Students in phlebotomy certificate programs learn how to perform venipuncture in laboratory settings through hands-on lab coursework and practicum or internship requirements. In addition to phlebotomy skills, students may learn basic medical skills, like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). These programs also cover medical terminology and communication in a medical setting. Depending on the state, licensure as a phlebotomist may be required. Voluntary certification is offered through several professional organizations.
Before beginning a certificate program in phlebotomy, students must have high school diploma or the equivalent. They must also complete a health history form, pass a criminal background check and provide proof of health insurance coverage. Some of these programs offer courses online, though students will need to complete all clinical requirements on site.
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Certificate Programs in Phlebotomy
Programs vary from school to school, with some combining all the necessary topics into one classroom course and one laboratory course, while others may spread coursework out over several classroom and laboratory courses. Some typical topics covered include:
- Blood collection techniques
- Infection control
- Safety in a medical setting
- Laboratory specimen preparation
- Medical legal issues and ethics
- Healthcare communications
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The focused training of a phlebotomy certificate program is designed to prepare students to become phlebotomists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) , there were 112,700 jobs in this field (www.bls.gov) in 2014. The BLS projects that from 2014-2024 there will be job growth of 25%.
Phlebotomists earned an average annual wage of $32,770 as of May 2015. Those working in the pharmaceutical and manufacturing industry earned the highest salaries, with an annual average wage of $48,760, per the BLS.
Completing a certificate course in phlebotomy is generally considered sufficient preparation for a phlebotomy career with no need for additional education. However, some graduates may choose to improve job prospects by gaining certification. Certification may be earned through professional organizations, such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
The NHA offers the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) designation, which helps individuals prove their skills in the field (www.nhanow.com). To qualify for the certification, individuals must have a high school diploma or equivalent and have one year of experience in the field or complete a phlebotomy training program. Individuals must also complete the NHA's certification exam.
Phlebotomy certificate programs provide you with the training and knowledge necessary to properly collect samples and work in a lab environment. After graduating, you can also pursue voluntary professional credentials to advance in the field.