Question: How long is phlebotomy training?
A phlebotomist’s occupation is low key and not as glamorous as that of a doctor or nurse. Yet, it remains a vital part of the healthcare system, whether in hospitals, clinics, or laboratories.
The main responsibility of phlebotomists is to draw blood from patients. They may also be required to analyse blood samples ordered by doctors and patients.
How long does phlebotomy training take?
The length of training to become a phlebotomist varies by state.
Some states require various levels of phlebotomy training in order to obtain a certification.
Employers may also have their own requirements on top of what the state requires as minimum.
Generally, a comprehensive training program for phlebotomy takes around 120 to 300 hours to complete, which includes ECG reading, CPR and first-aid training, and on-the-job clinical training.
There are training programs, too, that can be completed within a shorter period of time.
With advanced technology, online phlebotomy training programs can now be accessed at your own time and pace, or on a set timeframe.
What does it take to be a phlebotomist?
When choosing a phlebotomy training program, you must be aware of the different levels of programs and the content requirements for each.
In California, for instance, different levels of phlebotomy programs set different hours and focus of training. Below are a few details that could help you decide which training program to choose from.
1. Limited Phlebotomy Technician – this level is the basic training to become a phlebotomist and the program requires at least 20 hours of basic classroom education.
2. Certified Phlebotomy Technician I Certification – the second level is more intensive and requires 20 hours of classroom training, 20 hours of advanced classroom learning, and 40 hours of clinical training for those without work experience.
For students with less than 1,040 hours of work experience:
To obtain the Certified Phlebotomy Technician I certificate, they need at least 20 hours of the basics and an additional 20 hours of advanced classes, along with 50 venepunctures and 10 skin punctures.
For students with over 1,040 hours of work experience:
They need to take 20 hours of advanced classroom tutoring and 50 venepunctures and 10 skin punctures.
3. Certified Phlebotomy Technician 2 Certification – this level requires 20 hours of advanced classroom education with proof of 50 successful venepunctures, 10 skin punctures, and 20 arterial punctures.
Job description for phlebotomists
The training of phlebotomists must prepare them to handle the following responsibilities:
1. Drawing of blood, or venepuncture, characterizes the main responsibility of phlebotomists. The other features their job description may vary for every occupational setting.
2. Their task may include collection and handling of other specimen samples, such as urine or saliva swab for routine work in laboratories and hospitals, if those are their work environs.
3. They must maintain the equipment and supplies used in their routine. In most cases, they are responsible for inventory, ordering and stocking of supplies. They ensure that there is adequate supply of what they need for a particular period, and that safety procedures are followed to make sure that supplies and equipment are sanitized and stored properly.
4. Phlebotomists must follow standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in drawing, handling, transporting and storing the samples they collect. They are responsible for protecting the specimens from any contamination or environmental instability, such as increase in temperature, among many things.
5. They must practice responsible disposal of materials and specimens used for the procedures. Their job entails the use of gloves and masks, needles, and other materials that are exposed to body fluids, chemicals and noxious wastes. There are protocols for the legal and responsible disposal of these wastes, and a phlebotomist must make sure that these are followed.
6. It is quite interesting to note that in various settings, you’ll find phlebotomists working in closely- related jobs. They could double as medical assistants, or practice as EKG technicians, in addition to their usual responsibilities.
7. Others may be assigned to include in their tours of duty the management and flow of patient care, checking the patients’ vital signs regularly, and assisting other staff in examination rooms.
8. They prepare reports, ensuring that every piece of information they provide is crucial to a physician’s diagnosis and the patient’s wellbeing. Since recent laws require digital medical documentation, they may be required to update on basic computer skills and the latest technology, too.
9. They communicate and relay information. Since phlebotomists work with patients, they may need to assure reluctant patients and provide information and comfort. They may need to answer the phone or set up appointments. They should follow hospital or facility protocol for routing calls, letters, requests, orders, and all forms of communication.
The scope of responsibilities, or your lack of experience, should not deter you from pursuing phlebotomy if it is a job that you think will be professionally rewarding for you.
Phlebotomy courses offer extensive clinical training and internship, on top of classroom education, so you will obtain the necessary background and training to prepare you for the job.
I hope this answered how long is phlebotomy training.