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Phlebotomy Courses and Certification

Graduating from an accredited phlebotomy training program is advantageous to a new phlebotomist who is looking for employment. The majority of employers will want to see that you have completed this important training and that you have passed the tests for phlebotomy certification. A phlebotomy training program with prepare you for all of the different aspects of a job working as a phlebotomy technician, from phlebotomy technique to the more mundane administrative activities that go along with the job. Graduates of accredited phlebotomy training programs receive a well-rounded education that can prepare them to pass the tests necessary for certification.

You may find phlebotomy training courses available through various health facilities, trade or vocational schools and community colleges. The curriculum may vary from one school to the next but the basic education should remain the same. Typically a program will last from six to eight months with both classroom and clinical instruction. It is generally 150 to 230 instructional hours.

It is easy to find an accredited phlebotomy program. Many of the accrediting agencies are affiliated with schools and organizations that offer programs. The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) has a database of 59 schools throughout the United States along with program and contact information.

Phlebotomy programs can be part-time or full-time. In a part-time program a student may attend classes or clinics for two days a week for two semesters. A full time program may run as often as 5 days a week for one semester. There will be classes on medical terminology, healthcare issues and phlebotomy instructions. There is also a phlebotomy practicum where you work with real patients under the instruction of a practicing phlebotomist.

Throughout the training program, phlebotomists will learn about the different systems in the body and how they work. These systems include the circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, muscular and skeletal systems. You will learn about both anatomy and physiology.

Phlebotomy Certification

Phlebotomy students also learn about blood and cell composition. A clear understanding of how blood and cells re affects by different diseases and infections is helpful for a practicing phlebotomist. However, thorough explanations of potential problems with patients should always be left up to the Doctor who ordered the tests. The phlebotomist should not discuss detailed medical conditions with patients.

Most importantly, a phlebotomy student will learn different blood sampling procedures. The most commonly used procedure is called a venipuncture but there are also other techniques. Techniques also vary with the patient, with different techniques being used for newborns, children and the elderly and some adults depending upon their medical condition.

Laboratory safety is also a crucial concern for phlebotomists so they can keep themselves and their patients safe. A clear understanding of proper bio-hazardous waste is critical. Also the phlebotomist must know how to handle lab equipment and the clean up after the blood drawing procedure. Most phlebotomy programs offer CPR and first aid certification. This is important because many patients may have preexisting conditions that may cause a problem when blood is drawn. Even a healthy person can faint or blackout when blood is drawn, especially if they have not eaten any food for awhile. The phlebotomist must be prepared for any eventuality.

Other topics in phlebotomy courses may include professional ethics and behavior, quality control, legal issues and computer training. Good record keeping is also an important skill for a practicing phlebotomist. If you happen to mistakenly label a blood draw it could cause some serious problems with mixed up specimens and test results.

When you select a phlebotomy program it is wise to find one that has accreditation. Choosing an accredited program will automatically qualify you to take a certification test upon completion of your program. You may also apply for Federal financial aid programs that can help you with the cost of tuition. An accredited program will most likely have job information available and may even be able to help you find employment. You may also want to consider the length of the program, most programs vary from one semester to one year in length.

Filed in: Phlebotomist, Phlebotomy Education and Training

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