Phlebotomists extract blood from patients; a lab analyzes the blood to learn information about the patient's health. Some phlebotomists perform simple lab tests themselves as well. This health career places you right in the hospital or doctor's office without requiring four to six years of intensive education. Instead, you can go through every level of phlebotomy training within six months to a year. After you're done training, you can work in a health-related environment performing tests, extracting blood, calming patients and working as a team with other health care professionals.
Perform a search of phlebotomy schools in your area. Although general trade schools may offer phlebotomy courses, medical-based schools are a better choice for phlebotomy training. Contact local hospitals' human resources departments to see which schools they recommend for phlebotomy training. Some hospitals will even have classes on the premises. Pick a school that has a career department that will help you find work once you've achieved your training.
Enroll in the university or trade school you chose and attend your classses. Most phlebotomy courses last for one or two semesters, allowing for less coursework than most other health-related careers. Choose a university or trade school with courses teaching you how to perform lab tests, extract blood and calm down anxious patients.
Apply for phlebotomist certification to improve your knowledge base as well as your chances of finding a good position at a hospital or clinic. Although not required, phlebotomy certification will prove to employers that you are serious about this career choice and that you have learned everything about the field. Become a Certified Phlebotomy Technician or Registered Phlebotomy Technician through the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
Sign up for on-the-job training at a local hospital or clinic. You'll have real-world training as you shadow an experienced phlebotomist. With on-the-job training, you will get a feel for what it's really like to work as a phlebotomist in the stressful environment of a hospital. According to Health Careers Center, you should contact the human resources department of the desired hospital to see if they have any openings.
Continue gaining knowledge as you become a full employee performing phlebotomy at a hospital or clinic. Update your skills every few years by taking new phlebotomy courses or other health-related classes that can improve your knowledge base and widen your skill set.
Things You Will Need
- High school diploma or GED
- Choose this career if you're good at working with people and have a soothing demeanor as you'll be dealing with anxious patients throughout each work day.
- If you are still in high school, take classes that prepare you for the work you'll be doing as a phlebotomist. Focus on your math, science and health skills. According to Health Careers Center, proficiency in algebra, geometry, chemistry, physics, health and biology will come in handy.
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