Looking to get into phlebotomy but don’t know where to start? As an occupation in high demand in the medical field, it can be difficult to know where to start and what you can proactively do to kickstart your career as a phlebotomist. As with most professions, you must understand the critical steps to landing a phlebotomist position, from attending the right school to acquiring the appropriate licenses to broadening your network. Here is how to get hired as a phlebotomist.
ATTEND PHLEBOTOMY SCHOOL
When pursuing a career in phlebotomy, it is important to graduate from a qualified respected phlebotomy school. For example, the state of California only issues phlebotomy licenses to those students that have attended a training program approved by the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”). But what should you be looking for in a phlebotomy program?
When researching for the perfect school, look for programs that provide enough classroom hours to properly prepare you to pass a nationally-approved phlebotomy exam and successfully complete a student internship. Quality programs typically provide the following in-classroom instruction:
- 20 hours of Basic Didactic Phlebotomy Training (theory)
- 20 hours of Advanced Didactic Phlebotomy Training (theory)
- 40-60 hours of Classroom Phlebotomy Training (hands-on)
These reputable schools also place students in 1-3 week-long internships with leading clinical and hospital laboratories. In fact, California students must successfully complete such an internship before the CDPH will issue a license to that student.
PASS THE NATIONAL EXAM & OBTAIN YOUR LICENSES
Before becoming a licensed phlebotomist, you must also successfully pass a phlebotomy technician exam from a nationally approved testing service. One such provider is the National Center for Competency Testing (“NCCT”). Their phlebotomy technician exam is a 3-hour, 125 question, proctored test that covers the following six topics:
- Quality and Professional Issues
- Infection Control and Safety
- Order of Draw and Equipment Selection
- Patient ID and Site Preparation
- Problems and Correction
In California, you must then submit the following materials to the CDPH to become a licensed phlebotomist:
- Certificate of Completion from a CDPH-approved school
- Proof of internship, signed by a CPT I
- Proof of successfully passing a nationally-approved phlebotomy technician exam
- Sealed official transcript that show proof of a U.S. high school education or equivalent.
GET WORK EXPERIENCE
Leading hospitals and clinics often require or prefer their new hires to have at least 500 hours of prior phlebotomy experience. So where can you obtain such prior experience?
Mobile phlebotomy can be a great way to start your career and gain valuable experience. A mobile phlebotomist typically travels to laboratories, blood banks, nursing homes, and other facilities in which patient care and blood work is needed. This position often assists individuals who may not otherwise have the ability or desire to drive to a clinic or hospital. Serving as volunteer for hospitals, clinics or community healthcare events can be another way to gain valuable experience and meet people in the healthcare industry.
BUILD YOUR PHLEBOTOMY NETWORK
As you are advancing through your phlebotomy education and experience, you should be expanding your healthcare industry network. Regularly attending phlebotomy or healthcare related community events and conferences can be a good way to do this. Also, LinkedIn and other work-oriented social media sites can help expand one’s professional network and connect with future opportunities.
Furthermore, it is essential to prepare a professional resume and cover letter for interviews and phlebotomy conferences. Monitoring online job sites such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter and responding to their job posts is another way to get your name out into the workforce. Sending follow-up letters after interviews can also help your chances during the hiring process. What differentiates PhlebotomyU from other phlebotomy schools, is the career resources offered to students before, during, and after going through the training program and passing the exam.
GET STARTED WITH PHLEBOTOMYU
PhlebotomyU, San Diego’s oldest phlebotomy school, is approved to operate by the BPPE. Its CDPH-approved courses successfully prepare students for a career in phlebotomy as evidenced by its strong Yelp and Google reviews. PhlebotomyU’s Phlebotomy Full Course consists of 90-100 classroom hours, successfully preparing students to pass the NCCT exam (97.8% pass rate) and complete an internship with a leading clinic or hospital lab. In fact, PhlebotomyU has secured partnerships with many leading hospitals and clinics and boasts more internship opportunities than any other phlebotomy school in San Diego. The phlebotomy field is in high demand and is only expected to grow stronger. If you are interested in pursuing a phlebotomy career, contact us today.