A career in the healing arts does not necessarily mean having to go to medical school. In fact, not every healthcare career requires a degree. You might be surprised to find out that some of the fastest-growing jobs in medicine require only a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, even less. That’s exactly the case for phlebotomy. Read on to learn how to get a phlebotomy certification NJ and enter the medical field in New Jersey with only a few months of training under your belt.
Phlebotomy Certification NJ: What Does the Job Entail?
Those who are interested in healthcare as a career but can’t make it all the way through medical school should make it a point to consider the full spectrum of occupational alternatives available to them. Many interesting jobs with varying educational requirements do exist in today’s medical services industry. One of these careers is phlebotomy – the drawing of blood for use in lab testing.
Phlebotomist are tasked with the process of drawing blood from a human by making a vascular incision with a needle. The actual procedure, which is performed by a phlebotomy technician or phlebotomist, is known as a venipuncture. Since the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the 1980s, the medical community has ordained strict new policies governing the handling of human blood. Today, every hospital and medical center in the nation has guidelines and procedures that dictate how human blood and the sharp instruments and materials that draw and contain it are dealt with.
Healthcare technicians interested in specializing in phlebotomy prepare for certification by taking hands-on training from instructors qualified to train students in this area. Upon completion of training, a graduate becomes a certified phlebotomy technician and is eligible for employment in the field. Thankfully, training and earning your phlebotomy certification NJ isn’t as time-consuming or expensive as some of the alternative healthcare careers available.
Phlebotomy Certification NJ: What Are the Requirements?
The main objective for the state when certifying candidates is to make sure that they have a good understanding of infection control and sterilization procedures. A phlebotomy technician must be trained according to current hospital or treatment center processes and environments. Their daily tasks may include performing diagnostic procedures and accurately assessing results. Phlebotomists are required to demonstrate a good bedside manner and should be skilled at making patients feel comfortable in the hospital environment. Courses usually cover a theoretical part along with laboratory time in connection with specimen collection, processing and storage.
Further study includes proficiency at laboratory safety, understanding human anatomy and physiology, and the study of the legal responsibilities of the phlebotomist. Phlebotomy technician programs are available at community colleges and technical schools around the state and they generally take less than a year to complete. After that, it’s all about getting your phlebotomy certification NJ to increase your chances of getting a well-paid job.
Certification in the state of New Jersey isn’t mandatory as it is in California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington. That being said, most employers prefer to hire a phlebotomy technician who has been certified. Consequently, your chances of landing a job straight after you finish your studies are higher if you decide to pursue phlebotomy certification NJ. The exam consists of a written test but can include a practical component – such as drawing blood.
Some organizations that offer certification for phlebotomists include the National Phlebotomy Association, the National Center for Competency Testing, and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. First, though, make sure you pick a phlebotomy technician program that best suits your needs. Browse through the list below to see which programs are available in New Jersey.
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Phlebotomist Day-to-Day: Work Environment and Pay
Most phlebotomists are employed in hospitals. Some find their way into private clinics, the pathology departments of research labs, nursing homes, or other types of healthcare facilities. Either way, most phlebotomists work full-time. Depending on the employer, they can be required to work long hours, in shifts, or during weekends/holidays. This usually applies to state facilities, which tend to be under-staffed. A phlebotomy technician can supplement their income by getting a contract job on the side. There are a lot of businesses that require specialized phlebotomists on a regular basis – like companies that perform drug testing, for example. If your schedule allows it, you can make some serious cash by getting a second job.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a phlebotomist was $34,480 per year or $16.58 per hour in 2018. As expected, the number can vary greatly based on experience, employer, and even state. The lowest 10% of phlebotomists earn less than $25,020, while the highest 10% make more than $49,060/year. The best-paid jobs are in outpatient care centers, but these are hard to come by. Only 2% of all phlebotomists work in these types of establishments. As we’ve already mentioned, the majority of phlebotomists are employed by hospitals, where the average pay is $33,040/year.
These numbers also fluctuate based on state. In New Jersey, the annual mean wage is $38,090 or $18.31/hour, higher than the national average. The state employs 4,890 phlebotomists, which, again, is very promising. If you’re willing to relocate, states with the highest employment level in this occupation include New York, California, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida. As for top-paying states, these are Alaska, California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and New York. However, with such good numbers in New Jersey, we’d stay put, at least for the beginning. After you get your phlebotomy certification NJ and gain some work experience, you can think about expanding your horizons.
The outlook for the field of phlebotomy is excellent. Job growth is expected to expand further owning to an aging population and a federal government that has put health care issues on the vanguard of its domestic policy agenda. As a matter of fact, employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow 25 percent until 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. That means that competition may increase as well, so you might want to focus on developing your skills and continuing education once you get your phlebotomy certification NJ if you’re keen on standing out from the crowd.
What Skills Do I Need as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Besides hard skills you develop during your training, in order to excel in your job you also need to work on developing soft skills that will allow you to better interact with patients and work as part of a team. These can include:
- Compassion – as a phlebotomy technician, it’s your duty to make patients feel as comfortable as possible. Some may fear to have their blood drawn or experience adverse reactions after the procedure, so it’s important to empathize and provide proper care and comfort when necessary.
- Good communication skills – since the job entails dealing with people, good communication skills are a must. You’ll also be interacting with other medical professionals on a regular basis, as you’ll be a valuable part of the diagnosis and treatment team. Learning how to communicate effectively will prove to be crucial in the long run.
- Organizational skills – phlebotomists have to track vials of blood and enter patient data into a database, so being detail-oriented and organized is always a plus. Good time management will also come in handy.
- Physical stamina – as we’ve already mentioned, working as a phlebotomy technician can mean standing on your feet for hours and taking accurate blood samples throughout a sometimes long workday. Regular exercise from early on can help you develop the stamina needed to perform the job without any issues.
Getting your phlebotomy certification NJ is the first and most important step toward building a successful and rewarding career as a phlebotomy technician. Browse through the training program options above and you’ll be on the right track to achieve success in the healthcare field without spending years learning the trade. You’ll be a valuable part of the medical team and your work will lead to saving lives, while also providing comfortable pay and opportunities for advancement. With such a great job outlook, you can’t go wrong by pursuing this field of work.