Choosing the best phlebotomy courses requires determining a long-term career path. A career in phlebotomy can take many different paths, and choosing the right combination of classes can make finding work and progressing through your career much easier. Phlebotomy is the practice of drawing blood at its most basic level.
Phlebotomists can work in a hospital setting or on the road. They collect blood for testing or donation purposes. Venipuncture is a technique used a phlebotomist who has only taken basic phlebotomy courses to draw blood from a vein. They can use a small lancet to obtain blood sticking the finger if only a small amount of blood is required.
In phlebotomy, there are more advanced techniques, and carefully selecting phlebotomy courses that teach these skills expands your career options. To draw blood from arteries, some phlebotomists receive specialized training. Arteries, which carry blood away from the heart, are subjected to far greater pressure than veins, and blood is released with great force when an artery is compromised. Phlebotomists who have completed specialized training learn how to safely draw blood from arteries in the wrists.
Intramuscular and subcutaneous injections are permitted phlebotomists. These skills are important for a phlebotomist who wants to work in a hospital or a doctor’s office. The ability to administer injections reduces the workload of higher-paid doctors and nurses, resulting in cost savings for the facility. Taking phlebotomy classes that teach proper injection technique can be extremely beneficial.
Some states allow phlebotomists to perform saline flushes and administer Heparin, while others do not. Again, these are valuable skills that save the employer money, making those who have received this training more valuable. Continuing education phlebotomy courses that cover these skills are a good investment if you move from a state where phlebotomists are not allowed to perform these tasks to one where they are.
While some career centers offer two- to four-month phlebotomy certification programs, many phlebotomists prefer to pursue an Associate degree. Community colleges frequently offer a two-year phlebotomy program that includes phlebotomy skills as well as other related subjects. The graduate is trained as a clinical laboratory technician after two years. Certification through the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, American Association of Medical Personnel, National Phlebotomy Association, or another of the many credentialing agencies in the health care field opens up many more career opportunities for phlebotomists.