Phlebotomy is the practice of drawing blood from patients in order to have blood specimens tested in medical laboratories for various reasons. Phlebotomy is a great starting career for those who want to enter into a career in the medical field to become a nurse, electrocardiogram (EKG) technician, medical assistant, and more. Becoming a phlebotomist has never been easier with all of the online degree programs offered by accredited distance learning institutions available to you.
A phlebotomy certificate online is generally six months to a year, an associate degree is typically one to two years, and a bachelor degree is typically three to four years long. The certifications and degree programs for phlebotomists are widely varied from state to state, so it is important to find a college that is properly accredited. The two major accrediting agencies are the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Each state has a different exam that you will have to take to become licensed, so be sure to check with your state government's page online to ensure that your school will meet all of the certification requirements for local hospitals and medical practices.
During your phlebotomy training or degree program you will learn how to quickly and smoothly draw blood causing as little pain to the patient as possible. Your program will also typically prepare you to operate an EKG machine, collect urine samples, and identify heart disease. Coursework will include blood chemistry analysis, cardiac rehabilitation, basic clinical safety and procedures, human anatomy, CPR, and basic venipuncture techniques.
Each level of education you achieve will increase your employment opportunities. In general, you will want to ensure that your educational program will prepare you to take your state exam to become a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) or a Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT). You can also receive advanced training in order to be certified as a Donor Phlebotomy Technician (DPT) so that you can work with blood collection sites.
Phlebotomists are in high-demand as many people who work in this field tend to gain more education or take promotions in the same area of study. Many medical facilities also offer reimbursement for education and training programs in phlebotomy as well to help keep student loan debt at a minimum. As mentioned before, phlebotomy is a great starting point for students who have a passion in the medical field.