Education and Training Requirements
Biology, health, and other science courses are helpful if you wish to become a phlebotomy technician after graduation. Computer science, English, and speech classes are also important. In addition, if you plan on entering formal phlebotomy training programs, you should take the courses that fulfill the entrance requirements for the program you plan to attend.
Until recently, on-the-job training was the norm for phlebotomy technicians. Now, formal programs are offered through independent training schools, community colleges, or hospitals. Most programs last from 10 weeks to one year. They include both in-class study and supervised, clinical practice. Course work includes anatomy, physiology, introduction to laboratory practices, communication, medical terminology, phlebotomy techniques, emergency situations, and CPR training.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Certification and licensing for phlebotomy technicians varies according to state and employer. Several agencies grant certification, including the American Medical Technologists, American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, and Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Most employers require certification.
Being a phlebotomist can also be physically demanding, requiring both good manual dexterity and the ability to lift 40 pounds. Some positions may require employees to pass drug screenings and to have a driver's license and a clean driving record.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Previous clinical experience is critical for aspiring phlebotomy technicians, and many jobs require it. Most plebotomy students participate in supervised, clinical practicums during their postsecondary training.
To be a successful phlebotomy technician, you should have excellent interpersonal skills, as well as be an effective communicator and a good listener. You should also be attentive to detail and be able to work under pressure while maintaining patience. In addition, you should have good manual dexterity.