Are you interested in a fulfilling career where you can prevent illness and help people? If so, you may find working as a phlebotomy technician to be quite rewarding. Learn how easy it is to complete a phlebotomy training Utah program and become a nationally certified phlebotomist. The training is much shorter than you might think given that it lets you get an entry-level job in the health care field. Plus, all you need is a high school diploma!
What Does a Phlebotomy Technician Do?
A phlebotomy technician or phlebotomist draws blood for transfusions and testing, which is required in order to diagnose and treat illnesses. Their job duties may also include taking and documenting vital signs, preparing blood samples for testing, taking medical histories, explaining procedures to patients, sterilizing supplies, and disposing of contaminated samples.
Phlebotomists may find work in hospitals, clinics, medical laboratories, and physicians’ offices, among other exciting opportunities. So whether you’re in high school or contemplating a career change, you’ll be happy to know that the field is brimming with possibility.
What Are Phlebotomy Training Utah Programs Like?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are at least five schools that offer phlebotomy training Utah options. The training programs, usually certificate or diploma programs, can be completed in less than a year. And all that’s required is a high school diploma or GED.
As a phlebotomy student, you’ll complete courses in medical assisting procedures, medical office records and communication, government regulations, electronic health records, and taking vital signs. A major part of the curriculum consists of clinical education, where you’ll receive hands-on training performing actual phlebotomy procedures.
The phlebotomy training usually includes CPR certification as well; however, some schools may consider it a prerequisite. Prior to starting phlebotomy training in Utah, students are required to submit to a health screening and criminal background check.
Phlebotomy Training Utah: Are Phlebotomists in High Demand?
Phlebotomy technicians are estimated to become in high demand over the next few years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these medical professionals can expect an employment growth of up to 25% between 2016 and 2026. As of May 2017, there were 1,150 phlebotomists employed in the state of Utah. If you’re willing to relocate, states with the highest employment level in this occupation include California, Florida, Texas, New York, and North Carolina.
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Do I Have What It Takes to Become a Phlebotomist?
If you’re still in high school and considering a career as a phlebotomist, you should focus on getting good grades in classes like chemistry and biology. It’s not usually necessary to have excellent scores in these subjects when applying for a phlebotomy training Utah program, but it will give you a head start. In rare cases, you can get employed as a phlebotomist with only a high school diploma and earn experience on the job, but employers tend to favor candidates who have graduated from a phlebotomy training program and have their certification. Thankfully, all you need to enroll in a program is your high school diploma or GED.
While most hard skills are learned during the training program, you should assess your personality and soft skills before going down this road. First off, you should be comfortable with handling blood – so if you get squeamish at the sight of blood or other types of injuries/fluids, a career as a phlebotomist should be out of the question. Additionally, you should have great people skills, since phlebotomy technicians work closely with patients and other medical professionals. They are responsible for explaining procedures, keeping patients calm, and assisting them if they have any adverse reactions following a procedure.
For those thinking about switching careers, you’re in luck – the only age restriction for enrolling in a phlebotomy training Utah program is that students must be 18 or older. Since training is short, you might be able to perform it while juggling your current job at the same time, but you might want to check with the school in advance to figure out if that’s possible. Otherwise, have your high school diploma and GED ready and you’re good to go.
Once you graduate from your courses, seeking certification should also be on your to-do list. It’s not mandatory in the state of Utah, but it will significantly increase your chances of landing a job. Organizations that offer certifications for phlebotomists include The National Center for Competency Testing, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Phlebotomy Association, and the American Medical Technologists.
How Much Do Phlebotomists Make?
A phlebotomist’s salary depends on a variety of factors. There’s experience, of course – if you get employed right after high school you’ll earn far less than a technician with years of experience under their belt. But salary can also fluctuate depending on location and employer.
Based on numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for phlebotomists was $34,480 in May 2018. The lowest 10% of workers earned less than $25,020, while the highest 10% earned more than $49,060. As you can see, there’s a pretty wide difference between these two numbers. Luckily, phlebotomists can supplement their income by taking contract gigs with companies that require regular blood testing – like for drug testing, or with companies offering life insurance. Plus, the more experience you gain, the more money you will make, with several possibilities of advancement available for those willing to continue education and improve their skills.
In Utah, the annual mean wage is $31,290, which translates to about $15/hour. Unfortunately, it’s not great, especially compared to some of the top paying states for the occupation like California, Alaska, or New York. Still, the cost of living in Utah is also lower than in California or New York, so a phlebotomist’s salary should be enough to ensure a comfortable life. And if you’re willing to pick up extra work or advance your career, even better.
As for employment type, the highest phlebotomist salaries are with outpatient care centers, followed by medical and diagnostic laboratories, offices of physicians, hospitals, and other ambulatory health care services.
What Are Some Related Occupations?
Looking for a career in health care, but not sure if phlebotomy is for you? Then you should consider some similar occupations that might fit you better.
For example, those who are looking to enter the health care field without long-term education might be interested in a career as a dental assistant. Similarly to phlebotomy, you only need a postsecondary nondegree award. That means that you can enroll in a short-term training program after graduating from high school or getting your GED. These programs take about a year to complete and include both classroom and laboratory work. A dental assistant earns, on average, $38,660/year or $18.59/hour.
Alternatively, becoming a licensed practical nurse might be a better path for you. They make about $46,240 per year or $22.23 per hour and can work in nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, or home healthcare services. As for training, you need to complete an approved educational program that lasts for about a year. Most programs are available at community colleges and in technical schools, but may also be provided by high schools or hospitals. Once you graduate, you will have to take the National Council Licensure Examination to get licensed. This is mandatory in all states.
Other similar professions in the health care field include medical records and health information technician, medical assistant, medical and clinical laboratory technologist, and medical transcriptionist.
Whether you’re still in high school or already building your resume, keep in mind that phlebotomy is a growing and exciting field. If you’re looking for job security and good benefits, as well as for a career in the medical industry that doesn’t require a lot of expensive training, you’re in the right place. Browse through the phlebotomy training Utah program above and see what each one has to offer. You’ll be on the path to greatness in no time.