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Free or Low Cost Phlebotomy Training
What is Phlebotomy?
Phlebotomy is the process of making an incision in a vein to draw blood. Generally, a trained medical professional uses phlebotomy, or drawing blood from a patient, to obtain a sample of blood for lab testing and/or prior to medical procedures.
The procedure first calls for finding of a suitable vein from which to extract blood. Once a suitable vein is found, it is punctured with a needle. While the needle is inserted into the vein, blood is drawn, or extracted, and stored in vials/tubes. Once the blood is collected, the tubes are sealed, identified with the patient's name and other pertinent information, and then forwarded to a laboratory for testing.
The amount of blood taken from the patient will depend on specific instructions from a doctor. The doctor will also give instructions in terms of importance and priority of the samples, which will determine the color of the rubber cap the sample is sealed with.
Depending on what the blood will be tested for, it may or may not be mixed with reactive agents already in the tubes used for blood collection.
Blood may be drawn via finger pokes for very small samples, heel sticks (generally used for infants) or the most common method, venipuncture. Blood is collected from either an artery in the wrist, or from the brachial artery in the bended arm area of the body.
Free Phlebotomy Training for a Great Career
You should not let the cost of tuition stop you from training in the area of phlebotomy if that is the career you are intending. If you pursue this career area, you will learn to draw blood for lab work for patients in various healthcare settings. You can find areas of specialization in some cases once you enter into this career field. There are many options to help you receive your phlebotomy training for free or to help you better afford the cost of any training programs.
Where to Look for Free or Low Cost Phlebotomy Training
Do take the time to contact local organizations in your area that sponsor scholarships. You are likely to find that some of these organizations offer help to those who are entering into healthcare related fields. There are often scholarships for individuals who have a financial need, who are single parents, who are minorities and people with various other circumstances. You could find that your employer or groups for which you are a member would have some scholarships opportunities for you.
If you are looking for free or low cost phlebotomy training, you should certainly use scholarship searches online to help you find any for which you should apply. These websites can help you pinpoint available scholarships based on various criteria including your intended major and schools you might attend.
Keep in mind that many colleges and other training centers offer their own scholarships. Do take the time to apply for those scholarships for which you meet the requirements and criteria. The financial aid office should be able to provide you with a list of scholarships. They should also be able to help you to apply for scholarships and answer questions you have.
There is certainly the possibility that you will receive a large enough scholarship to pay for all of your training. If you do not receive one large scholarships, you could pay for your training with the combination of several different scholarships. A scholarship can also help cover training costs that are not paid by financial aid packages or other methods.
Free phlebotomy training could be available to you if you have a great financial need. Most individuals can receive some level of financial aid when attending qualifying schools. Do see if you will receive a large enough package to pay for all your training. Even if you do not receive this much financial aid, what you do receive can go a long way in paying for your tuition.
Talk to your employer if you have a position with a healthcare provider but are looking to change careers. The employer might tell you that they offer tuition assistance programs which you could use to help you pay for training. The employer might pay for your training if you are a hard worker and excellent employee even if they do not usually offer tuition assistance.
There are many things you can do to help you pay for phlebotomy training. You will simply need to take the time to look for options. Applying for financial aid is certainly a good start. The same is true of applying for scholarships for which you think you would qualify.
How to Become a Certified Phlebotomist
Specialized training is required to become a certified phlebotomist. Training may be obtained from a trade school, college or in some cases, employers may be authorized to administer the training.
Research and due diligence should be applied here because not all training programs are recognized by every future employer. In the United States, certification requirements vary by state, so it is important to find out what your state requires for certification. Additionally, not all training programs are acceptable as certification so once again, it is important to know the details of what your state, province, or area requires for phlebotomy certification.
Once you have the details, you can proceed with finding the college or school that offers the required classes. At this time, you can also do further research into obtaining assistance with paying for the course(s). As highlighted above, local sponsorships, medical scholarships or employer assistance are all good places to begin research for helping to pay for most or all of your certification training.
In most cases, a high school diploma or GED is required to enroll in the certification course. The length of the certification course will vary depending on the location of the training. Once all requirements have been met, a Phlebotomy Certification Exam is administered and must be passed successfully in order to become certified.
Other than formal training, the successful candidate must be able to follow directions, have a good rapport with patients and most importantly, be comfortable around needles, blood and bodily fluids.
How Long is Phlebotomist Training
Since phlebotomy requires specialized training, the length of training also has variables.
If currently employed in the healthcare field, on-the-job training may be available. If this is an option, working as a phlebotomist under the training and supervision of a qualified medical professional is allowed without certification. Under these circumstances, certification can be applied for after working full-time for a minimum of six (6) months. If working part-time, it will usually require one (1) year of training.
Without on-the-job training, the completion of a training course and certified phlebotomist license must be completed. The phlebotomist training course taken at an accredited school generally takes between 4-6 months to complete. Certification requires a minimum of 200 hours practice and a minimum of 100 successfully completed blood draws.
Keep in mind that requirements vary by state, and these are general requirements. Check with your state for specifics on what is required where you live.
Some of the areas of study during the training course may include health precautions, privacy practices, anatomy, how to deal with patients and medical situations, and the actual blood draw procedures, techniques and requirements.
After all training requirements have been completed, a Phlebotomy Certification and License will be issued after successfully passing a final exam.
Currently in the United States, the average salary for a phlebotomist technician is right around $29,000. This figure, of course, is approximate and there are many determining factors which would determine the wage for your area.
Where you live and the supply/demand of this type of career has a lot to do with how much you will make. Even though $29,000 is the average median salary, the wage offered could be much higher in your local area. Research on your part will tell you how much you can actually earn.
Although certification is not always required for this type of position, the more education and experience you have will also increase the level of pay you can expect to receive.
Employers look upon education as a commitment and would more than likely look more favorably at candidates who have demonstrated the motivation and dedication to pursue additional training and obtain certification.
Much like trying to get into any career without further education, college or technical training, you increase your odds of securing a job when you have more education and experience.
With the free and low-cost educational opportunities available for this career, it would be a good idea to take advantage of them to land a great phlebotomist position with a competitive wage.
Once all the training is completed and you have your certification, where do you begin applying for jobs?
Phlebotomy is a great career choice because there are so many different types of venues looking for this type of skill, and because of this, you have more choices to begin or advance your career.
Here is a list of potential employment opportunities:
Blood banks / Drives
Jails / Drug treatment centers
Also, you can choose to specialize in your field and concentrate on a more specific patient segment such as pediatric phlebotomy or a field phlebotomist, who travels between multiple facilities.
To get started, check with your training center to see if there are internship, entry level or on-the-job training programs, which are all great options to get a foot in the door for gaining valuable experience.
You can also join related forums or medical networking groups to stay connected to the industry, and learn about new trends or opportunities in the field.
The opportunities are endless, especially for those armed with the proper training, education, skills, persistence and mindset.
Summing it Up
There is no shortage of jobs in the medical field, as the population ages and as all of us are human, will always need medical attention at one time or another.
Phlebotomy is an excellent career choice for the long-term, or as a stepping stone to enter the medical field. Because phlebotomy certification only takes months and it is really possible to receive free or low-cost training, it is one of the best investments you can make to guarantee a long and successful career.
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