The luckiest phlebotomist is the person who has decided on this career while he is still a high school or college student. The teen or young adult who wants to become a certified phlebotomy technician has an advantage older people who have already completed their educations do not. If you are a student, there are courses you can take that will greatly benefit you when you begin your formal phlebotomy training. Biology is one example. Whether your school offers general biology, or courses focusing on anatomy and physiology, they should be the core of your coursework. Math courses are also important. If you can major in science and math courses, this is a great foundation for your future career.
However, the lack of solid coursework in high school or college does not have to affect your career. Regardless of your age or educational status, you can begin with formal phlebotomy training. While some phlebotomy schools do not require a high school diploma, it is in your best interest to earn either a diploma or a GED prior to starting your phlebotomy training.
When you are ready to select a school, check into the possibilities before reaching a final decision. In most cases, attending a traditional school is the best option. If this is the method you want to pursue, consider certain factors before you apply anywhere. First, be sure the school is accredited. While most colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools offering phlebotomy training do meet this standard, you cannot risk applying to one that does not. Second, assess your personal needs. Make sure the cost matches your ability to pay for it, the distance is relatively near your home, and you can make a commitment to the school’s scheduling of classes. Third, be sure the school offers what you need. This includes full coursework required for certification, as well as knowing whether the school offers its own certification or a career diploma to students who have completed the phlebotomy training program. If you live in a medium to large sized city, it is likely you can find an ideal school nearby.
After you have completed your program, you must achieve certification. Whether your school presents you with a certificate, or whether your state does not require certification for phlebotomists, you will benefit by going past the minimum requirements. There are two higher levels of certification, and you will gain the most from your career if you pursue both certifications.
If you live in a state that offers phlebotomy certifications, this should be your next step. You can get the information you need from your school or your state’s Department of Health. With plenty of preparation ahead of time, taking and passing the state certification exam can be an exhilarating experience. You are one step closer to landing a job you love in the field of phlebotomy.
Your final step in preparing to work as a certified phlebotomy technician is the ASCP certification exam. Overseen by the American Society for Clinical Pathology, ASCP certification will mark you as a professional. This certification will give you an edge in the job market. The best jobs will be within your reach, along with the best salaries.
After you have completed all of these steps, you are ready to go to work. With your credentials in hand, you can start by checking the job market in your area, and preparing your resume. Even if this is your first job in phlebotomy, the training program you have completed and the certifications you have earned will show you as more motivated and qualified than many others who are new to the field. Begin by thinking about where you prefer to work. Hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and blood banks, are some of the most common workplaces for phlebotomy technicians. Check out the places in your area to find job openings, the requirements for new phlebotomists, and the salaries they are offering. Preparing your resume with a specific workplace in mind allows your prospective employer to see how much you have to offer, and why he should choose you over other applicants. Your resume and cover letter can help an employer decide to hire you before you even show up for your interview.
If you have taken every one of these steps conscientiously, you should be well-prepared to begin your new role as a phlebotomy technician. Rather than relying on shortcuts, you have shown you are motivated to do what it takes, and dedicated to do your best. This is the kind of person a good employer will want to hire, because he knows the time, commitment, and hard work you have put into preparing for the job will extend into your job. None of these factors are a matter of good luck. They are a direct result of your desire to learn and to do well. These assets will take you from the very first stages of your training to the job you truly want.