Becoming A Phlebotomist: What Are The Academic Requirements?
Phlebotomists have a very important job. They draw blood of individuals who are donating their blood or in need of a blood test. Without the work of phlebotomists, many people would suffer in silence with undiagnosed medical conditions or diseases, and individuals in need of a blood transfusion would not be able to get the help they need without donated blood.
Are you dreaming of becoming a phlebotomist to help make a difference? Learn about the academic requirements for the career below.
Completion of High School
Like many careers, the first step to becoming a phlebotomist is to successfully complete high school. A high school diploma signifies your understanding and competence in a wide range of subject matter, many of which will be necessary to use in the field of phlebotomy.
If you did not have the opportunity to receive a high school diploma, you can earn your GED or high school equivalency.
Phlebotomy Training Program
With a high school diploma, GED, or equivalency, you can then enroll into a training program designed specifically for individuals wanting a career in phlebotomy. These programs are available at many vocational schools and even community colleges.
The phlebotomy classes you’ll be required to take will teach you about anatomy, how to safely and properly collect blood, and how to handle and store blood. To pass the program, you’ll need a certain number of hours worth of training. On average, it takes one to two years to get through the program.
Successfully Passing a Certification Exam
Once you complete your phlebotomy training program, you’ll want to take the certification exam. Keep in mind that a majority of employers will want you to have passed this exam prior to hiring you, hence why this step is so important.
The exam generally contains 80 multiple-choice questions. In most cases, you’ll have two hours to complete the exam and must get at least 70% of the questions correct in order to pass. After so many attempts, you may not be eligible to take the test again, so studying beforehand is critical.
Not only must you pass an initial certification exam to become a phlebotomist, but you must also engage in continuing education to maintain your certification. To top it off, some states may require phlebotomists to also hold a license to perform their job duties.
In the end, the educational requirements to become a phlebotomist may vary from state to state but are typically the same in terms of training and certification. The academic requirements may also vary depending on the particular phlebology job you plan on going for, from phlebotomy associate to phlebotomy supervisor.
Becoming a phlebotomist and drawing blood might not be for everyone. However, for the people who do choose this as a career, it can be life changing for both the phlebotomist as well as the individuals whose lives they impact. If you believe phlebotomy is an ideal career path for you, it’s a good time to get started.