Phlebotomy schools from all over the country offer certification programs for aspiring medical technicians. Phlebotomy or venipuncture is the act of puncturing the vein to extract blood for purposes such as transfusions and laboratory tests. Training programs for phlebotomy range from six months to four years, depending on the number of required courses. Certification programs that offer basic phlebotomy skills usually take less than a year, while Bachelor of Science degrees can take up to four years including internship.
For individuals who want to enter a school typically must have a high school diploma or GED. They must also pass a criminal background check and the minimum health requirements. Being a phlebotomist means facing potential infectious and health hazards on a regular basis, so it is important to be in good health. Some schools offer online courses for those who need more flexibility with their time but for only specific courses. These certification programs usually take about a year, including internship in a clinical or hospital setting.
Some medical professionals take training programs as an additional skill and certification while others go into phlebotomy as a full-time career. Besides drawing blood for a variety of reasons, they perform a handful of other tasks as well. Their other major responsibilities include interacting with different medical professionals like doctors and nurses, and dealing with patients of all ages and temperament. Phlebotomy also requires some data and record management, so having bookkeeping and data entry skills can come in handy.
As part of their training programs, virtually all schools in Pittsburgh PA offer topics on legal aspects of collecting blood, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, blood collection techniques, patient interaction principles, and an introduction to the clinical practices of phlebotomy. There is also a wide range of subjects covering human anatomy like the circulatory, skeletal, muscular, and urinary and respiratory systems. Other important subjects discussed in phlebotomy schools are laboratory safety, how to handle emergencies, familiarity with infectious diseases, and CPR.
Some schools offer internship programs as part of their curriculum, usually with an associate degree or with a Bachelor of Science degree. An internship program creates the best clinical experience for aspiring phlebotomists as they learn how to extract blood, perform lab tests and work together with other medical professionals in the field. When looking for the right phlebotomy school, it is best to check if they have internship programs available. Having participated in an internship program is also a huge advantage when it comes to job opportunities.
An internship is the final stage before receiving the phlebotomy certification. Students must pass the certification exam before becoming a licensed phlebotomist. To increase your chances of passing the exam, we recommend enrolling in accredited school to get the best preparation and education possible. Even after becoming certified, it is recommended that phlebotomists continue taking classes and re-certification programs to keep their credentials and knowledge up to date. Some medical technicians even take up graduate degree courses on phlebotomy to expand their knowledge to be eligible for possible promotions in this field. Upon graduation, possible career options include becoming medical assistants, researchers, EMT providers, and disease intervention specialists.