Certification is often one of the requirements required of any medical technician who wishes to pursue a career in specific fields, such as phlebotomy. Phlebotomy is literally the drawing of blood from a blood vessel. This is a common medical procedure done for laboratory tests and other medical interventions such, as dialysis or blood transfusions and donations. Since this field of work requires manipulation of needles and bodily fluids, it is highly regulated and only someone who has undergone phlebotomy certification can be allowed legally to do the procedure on a paying patient.
Here are few tips on how to become a certified phlebotomy technician.
The minimum requirement for further study as a phlebotomist would be a high school diploma. You must be a graduate of secondary school before you can enroll in a vocational school or medical facility that offers certification courses. You could also take up a bachelor’s degree in medical technology at any reputable tertiary institution.
Phlebotomy can be learned from short courses from a vocational school in about two years. This would cover the various aspects of preparing the skin before the actual pricking of the needle, the proper techniques for collecting and storing the sample, safety techniques when handling potentially infected substances such as blood, as well as the various ethical considerations that should be observed when dealing with patients.
Medical technology has a much wider knowledge base, so a degree in medical technology would take twice as long as a degree in phlebotomy. Aside from being taught the methods of drawing blood, medical technologists also work with different secretions and excretions of the body. Medical technologists are also supposed to be knowledgeable enough to know the interpretations of certain laboratory findings and results. They’re not just supposed to take the samples and take it to the laboratory. Rather, medical technologists are also the ones that man the laboratory and ensure the results are accurate and really indicative of the patient’s current condition.
The requirements for accreditation include 120 hours worth of classroom training, 120 hours of actual phlebotomy, and graduation papers from an institution that is recognized by the Department of Education as a school for phlebotomy. This requirement for school accreditation ensures that a training program is faithful to the rigid standards set by the medical watchdog as well as the government.
Once accredited, a phlebotomist receives an identification card that makes him a registered technician under the American Medical Technologists. This is similar to what certified pharmacy technicians get after undergoing pharmacy technician training.
The certification lasts for three years. During these three years, it would be important that a phlebotomist take up at least nine units of continued training to be able to retain the certification.
For any professional in the medical and allied professions, applying for certification can be an advantageous and strategic career move. Not only is this a requirement that many hospitals and health institutions would need before you can be part of their organization. Certification also affords you an edge, with the knowledge that your skills and experience are at par with standards.