Obtaining the skills you need to work as a phlebotomy technician may be intimidating, but with a combination of in-class and hands-on instruction, you can be successful. Whether you seek an entry-level position in the healthcare industry, or want to add a desirable skill to your resume, phlebotomy may be what you are looking for. A 12-week course with a focus on practical experience can take you from no experience in healthcare to being prepared to take the certification exam.
What is a Phlebotomy Technician?
A phlebotomy technician specializes in drawing blood for testing and analysis. The last time you had your blood drawn, it might have been to donate blood, have a test performed, or check for a specific problem. No matter what the reason, consider the experience. For many, having blood drawn is a stressful experience. A great phlebotomy technician also helps relax patients, which can make the process of drawing blood less painful.
What You Learn in Phlebotomy Classes
During a 12-week, intensive course in phlebotomy, you can learn skills needed to enter into the workforce as a phlebotomy technician. During courses and hands-on experiences, you learn how to:
- Recognize and work with standard phlebotomy equipment
- Prepare a patient and draw blood
- Meet safety guidelines
- Work in clinical externships to practice with real patients
A phlebotomy technician education requires successful completion of several courses. You take Introduction to Allied Health to learn the basics. The course Aseptic Concepts and Infection Control teaches how to safely use and dispose of materials to avoid contamination. CPR and First Aid Training allow you to respond in an emergency situation. Anatomy and Physiology of the Circulatory System helps you to find the most convenient locations to draw blood, even when traditional locations like the bend of the elbow will not work. Basic Equipment Operation gives you hands-on experience with equipment used in laboratories, doctor offices, and other places where phlebotomy technicians collect samples. These are just some of the phlebotomy courses you may take as part of a phlebotomy technician education.
After successful completion of the program, students are prepared to sit for the American Medical Technologists certification exam for phlebotomy. Some students feel more comfortable with extra preparation before taking a major test. Using your school resources to get some extra studying in can help you pass. Afterwards, be sure to use your school’s network to help with your job search. If your program offers an externships, then you'll have an opportunity to meet potential co-workers and managers in a less formal setting than a job interview.