About Dan Giordano

Here are my most recent posts

10 Best ASCP Certification Programs

Medical laboratory professionals are key members of the health care team concerned with the study and practice of diagnostic medicine by delivering accurate patient test results. These important members include medical laboratory technicians (MLT) and clinical laboratory technicians, also referred to as clinical laboratory scientists (CLS). These healthcare professionals are trained to perform tests in such areas as urinalysis, chemistry, microbiology, hematology, immunology, and immunohematology (or blood banking) just to name a few.

Medical laboratory technicians and clinical laboratory scientists work in a variety of settings such as doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals, research and reference laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and state and government agencies. The results from these laboratory tests help physicians to treat and diagnose patient illness. To become an MLT or CLS certification from the American Society of Clinical Pathology, also known as ASCP certification, is required.

What is an ASCP Certification?

 Certification

The ASCP is a professional organization for pathologists, pathologist assistants, and laboratory professionals, specifically medical laboratory technicians and medical laboratory scientists (or clinical laboratory scientist), that offers education and certification for members of the medical laboratory profession. In states such as California and New York, ASCP certification qualifies laboratory professionals to get a state license. Most ASCP certification requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree, however, some technicians such as a medical laboratory technician (MLT) require an associate degree, while laboratory assistants require only a high school diploma.

The ASCP offers over twenty professional certifications and membership for pathologists, pathologist assistants, and medical laboratory professionals. Certification is required to work as a medical laboratory technician or a medical laboratory scientist in a laboratory setting. ASCP certification shows that an individual has the knowledge, skills, and experience to work safely in the medical laboratory.

How Long Does It Take to Become Certified?

Although certification requirements vary by category, all categories include a combination of education, training, and clinical experience. ASCP certification is valid for three years. Maintenance requirements vary according to the different certifications, however, all ASCP certification requires yearly continuing education and practice hours. The ASCP certification is offered in the following categories:

Technician Certification

ASCP certification for professional technicians includes phlebotomy technician, histotechnician, medical laboratory technician, and donor phlebotomy technician. Phlebotomy technicians require a high school diploma and completion of a phlebotomy training program while other technicians require a minimum of 60 post-secondary education credits or the completion of an associate degree. Completion of an associate degree must include coursework in chemistry and biology to be eligible for ASCP certification.

Technologist Certification

ASCP certification for technologists includes medical laboratory scientist, molecular biology, histotechnician, blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, cytotechnologist, and cytogenetics. Individuals must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in chemistry or biology and experience in a clinical laboratory.  

Specialist Certification

Specialty ASCP certification includes a pathologist's assistant, laboratory safety, chemistry, microbiology, hematology, cytotechnology, and immunohematology, also known as blood banking. To get specialty ASCP certification a bachelor's degree is required in combination with other certifications. Holding a graduate degree while also having experience in a clinical laboratory setting qualifies an individual for specialty ASCP certification.

Diplomate Certification

To get diplomat certification, an individual must have experience in all aspects of laboratory management including finance, human resources, operations, and management. To be eligible for diplomate ASCP certification a post-secondary degree and laboratory management experience are also required. The minimum requirement is a bachelor's degree with four years of experience and multiple laboratory certifications, however, a graduate degree is often preferred.

International Certification

International ASCP certification offers credentials regardless of the individual's physical location in the world but varies based on regional location. Certification options allow an international designation for various laboratory professionals that includes medical technologist, phlebotomy technician, medical laboratory technician, molecular biology technologist, and gynecologic cytology technologists. 

10 Best ASCP Certification Programs

Finding the right accredited post-secondary degree to fulfill the requirements for ASCP certification can be daunting. We have provided the 10 best schooling programs for medical laboratory science and medical laboratory technology.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Whether you are looking to become a clinical laboratory scientist (CLS) or achieve a higher degree, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers degree programs allowing one to earn a bachelor's degree as a medical laboratory scientist or a master's degree as a specialized technologist in the molecular science diagnostic (MDS) program. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a large university in a small city. Both clinical laboratory programs are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), a requirement for ASCP certification.

University of Washington

University of Washington

According to an evaluation of medical programs in 2016, the University of Washington ranked eighth in research and first in primary care. The Seattle campus offers two NAACLS-accredited clinical laboratory technology/technologist programs including a bachelor of Science in medical technology (MT). The medical technology program is divided into two halves and takes four years to complete. The first half includes prerequisites and general education while the second half focuses on professional coursework where students gain clinical experience in one of the fourteen university-affiliated clinical laboratories.  

