When it comes to phlebotomy training, all methods are not alike. Your first option is a formal training program from an accredited school. Unless there are circumstances making this option extremely difficult or impossible, you should consider it the best choice. First, other methods of training do not provide the amount of time and focus you need to devote to each area of study. The human body, effective communication with patients and staff, techniques and procedures, safety precautions, and equipment, are only a sampling of what you will find in formal training programs. Second, hands-on experience under the supervision of a qualified instructor, is one of the most important aspects of learning how to do the job, and to do it correctly. Starting with mannequins, you will progress to humans. Practical application of skills are best done in classroom and clinical settings.
Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of places. One is the vocational or technical school specifically designed for health care training programs. These programs are generally short-term, intense, and goal-oriented. A second option for formal training is a community college. Some of these colleges offer short-term training, yet also offer the option of earning an Associate’s degree. A third option is university. While programs in the university are likely to cost much more, they are also longer in duration. If you wish, you can even earn a Bachelor’s degree.
There are other options for phlebotomy training. Although each has benefits, they also have drawbacks. One method is on-the-job training. Hospitals, blood banks, and various health care facilities often provide training for future employees. You may have a ready job afterward, but there are additional factors to consider. One factor is the lack of time it takes to learn every aspect of phlebotomy. You may learn the basics, but not necessarily everything you need to know for a well-rounded education. You could also decide you do not want to work there on a long-term basis, and find other employers will not feel you are qualified for the job you really want.
Another method of learning phlebotomy is through a distance learning program. Online education is very popular, but cannot adequately prepare students for all careers. If scheduling or duration of training are issues, you may be thinking about this easier, modern option. However, there is a serious point to bear in mind. There is nothing in a distance learning program that can replace hands-on experience. If online is your method of choice, you will also need to participate in an internship so you can apply what you have learned.
When you think about it, how you learn largely determines what you learn. Although there are always exceptions, most prospective phlebotomists should make formal phlebotomy coursework their first choice. It provides so many advantages you cannot get anywhere else.
Your training program is your first experience in becoming a phlebotomist. You also must become certified. If your state does not require it, or your school offers its own certification, this is not enough. First, find out if your state offers a certification exam. If so, they can let you know how long you have to prepare, and the details related to taking the examination. The better your formal training program, and the more effort and time you put into reviewing for the exam, the better your chances of passing your exam and becoming certified by your state.
Second, think seriously about ASCP certification. When you follow through to become certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology, it is one of the biggest steps you can take for your career goals. As the ASCAP also offers continuing education, your training will always be current and fresh. After you have been practicing as a phlebotomist, you will want to take advantage of these opportunities throughout your career. It is a good way to see that being a professional has many benefits.
These are the ways in which you can have your training and become certified. The point to remember is the more you are willing to put into preparing for your career, the better your chances of getting a great job, and enjoying every minute of it.