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What Is the National Certification of Phlebotomy?

Phlebotomists work in clinical settings and take blood samples from patients. Phlebotomy certification is offered by several nationally-recognized organizations. Although it's not legally required in most states, employers prefer certified applicants because certification demonstrates one's knowledge and skills in the field. If you are considering a phlebotomy career, read on to find out how to become certified.

National Phlebotomy Certifications

For a phlebotomy designation, you may apply for certification from an agency such as the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP), the American Medical Technologists (AMT) or the National Health Career Association (NHA). Each agency has its own examinations, application requirements and rules.

Important Facts about Phlebotomists

Median Salary (2018) $34,480
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 25% expected job growth
Key Skills Compassion, attention to detail, working with hands
Similar Occupations Medical assistants, medical laboratory technologists, nursing assistants, dental assistants, veterinary technicians

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certification Training Requirements

Before seeking certification, you must complete phlebotomy training, which can be obtained on the job or through a formal training program. Such programs usually require you to complete supervised clinical work hours in addition to classroom instruction. Courses may cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy, blood drawing techniques and equipment, the human circulatory system and laboratory procedures.

Requirements

The ASCP offers the Phlebotomy Technician (PBT) designation. To qualify for the PBT, the ASCP offers multiple options. You may qualify through the completion of an approved education program, by having sufficient work experience either as a phlebotomy technician or other healthcare professional, or by holding another ASCP certification. You must pay a fee and pass a certification examination to earn the designation. To qualify for the Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT) designation from the AMT, you need to either be enrolled in or graduate from an approved program or provide proof of work experience, and you must pass the RPT examination.

The National Health Career Association (NHA) also requires you to have formal education or documented work experience to qualify to take the phlebotomy certification examination. You must also provide proof that you have performed at least 30 venipunctures and 10 capillary sticks on live individuals in order to qualify. After successfully passing the test, you earn the title of Certified Phlebotomy Technician. Most certifications must be renewed. Typically, renewal involves completing continuing education credits.