University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati offers two clinical laboratory technology/technologist programs. Besides a campus-based program, University of Cincinnati also offers an online program for individuals who have an associate degree with a clinical or medical laboratory focus who wish to further pursue a bachelor's degree. It is a large university in a large city. The bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science (MLS) has a focus on courses in science and concludes with a required clinical year that lasts for three semesters. The UC MLS program is approved by NAACLS.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University

Ranked number 33 in a medical research evaluation, the Ohio State University offers a bachelor's and master's program in medical technology. It is a large university in a large city. Undergraduates enrolled in the medical laboratory science program receive a Bachelor of Science in health and rehabilitation science upon successful completion. Students pursuing a Master of Science in medical laboratory science follow a 3-year program making them eligible for certification. Both laboratory programs are approved by NAACLS.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University

The Michigan State University offers two clinical laboratory technology/technologist programs in biomedical laboratory science and medical laboratory science. It is a large university in a small city. A clinical internship is required for the completion of both programs. Both programs are accredited by NAACLS.

University of California-Davis

University of California-Davis

UC-Davis offers one clinical laboratory technology/technologist program. It is a large university within a small suburb. Although it offers only one program, it boasts a 4-year bachelors-level nuclear medicine technologist program as a joint venture with the Oregon Institute of Technology. The program is accredited by NAACLS.

University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota is considered possessing one of the largest programs in the nation, offering four clinical laboratory technology/technologist programs. It is a large university in a small city. They offer a traditional 4-year bachelor's degree, a bachelor program designed for those who already have a bachelor's degree in another field, a medical laboratory technician to medical laboratory scientist program (which are offered both on campus and online), and categorical certificates in areas such as clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and blood banking. All programs are accredited by NAACLS.

University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin offers one clinical laboratory technology/technologist program. It is a large university in a large city. Students enrolled in this degree program take three years of undergraduate coursework in the medical laboratory field serving as preparation for clinical training in the fourth year. The program is accredited by NAACLS.

University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut offers one clinical laboratory technology/technologist program. It is a large university in a large city. Besides a medical laboratory program, a medical laboratory science post-baccalaureate certificate is available for individuals who hold a degree in biology, chemistry, molecular biology, or a related field. The program is accredited by NAACLS.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University offers two clinical laboratory technology/technologist programs. It is a large university in a small town. Students can earn an associate of applied science in clinical laboratory science or a Bachelor of Science in clinical laboratory science. Both programs as accredited by NAACLS.

Conclusion

Medical laboratory technicians and medical laboratory scientists are key healthcare professionals who perform laboratory testing. To pursue a career in the medical laboratory science field you can expect to take many science-focused classes including biology, microbiology, chemistry, math, and anatomy and physiology to scratch the surface. You can also expect to get ASCP certification to work in a doctor's office, clinics, hospitals, and in research and reference laboratories, as this is a requirement for these healthcare positions. To get ASCP certification, a bachelor's degree is required, however in the case of the medical laboratory technician, an associate degree is all that is needed. Certification is valid for three years and requires ongoing yearly continuing education to remain active. ASCP certification is key to a rewarding career in medical laboratory science.

Phlebotomy Technician Salary in the United States

Administering plasma, using needles, and keeping patients calm are often a part of a phlebotomy career. However, for many phlebotomy technicians, it is not all about drawing blood, but about helping people live a healthier life. This is because blood tests are vital for making diagnoses and finding out what is going on in our bodies. Sound like a good career for you? If it is, you must be interested in what phlebotomy technician salary is like.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Phlebotomy Technician?

Phlebotomy is defined as making an incision into a vein. Phlebotomy technicians work as part of medical laboratory teams, in independent practices, or as part of ambulatory care units. In laboratories, phlebotomy technicians collect blood samples which are analyzed and used for making a diagnosis or monitoring chronic health conditions

Phlebotomy Technician Tasks and Duties

phlebotomy tech

To collect blood from an arm vein, a phlebotomy technician should first apply a tourniquet to the upper arm. This slows blood flow. The phlebotomy technician then applies an alcohol swab to disinfect a small area near the elbow. A vein is located and the technician inserts a needle into the vein through a skin puncture.

