Have you ever wished you could save someone’s life or make a difference in the world? I’m sure many of us have. Becoming a phlebotomy technician or phlebotomist can be the first step towards reaching your career goals. The training isn’t as gruesome at with other healthcare positions, but a career in the field can be just as rewarding. You get to interact with patients and assure them during stressful times, assist with diagnostics, be a valuable part of a team, and play a crucial role in improving patient lives. If you live in Connecticut, you’ll be happy to know that there are several options for phlebotomy training in CT, so you can assess them one by one to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to kick-starting an amazing career. Read on to learn how easy it is to complete phlebotomy training in Connecticut and figure out if working in the healthcare industry is the right fit for you.
What Will I Do as a Phlebotomy Technician?A phlebotomy technician or phlebotomist is a healthcare professional who draws blood from patients in order to ensure further testing, diagnosing, and treating of diseases. They may handle urine samples as well. In addition to drawing blood, phlebotomists perform other duties. They are often required to take vital signs, talk to patients about their medical histories, and calm patients when they seem to be in distress. Furthermore, a phlebotomist’s duties can also include sterilizing equipment, properly disposing of contaminated supplies, or making sure that blood samples are ready for the lab. Phlebotomy technicians can work in various environments, from hospitals to laboratories.
Need a cheat sheet? Here’s a quick list of the main tasks phlebotomists may be required to perform:
- Explaining procedures and reassuring patients
- Drawing blood and applying bandages or pressure once blood is drawn
- Taking basic vitals like blood pressure, pulse and respiration readings
- Updating patient records with relevant information
- Preparing stains and reagents
- Maintaining, cleaning, and sterilizing equipment
- Making sure all samples are stored properly
- Sending blood, urine, and fecal samples to the lab for testing
Phlebotomy Training in CT: What’s It Like?
If you’re interested in completing phlebotomy training in CT, you’ll have several schools and community college options to choose from. Phlebotomy training is usually a short-term program (less than a year) that results in a certificate or diploma. The curriculum includes coursework, lectures, and medical training. Course topics may include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, human communication, phlebotomy techniques, universal precautions and infection control, specimen handling and collection procedures, among others.
For practical experience, you’ll be required to complete an internship at a medical facility to receive supervised, hands-on training. One Connecticut community college, in particular, requires phlebotomy students to complete at least 100 hours and do at least 100 unassisted blood draws. While hands-on training is required in all phlebotomy training in CT, the number of hours and procedures required may vary from school to school and to one community college to another.
Prior to starting the phlebotomy training, students have to meet certain admission requirements such as proof of health screenings, immunizations, criminal background checks, and CPR certification. These may also vary by school or community college.
How Do I Obtain Phlebotomy Certification in Connecticut?
The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health does not require phlebotomists to own a phlebotomy certification in Connecticut. However, they do acknowledge that employers prefer to have phlebotomy technicians certified. In other words, it’s not mandatory to get certified, but the chances of landing a job without certification are minimal.
Aspiring phlebotomy technicians can obtain phlebotomy certification in Connecticut from several different organizations. The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT) offers a certification exam to candidates who have completed an accredited training program or have at least one year of part-time or six months of full-time work in the field.
Additionally, the American Medical Technologists (AMT) offers phlebotomy certification in Connecticut to any individual who has completed an AMT-approved phlebotomy program (which can be done at a community college) or completed at least 1,040 of hours work experience/medical training in this field.
Two other organizations offering phlebotomy certification exams are the National Healthcare Association and the National Center for Competency Testing. They both require that candidates complete training programs or show proof of sufficient work experience.
What Is the Career Outlook for Phlebotomy Technicians in Connecticut?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that these professionals could see an employment growth of about 25% between 2016 to 2026. That’s much faster than average for all occupations, so not might be the perfect time to get your certification. According to the same source, there were approximately 1,160 phlebotomists employed in Connecticut as of May 2018, and they earned a mean annual wage of $39,310. This is higher than the national median wage in the field, which is $34,480/year of $16.58/hour.
On the same note, the top paying states for this occupation include California ($45,030/year mean wage), Alaska, Columbia, New York, and the state of Massachusetts. If you’re willing to relocate, metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in this occupation are led by New York-Newark-Jersey City, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin.
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Work Environment for PhlebotomistsOnce you complete your phlebotomy training in CT or graduated from community college, you can start applying for jobs in the field. Since the training includes hands-on experience like an internship, by this point you should already have some connections in the industry, so you might want to start there. Generally speaking, phlebotomists can work anywhere where blood draws are a common occurrence. The list includes hospitals, private practices, donation facilities, research centers, and laboratories.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of phlebotomists, about 37%, work in hospitals and other types of healthcare facilities, whether state, local, or private. Next, 32% are employed by medical and diagnostic laboratories, 15% work in other ambulatory healthcare services, and 8% find employment in offices of physicians. The same research states that only 2% of phlebotomists work in outpatient care centers. The work is full-time, with overtime a common occurrence, especially in health care facilities.
Working in the field means dealing with blood and other similar fluids, so it’s crucial not to be squeamish. This should go without saying, but you would be surprised with how many wannabe healthcare professionals only realize they don’t have the knack to handle patients or blood only once they start practical training or enroll in community college.
Do I Have What It Takes to Become a Phlebotomist?
Moreover, phlebotomists are usually required to stand and run around for long periods of time, so physical stamina is a must. Good hand-eye coordination and dexterity are also extremely important, but these skills will be developed during your training. Compassion, on the other hand, should be something you work on developing from early on. Phlebotomists get to deal with patients when they’re at their most vulnerable, so you should be able to perform your duties with care. Plus, some patients are afraid of having their blood drawn, so reassuring them is a big part of the job.
Finally, being detail-oriented is essential for an in-demand phlebotomist. You will have to constantly track vials of blood and handle copious amounts of data. If you’re not paying attention, specimens can go missing, which can result in a patient unnecessarily being put through more tests.
Bottom LineAnyone can become a phlebotomist in four easy steps:
- Earn a high school diploma (or equivalent)
- Complete required background, drug, and immunity checks
- Complete a postsecondary phlebotomy program – you can pick from the options we listed above for quality phlebotomy training in CT
- Pursue professional certification