There are currently ten agencies approved to administer the national phlebotomy certification exam. Each has its own requirements, location, and schedule. You can start with overviews of some of the agencies most commonly used for this purpose.
The American Society for Clinical Pathology is located in Chicago, Illinois. The cost of an exam through ASCP is currently $125. This fee also includes membership in the Society. The ASCP is one of the certifying agencies which does not require a practical skills applications as a part of their exam. New members are required to participate in the ASCP continuing education programs.
American Medical Technologists is located in Rosemont, Illinois. The AMT also does not require a practical skills application test. They offer a written exam and a yearly membership for $78. The AMT has extensive resources for applicants planning to take a competency exam. These include practice exams, handbooks, and various other materials.
The American Certification Agency, located in Osceola, Indiana, offers national phlebotomy certification exams for $75. The examinations offered by the ACA cover both the written and practical skills applications portions.
The National Center for Competency Testing offers only written examinations. The cost of an exam is $90. The NCCT also requires phlebotomists to participate in continuing education. They are located in Overland Park, Kansas.
The addresses listed for these certification agencies are their main offices. Certification agencies also have testing sites throughout the United States. You can begin by checking with the agency that interests you, to find a testing center near your home.
Why is national phlebotomy certification so important? If you are unsure, you can think about starting your future career without it. First, if you are not certified, you might not be able to get a job. Employers want applicants who have proven themselves. Not only does this mean being competent in knowledge and skills, but also being motivated. This makes sense, especially if you think about it from an employer’s point of view. You are not only being trusted with the facility where you work, you are also being trusted with people’s lives. An error in a procedure can cause unnecessary pain to a patient. An error in safety precautions can be life-threatening. It is only sensible for an employer to hire only applicants who have demonstrated that they care enough to put the time, effort, and small cost into becoming certified.
Second, the top jobs only open to certified applicants also come with the best pay rates. A person cannot expect a great salary if he has not earned it. You can think of passing your national phlebotomy certification exam as a step toward earning a good salary.
Both of these points are irrelevant to phlebotomists who look for jobs without appropriate certification. If they get hired at all, it is not likely to be a job they will be proud of, or look forward to doing every day. The best job opportunities will pass them by, and they can forget about the prospect of career advancement. In addition, they will probably have to settle for low pay, possibly much lower than average. If all of this sounds rather bleak, you do not have to allow it to happen to you. The small cost of taking the exam, plus the time and work you put into studying for it, will reap a world of benefits for you. You can get the job you really want, with the salary you need to live comfortably. Your good job can help you gain experience, so you can move on to a better job if you wish. All of this is within your ability when you become certified.
Getting ready for the certification exam does not have to be difficult. Having ample time to study is the best way to prepare. You can start with some of the exam-review books and resources listed on this site. Take your time, and allow yourself to relax. Once you have started reading, you will be amazed at how familiar the material is to you. This shows you have learned a great deal during your training, and have retained the information you learned.
Trying studying with a partner, in a study group, and by yourself. When you know which method works best for you, you can proceed accordingly. If you have an appropriate length of time to study before the exam is scheduled, you can pace yourself to retain the most without becoming tired. Depending on your personal schedule, setting aside time to study every night is a good idea. This way, everything you cover will remain fresh, and you will stay wonderfully motivated.
The small investment you put into your certification exam is worth it. If you are not sure of this now, you will be sure as soon as you get hired for your first job.