Phlebotomy technicians typically have the following responsibilities:

  • Enter patient information into a database
  • Keep work areas clean and sanitary
  • Label the drawn blood for testing or processing
  • Draw blood from patients and blood donors
  • Assemble and maintain medical instruments such as test tubes, needles, and blood vials
  • Talk with patients and donors to help them feel less nervous
  • Verify a patient's or donor's identity

Qualities

​Phlebotomy technicians should have the following qualities:

  • Dexterity
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Physical stamina
  • Compassion
  • A detail-oriented outlook

Employment and Job Outlook

phlebotomy technician services

Employment for phlebotomy technicians is projected to grow 25% from 2016 to 2026. Phlebotomy technicians hold approximately 122,700 jobs. The largest employers in the phlebotomy technicians are:

  • Hospitals; state, local, and private: 37%
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories:  32%
  • All other ambulatory healthcare services: 15%
  • Offices of physicians: 8%
  • Outpatient care centers: 2%

When you pursue a career as a phlebotomy technician, there is a lot of potential for growth. According to the BLS, employment for phlebotomy technicians is anticipated to grow by 25% up to 2026, which is fast compared to the average in most occupations. This implies the creation of 30,000 jobs. Blood analysis remains an essential function is medical laboratories and hospitals, which implies that the demand for phlebotomy technicians will remain high as doctors and other medical practitioners need blood for making a diagnosis.

Job Prospects

Job prospects are the best for phlebotomy technicians who have a certification from one of the various reputable organizations:

  • The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) -  Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) certificate
  • The American Society for Clinical Pathology, (ASCP) - Phlebotomy Technician (PBT) certificate.
  • The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) - National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT) certificate.
  • The American Certification Agency (ACA) - Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) certificate.
  • The American Medical Technologists (AMT) - Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT) certificate.

According to Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there were 122,700 phlebotomy technicians employed in 2016. The projected employment in 2026 will be 152,600, which represents a 4% change. This means that 30,000 technicians are needed by 2026. States with the highest level of phlebotomy technicians include California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Average Phlebotomy Technician Salary

BLS Logo

You can make a living as a phlebotomy technician. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), technicians earn an average annual wage of about $32,000. The lowest paid 10% earn approximately $23,000, while the highest paid 10% earn $46,000. The median annual wage phlebotomy technician salary was $33,670 in May 2017. However, the industry in which you are employed will also determine your salary. Phlebotomy technician job descriptions usually specify the salary.

The top-paying industries include:

  • Hospitals; state, local, and private: $31,300 average
  • Offices of physicians: $31,520 average
  • All other ambulatory healthcare services: $31,520 average
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories: $34,420 average
  • Outpatient care centers: $34,990 average

Phlebotomy Technician Salary by Company and Location

Phlebotomy Technician location and services

According to Indeed.com, the average phlebotomy technician salary is $15.00 hourly. Phlebotomy technician salary estimates are based on 926 salaries that were submitted anonymously to Indeed by phlebotomists, users, and from past and present job adverts. The following phlebotomy technician salary figures are approximations that have been made available on the Indeed website, based upon third-party submissions.

You should note that the figures provided are for making a generalized comparison only. Note that the minimum wage requirements may differ and you need to consult your employer, or potential employer, for the actual phlebotomy technician salary figures. Here are just a few examples:

  • Washington Hospital Healthcare System Phlebotomy Technician (based on 11 salaries): $32.47 hourly
  • APPS Paramedical Phlebotomy Technician (based on 7 salaries): $20.34 hourly
  • HarperRand Phlebotomy Technician (based on 16 salaries): $27.43 hourly
  • Cleveland Clinic Phlebotomy Technician (based on 6 salaries): $17.87 hourly
  • WhidbeyHealth Medical Center Phlebotomy Technician (based on 12 salaries): $17.64 hourly

Based on location, the following are typical phlebotomy technician salary figures:

  • Phlebotomy Technician in Lexington, KY (based on 30 salaries): $14.75 hourly
  • Phlebotomy Technician in Traverse City, MI (based on 9 salaries): $13.59 hourly
  • Phlebotomy Technician in Los Angeles, CA (based on 8 salaries): $15.69 hourly
  • Phlebotomy Technician in South Plainfield, NJ (based on 80 salaries): $35,022 annually
  • Phlebotomy Technician in Elizabeth, NJ (based on 18 salaries): $34,613 annually

Reasons to Become a Phlebotomy Technician

Phlebotomy Technician salary

Phlebotomy technicians enjoy a lot of opportunity for job growth and progress. You can even begin as a phlebotomy technician and end up pursuing a career in medicine. Phlebotomy services are in high demand and look to be so for the foreseeable future. Hospitals, blood donor centers, diagnostic laboratories, and other locations always need technicians to perform blood work.

Blood analysis remains an essential function in hospitals, blood donor centers, diagnostic laboratories. In addition, job prospects are anticipated to be best for phlebotomists who received certification from reputable organizations. There are other good reasons to consider entering this promising and exciting field.

