About Emma Campbell

I am a director at the Phlebotomy Training Institute

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Phlebotomy Technician Certification

Phlebotomy technician certification is necessary in many states as a condition of employment. Phlebotomy technicians may work in hospitals, physicians' offices or labs. They are responsible for drawing blood, educating patients and data intake. Not all states require certification, but these requirements may change from one year to the next. As a rule, it is best to receive formal training and gain certification to maximize employment possibilities.

How To Become Certified

The first step is to check state requirements for phlebotomy technicians. Some states require a course to last for a certain number of hours or to include specific topics in the curriculum. If this is the case, it is necessary to take an approved course before seeking certification. In some states, people may choose to take a short course and take the exam independently if there are no strict requirements. When it comes time to take the certification exam, contact the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians to find testing locations and dates. The CPT exam is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

Preparing For The Exam

Test fees vary from one year to the next. While it is considerably less expensive than many other types of medical career tests, it is still enough of an investment that it is important to put a thorough effort into passing. There are study guides and materials that can be purchased online to help students prepare, and there are also practice test questions. The agencies offering the exam usually provide these materials, and some schools may offer them to students who are enrolled in phlebotomy technology programs for reduced prices.

It is best to reserve a testing date as far in advance as possible. People who are enrolled in phlebotomy programs can usually work with their guidance counselors or instructors to find testing dates that work for them. Certification means more job opportunities and better pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this to be a growing job field during the next decade, so this is optimistic news for people interested in becoming phlebotomy technicians.

How To Find Phlebotomy Technician Jobs

To find a phlebotomy technician job, you look at the usual suspects: hospitals, doctors’ offices, blood centers and the like. The Bureau of Labor Statistics webpage also lists more-obscure places for phlebotomy technicians. As always, networking is often more effective than responding to a job ad, so take care to cultivate personal contacts.

Get Certified

Getting your Phlebotomy Technician Certification opens up a world of opportunities. The certification proves you can perform basic procedures in the field, prepare specimens according to established practices and do many other things employers look for. Not only do you get more job opportunities, your pay will likely be higher, and your job security increases. It’s important to keep your certification current, so keep up with required ongoing training.

Thorough Resume and Cover Letter

Create a resume that sells yourself. For example, list all your certifications, even if some are in fields slightly different from phlebotomy. If you don’t have much to put on a resume, then list medical-related and phlebotomy classes you’ve taken. When you write your cover letter and resume, stress what you can do for your prospective employer, not what it can do for you. Explain the benefits and assets you bring to the job and how you intend to help the employer.

Knock on Doors

Phlebotomy is a fast-growing field. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 27 percent job growth through 2022. Vacancies are happening every day, and not all of them get posted online. Take advantage of your personal and professional network contacts to find out about these jobs, and definitely don’t be shy about going to hospitals, blood centers, laboratories and the like in person. Dress professionally, introduce yourself and leave copies of your resume and cover letter. You may even get an interview on the spot.

Location and Keywords

Bureau of Labor Statistics data as of 2012 show more phlebotomy technicians in some states than in others. The East Coast, Texas and California employ particularly high numbers of such people. Also, if you’re searching for jobs online, search under different titles such as laboratory technician and venipuncture technician.

Preparing for the Phlebotomy Certification Exam

Those that are interested in taking the Phlebotomy Technician Certification Exam will find that their job opportunities, pay scale, job security, and expertise will grow. While taking the exam is a daunting experience, it is one that comes with great benefits. However, most individuals that plan on taking the exam tend to question what the best methods of study are. Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can prepare for this exam and succeed.

Exam Books

One of the most common methods to studying for the exam is to purchase an exam book. The most prominent and widely used exam books are written by Kathleen Becan-McBride and Cathee M Tankersley. The materials written by them will not only help you with a range of questions on the exam, but a number of books also offer exam simulations so that you can have a better grasp of the material that you will encounter.

Online Resources

If you do not have the financial resources to spend on review books, then another option is to use online resources. By utilizing your everyday search engine, you can look up materials for the exam, exam questions, flash cards, and even find a few excellent practice tests right online. Essentially, most of the material that you need for the exam is readily available to you. It is also recommended that if you are having trouble in an area that you try opening a forum question. This will lead to discussion about the exam and enhance your study experience by providing you and others a range of questions that most people find themselves having trouble tackling.

Ask Around

The last resource for exam preparation is to ask around. By encountering someone that already has taken the exam, you can get a pretty straightforward idea of what to expect. Also, as an already certified technician, the individual can help you with any questions or issues that you may having regarding the material. This resource is extremely promising, so if you have the opportunity, utilize it.

Overall, exam preparation does not need to be strenuous. Utilize the above resources and begin to buckle down and study. With any exam, some of the best strategies that you can do are to take practice tests and assess your performance constantly, and in addition, you can also have others test you on exam questions.