Phlebotomy is a vital, invaluable player in the vast medical field. At its core are trained phlebotomists – trained technicians who are responsible for collecting blood specimens for donations, infusions, testing, and research. According to the Department of Labor, phlebotomists also have one of the fastest-growing careers in the state of Connecticut.
Phlebotomy careers are, without a doubt, in high demand. Not only does phlebotomy offer one of the fastest routes into the medical field, it also bolsters some of the most rewarding and attainable career outcomes. The question is, how does one become a phlebotomist in Connecticut? And how do you become successful in the phlebotomy field?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, phlebotomists typically enter the field with a postsecondary certificate from a phlebotomy program. This is the expected standard among employers in Connecticut and across the United States. And in addition to this level of education, almost all employers look for (and prefer to hire) phlebotomists who have also earned professional certification. Goodwin College outlines how to become a phlebotomist in three, straightforward steps below.
Step 1: Earn a high school diploma (or equivalent) and complete any necessary background, drug, and immunity checks.
To build the foundation of your phlebotomy career, you must start by obtaining a high school level education. This is a basic prerequisite that will enable you to pursue college-level phlebotomy training.
In addition to a GED or high school diploma, most phlebotomy programs will also require you to undergo a background check, drug testing, and a physical examination by your physician, to ensure you will be safe and healthy in your clinical training. For example, at Goodwin College, aspiring phlebotomy students must provide documentation of a flu shot and other immunizations, like the Hepatitis B series.
Step 2: Complete a postsecondary phlebotomy program.
As noted above, it is highly recommended by experts across the country that aspiring phlebotomists enroll in a postsecondary training program. Phlebotomy programs typically take less than one year to complete, but will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the field. This level of advanced training is also advised if you wish to become a nationally-certified phlebotomist.
If you are looking for a reputable and flexible phlebotomy school in Connecticut, consider Goodwin College. Our phlebotomy classes are carefully designed to help students become well-versed in all aspects of the field: medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, laws and ethics, first aid, laboratory safety and sanitation, in addition to capillary specimen collection, venipuncture techniques, and other essential laboratory practices.
Coursework goes much beyond our on-campus classrooms and laboratory facilities, too. Phlebotomy students at Goodwin College also benefit from hands-on, practical training in an active clinical setting, interning at healthcare facilities and clinical labs throughout the Greater Hartford area. This internship experience, we find, provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to real situations, with real phlebotomy patients, under the direction of expert, certified phlebotomists.
Phlebotomy is one of the most accessible professions in medicine, as the training is shorter and more affordable than most other healthcare programs. And while all phlebotomy programs are relatively short-term, Goodwin College makes classes even more accessible with an accelerated, 7.5-week class structure. This means you can complete your phlebotomy certificate in just a matter of weeks (not months) and dive into the workforce fast.
Step 3: Pursue professional certification.
As noted in a recent Goodwin article, the state of Connecticut does not formally require phlebotomists to be certified at this time. However, it is highly recommended that aspiring phlebotomists earn national certification – this can greatly increase your future job prospects and salary potential. With national, phlebotomy certification under your belt, you can find work in settings such as:
- Health clinics
- Outpatient laboratories
- Physician’s offices
- Insurance companies
- Nursing homes
To earn certification and become a phlebotomist in Connecticut, you must complete and pass a certification exam, offered by one of the organizations below.
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
Typically, these exams include both written and practical components to assess your proficiency. Goodwin College can help you prepare for certification by arming you with a library of knowledge and practical phlebotomy experience. Because phlebotomists also work directly with their patients, we will also equip you with the various interpersonal skills desired in phlebotomists today.
Qualities of a Successful Phlebotomist:
Phlebotomists are responsible for drawing blood and collecting lab specimens, but their role goes much beyond those at-a-glance tasks. Like any healthcare team member, phlebotomists are also responsible for making their patients feel comfortable while under their care. As a result, phlebotomists must have a combination of interpersonal and technical skills, such as:
- Compassion, to comfort patients who might be afraid of having their blood drawn
- Dexterity, to use equipment safely and to work efficiently with their hands
- Attention to detail, to ensure vials are filled, labeled, and recorded correctly
- Hand-eye coordination, to carry out all the minute tasks like finding veins and drawing blood
A postsecondary phlebotomy certificate program, such as the one at Goodwin College, can provide you with the above skills and more, bolstering you for successful completion of any certification exam.
Understanding how to become a phlebotomist, as well as all the fundamental phlebotomist requirements in Connecticut, is a step in the right direction. But let’s take you one step further. Visit www.goodwin.edu/landingpages/healthcare to request more information about Goodwin’s phlebotomy certificate program. Or, call us at 800-899-3282 to learn more!