Easy Application

Applying for phlebotomy training programs is easy and straightforward. You will only need to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and have a positive attitude to commence education.

Fast Training

phlebotomy technician training

Education in phlebotomy has a fast turnaround, depending on your availability and how much time you can devote to study. It can take just 1-4 months to complete studies, pass the certification exam, and even start work.

Secure Job Market

BLS reported that there were 122,700 phlebotomy technicians employed in 2016. The projected employment in 2026 will be 152,600, which represents a 24% increase, which means the creation of 30,000 jobs. There is incredible job security in this particular field.

Great Pay

BLS reported that the average phlebotomy technician salary annually is about $32,000. The lowest paid 10% earn approximately $23,000 while the highest paid 10% earn $46,000. The median annual wage phlebotomy technician salary was $33,670 in May 2017. Considering the type and extent of training required, this is very high salary.

Flexible Learning Paths

You can work part-time while still attending a phlebotomy program. This is because training is available in nighttime, daytime, and weekend training hours, which could fit your schedule.

Affordable Programs

phlebotomy technician

One of the main reasons a career in allied healthcare works for many is that many students find it affordable. Most of the phlebotomy training courses are less than $2,000.

Conclusion

The median annual wage phlebotomy technician salary was $33,670 in May 2017. According to Indeed, the average phlebotomy technician salary is $15.00 hourly. The job outlook for phlebotomy technicians is great. BLS reported that there were 122,700 phlebotomy technicians employed in 2016. The projected employment in 2026 will be 152,600. Hospitals, blood donor centers, diagnostic laboratories, and other locations will always need phlebotomists to perform blood work, which implies that the job market is secure.

There are a variety of reasons you would you would want to become a phlebotomy technician. It's easy to apply, fast to get trained, offers great pay, and there is a secure job market with opportunity for advancement. There's no reason not to try!

CEUs | Important for Phlebotomists and Patients

Phlebotomists are responsible for drawing blood from patients that is then later used to run a host of laboratory tests. These tests are used to determine any health issues the patient may have, gauge the condition of a known issue and help physicians devise a course of action in the best interest of the patient. Starting off a career in phlebotomy is rewarding, but it’s not enough to train just to get the job. You must also complete Continuing Education Units (CEUs), essential for keeping your position or advancing your career within the medical field.

So what are CEUs? This article highlights what they are, their importance as they relate to those working in phlebotomy jobs, how to partake in them and their benefits.

What Are CEUS?

CEUs refer to units of credit that equal a specific number of participation hours in an accredited program specifically designed to keep professionals up to date on new technology and techniques and freshened up on old standards of practice. They are applicable for professionals, including doctors, engineers, lawyers, phlebotomists, pest control applicators and many, many others. If you are a professional, then it could be paramount that you undertake a specified number of CEUs annually to keep your practice, licenses or certificates current. You should note that the annual number of CEU credits varies by profession and state, so be sure to do your research before registering to make sure you will receive enough that you clear the requirements.

Standardization

IACET logo

In 1968, the Department of Education commissioned a task force on continuing education and training, which later became the International Association for Continuing Education and Training. The IACET was responsible for developing CEUs and coming up with guidelines for continued education in certain professional fields until 2006, when the IACET became the ANSI Standard Developing Organization (SDO).

ANSI is the United States’ representative of the International Organization for Standardization, and it is tasked with strengthening the marketplace by ensuring health and safety standards are met for the benefit of consumers and to protect the environment.

IACET is the caretaker of CEUs and communicates standards that organizations should adopt in administering and creating programs that provide professionals with CEU opportunities. IACET has set the measure of one Continuing Education Unit to be 10 hours of participation in an organized CEU course of qualified instruction led by approved directors. CEU credits provide records of people who have completed at least one non-credit educational experience.

Who Awards CEUs?

CEU credits are awarded by organizations, companies, and educational institutions willing to meet IACET/ANSI standards established for specific industries.

Professional Requirements

Some professions demand the completion of a specific number of CEUs annually to ensure that working practitioners who come into contact with individuals or whose actions affect people and the environment are up-to-date with current practices.

Proof that you, as a professional, have completed the required number of CEU credits required is required for renewal or your license or certification. However, the number of CEU credits that you should complete to stay viable in your occupation vary by state and industry.

Importance of CEUs for Phlebotomists

phlebotomist

CEUs are vital for phlebotomists since they frequently come into contact with patients and need to practice safe methods to prevent infections with the patient and false lab results due to contaminated specimens. If you are a phlebotomist, then CEUs give you an opportunity to learn, network and meet other phlebotomists.

