education and training offer. This includes hands-on interaction with patients each and every day and the ability to work in the medical profession as a respected specialist.
There are a variety of different medical settings that you can choose to work in, and each setting will provide you with a slightly different work experience. However, in general, you can expect to draw blood from dozens of different patients on a daily basis. Most jobs do have you working in a medical office, but there are also some traveling jobs available.
Because of the nature of certified phlebotomist jobs, you will find that that some personal qualities and characteristics may make a certain individual better suited for the job than another. Here are some personality traits you may want to consider as advantages to working in this line of work:
- Being a “people person” who thrives when meeting new people regularly and who enjoys interacting with those of all ages and from all walks of life.
- Being able to work well under pressure and remain calm. Consider the pressure that you may feel when drawing blood in an emergency room situation, with a crying infant, and other such situations, and consider how you would handle the pressure of that situation.
- Being able to handle the sight of blood and being OK with inflicting moderate amounts of pain on others with each draw.
These are all things that you will have to deal with on the job when you choose to work in certified phlebotomist jobs, and by reviewing this list, you will find that you may or may not be cut out for working in this field.
A Closer Look at the Different Types of Certified Phlebotomist Jobs
When you choose to work in the medical industry as a phlebotomy specialist, you will have the ability to pick which medical environment you want to work in. The fact is that in many parts of the country, these specialists are in high demand, so you typically will have the ability to select the environment that you want to work in and that best suits your own interests. Here are some of the different environments that you may consider working in with certified phlebotomist jobs:
- Domiciliary or Traveling Service: This type of job puts you out in the field traveling to locations that are convenient for patients. This may include visiting those who are at home in hospice care, or visiting those who are not quite so ill with a visit to their home or work. For those individuals who do not enjoy staying inside the same medical office or hospital environment every day, this is a great option.
- Laboratory or Research Center: Professionals who work in this type of environment may have a few different certified phlebotomist jobs to select from, but generally they will be assigned the task of drawing blood from patients on a walk-in basis. These patients generally bring in doctors’ orders, and you will draw blood according to those orders.
- Hospitals: When you work as a phlebotomy specialist in a hospital setting, you may be assigned a certain area of the hospital to work in, and this can set the tone of your work day. You may be assigned to work in the emergency room and deal with those who are severely ill or injured, or you may roam from room to room visiting patients in their beds. You will be required to draw from all ages in most cases when you work in a hospital setting, unless you choose to work in a specialty hospital such as a children’s medical center.
- Medical Offices: Larger medical officers generally have certified phlebotomist jobs available. You may draw blood for a number of different doctors working in the office building. Depending upon the type of doctors you service and their specialty area of medicine, you may work with a wide range of individuals, or you may work with a certain niche such as obstetrics, pediatrics, and so forth.
- Nursing Homes and Assisted Living: Many people find working with the elderly to be a highly rewarding niche, and you can generally find several certified phlebotomist jobs in these types of facilities. While rewarding, these jobs can be challenging as well because such patients may be dealing with dementia, senility, Alzheimer’s, low blood pressure, collapsing veins, and more.
These are just a few of the different but more common environments where you may find certified phlebotomist jobs. Each of the jobs provides you with a unique yet fully rewarding way to earn a living.
What Your Paycheck May Look Like
You likely are curious about what the pay of this type of medical professional may be. As you can imagine, the salary for certified phlebotomist jobs will vary from state to state and city to city. Other factors will affect pay as well, such as which environment you choose to work in, the demands of the specific job, and more. Generally, however, you may find that starting pay for these jobs runs between $25,000 and $35,000. There is some room for adjustment here, though, based on the different factors at play.
The Requirements for Certification
Before you can apply for certified phlebotomist jobs and enjoy a rewarding career in this niche in the medical industry, you will first need to take steps to get certified to work in the field. You should be aware that each state has its own unique certification requirements. A handful of states currently do not require you to be certified at all and instead find on-the-job training acceptable. Even if your state does not require the certificate to work in the field, you may find that obtaining your certificate and getting this extra training opens more doors for you in your career and makes you better at your chosen profession.
The states that do require professionals to be certified will have varying requirements, and some have specific organizations or associations that you will need to be certified through. Some of the organizations that most commonly offer nationally recognized certificates include:
- National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC) American Credentialing Agency (ACA)
You will, however, want to check with your state on its specific requirements to work in certified phlebotomist jobs.
You should also be aware that while some states find a high school diploma or GED equivalent acceptable, there are a few states that require phlebotomy professionals to have a two-year or even a four-year college degree to work in certified phlebotomist jobs.
In order to get certified and work in certified phlebotomist jobs, you will need to sign up to take your training courses. Courses may be available in your local area in traditional classroom formats, online formats, or a combination of both. Generally, you can find these educational classes in trade schools, community colleges, and other educational centers.
While the formats of the classes may vary, the topics discussed in the classes remain fairly similar. The topics covered are designed to prepare you to work in the field as certified phlebotomist jobs and also to provide you with success when you take our certification exam, too. So just what topics are covered? Here are some of the most common topics covered in classes:
- How to use different medical equipment and supplies that are common in phlebotomy such as blood culture bottles, vacuum tubes, bandages, tape, locking arm rests, syringes, spill kits, dermal puncture equipment, biohazard containers, and more
- Strategies, techniques, and legal aspects for safely working with biohazard materials such as sterile needles, contaminated needles, blood samples, and more
- A general overview of human anatomy and physiology
- Strategies and techniques for drawing blood, which include how to draw blood from specialty patients like infants and the elderly, how to minimize pain when drawing blood, strategies for finding a good vein, and more
- Building rapport with patients, including those with an intense fear of needles or blood, to ensure that all patients are comfortable and relaxed throughout the process
- How to read blood draw orders from doctors and proper record keeping techniques
As you can see, these and other common topics are designed to give you the knowledge and insight you need to thrive in a variety of certified phlebotomist jobs. They also provide you with all of the information you need to pass your certification exam if you study hard and pay attention to the materials covered.
Time Commitment for Certification
You may be curious how long it will take for you to earn your certification and start working in certified phlebotomist jobs. The length of the courses will vary from state to state and from educational center to educational center. However, in general, you likely will be able to complete your education in about two to four weeks. From that point, you will then be ready to sign up to take your exam. The exam itself generally takes just a few hours of your time, and then you will have to wait for your exam test results to come in. Once you have received notice that you have passed the certification exam, you can then begin looking for certified phlebotomist jobs.
In many areas, candidates for these jobs are in high demand, so you will then find that the process of finding the right job for you is typically an easy process indeed. If you act today and begin researching certification requirements for your state and signing up for your courses, you will find that you could be working in the field in just a few months’ time!
When you are considering making a career switch from another line of work to this one, or if you are a young adult who is trying to determine if this line of work is right for you, you certainly do want to consider what the job has to offer you and your future.
For many people, specifically in an employment environment such as is present today, job security is highly important. Many people do enjoy working in the medical industry because of the job security that they find in this line of work. People are constantly in need of medical services, and as the population continues to grow, the demand for such services will only increase. Furthermore, because of the aspect of this job that deals with blood and needles, this is not one of the most popular jobs in the medical industry. Yet for the right individual, this is a highly rewarding career that you can enjoy without spending years in college or medical school.
If you have taken the time to research all that there is to know about working in certified phlebotomist jobs and have determined that this is a great line of work for you, you will want to take the next step and begin the certification process. This involves taking time to research certification requirements for your state and researching which education centers near you offer the training and certification classes. Then sign up for the next class sessions available so you can begin this wonderful journey!