Once you have earned CEUs, you can renew your license and ensure you can continue to practice with no obstacles and the confidence that you are keeping yourself up on the necessary practices to keep patients safe. In addition, you will enjoy job opportunities, increased remuneration and more knowledge about your profession as it develops over time. These are the reasons why your education should never end.

Phlebotomists have the added advantage of seeing and knowing a lot regarding a clinic or hospital setting. Thy work with different people, including patients, nurses, laboratory technicians, doctors and specialists. By pursuing CEU credits, they can better this knowledge and gain more experience about interacting with people in their clinical environment. They also get to experience a little of laboratory culture, know how to use equipment safely and use medical terminologies among other aspects.

CEU credits can help phlebotomists decide what to pursue in advancing their careers, particularly when they have an interest in a certain field. By attending CEUs, they will obtain the much-needed inspiration to move ahead with their goals in the medical field. This implies they will have an opportunity to advance their careers. If they want to move up to a managerial position or even become a physician someday, they will need CEUs so it is great to get familiar with the process.

The CEU credits for phlebotomists typically depend on the individual’s goals. Whether you want to grow your career, salary or even pursue a different position in the medical field, CEUs are vital to start with in the process. The only dedication and input you need is time and money, and your career can be as advanced as you would like it to be.

How to Partake in Continuing Education

Continuing Education medical school

We recommend that you check with your initial school or program where you first trained as a phlebotomist to see if it also offers CEU programs and when. That way, when you go to renew your license/certification you will already know about the process. There is a variety of CEU credits available that can offer you various areas of expertise.

For instance, advanced phlebotomy is becoming a more popular option for CEU education among phlebotomists. It is essential as it incorporates different techniques when it comes to drawing blood. Besides, you will focus on more advanced laboratory studies, or some specific medical areas, including geriatrics or trauma. Therefore, if you are a phlebotomist and you are looking for an area of specialization, you should consider enrolling in a CEU program to get you started.

You should note that most of the continuing education courses are much shorter than the initial training. Sometimes, they may take only three days, but this depends on the training offered. Additional certifications, as you might expect, may take a little longer.  

Benefits of Earning CEU Credits

benefits of ceu

There are plenty of reasons as to why you need to continue your education. It is not only a requirement, but it can also help you in a variety of ways. For instance, one can get a promotion in your job they desire without putting an extra effort. CEUs will offer you an opportunity to change your career.

Career Advancement

Some individuals are happy to take an eight-week course and become a phlebotomist technician and enjoy this career for the rest of their lives. While it is rewarding, you might be interested in career advancements. Most of the time you will work with various people, drawing blood on a daily basis, transferring it to the lab, and conduct basic lab procedures. However, if you take continued education, there is an opportunity for growth, including taking on a management role or becoming a specialist.

Specialists focus on one specific area, either patient services or collections. Either way, if you want a managerial position or want to become a specialist, additional certifications are required. It may take years of experience. These positions have more responsibilities, but also come with better pay.

Change in Career

 phlebotomist career

Many people use CEUs as an opportunity to start off a career in the medical field. Some careers you could shift to as a phlebotomist include medical lab technicians and nursing. For instance, if you want to obtain a nursing degree as you work as a phlebotomist, you can either take online courses or hybrid avenues. You will also need to gain a diploma from a nursing program, which may take two or four years.

Medical lab technician career is a perfect fit for phlebotomists who might want to pursue a CEU. This is because you already have experience working in a laboratory. In addition, becoming an MLT can also be essential since you will improve your salary and responsibility. You start off with an MLT training and can later get an associate degree. While MLT education is more expensive compared to phlebotomy, you will have an opportunity to advance your career.

Some doctors even start off as phlebotomist technicians, but the education requirements are far greater compared to laboratory technicians or nurses. Some hospitals can help you pay for your continuing education if you stay on board with them. Therefore, we recommend that you check with your employer to see if they offer any help to continue your education.

Conclusion

CEUs are conducted and provided by organizations, companies and educational institutions that are willing to meet IACET/ANSI standards established for specific industries. The number of credits that you will need depends on which state or industry you are in. CEUs are essential for phlebotomists to renew their credentials and keep up with the latest industry and technology trends. In addition, you will enjoy advancements in job opportunities, increased compensation and more knowledge about your field. By completing CEUs, you will have an opportunity for growth, including taking on a management role or becoming a specialist. Your destiny depends on your focus and willingness to work. The CEUs will help you get there.