While phlebotomy training offers great opportunities for a new and promising career, it is not for everyone. Like any other training program, it has its requirements to meet and different schools may vary on the details of those requirements. Even though they vary, the training programs are similar as to the basic prerequisites and here are a few of their commonalities.
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Before enrolling in phlebotomy classes, you should ask yourself if you have the desire to work with and for people. This is a service job and it is a fact that serving people, while rewarding, can be very stressful. You should examine your personality and decide if you are the type of person who can interact with patients who oftentimes can be worried, anxious, and defensive about the prospect of having their blood drawn.
Phlebotomy training programs also require that you speak, read, and write English. It does not matter where in the world you will be working. English is still the language of business and medicine. Also, your school will be conducted in English and you would not want to miss important details because of a deficiency in English comprehension.
Can you be empathetic to their fears? Are you willing to explain what you are doing in order to help them understand why their blood is being drawn? These are just a couple of questions you should ask yourself before getting into phlebotomy training.
You should have an adequate level of physical ability before getting into a training program. The ability can be broken down into components that would typically be required of a phlebotomist. These components would include hand and eye coordination, good hearing, and normal or correctable vision.
Hand and eye coordination is critical for phlebotomy training because a phlebotomist should be able to locate and insert a sharp instrument for drawing blood at the correct point. Errors must be avoided. Normal or correctable vision is critical because a phlebotomist must be able to read instrument scales, charts, computer screens, and enter data.
The educational requirements for entering most courses in phlebotomy training are minimal. Most all of them require at least a high school education. This minimum educational requirement would be sufficient for entering most private phlebotomist schools. However, when the course of education is offered through a university, you will have to meet its requirements for getting into an allied health program. This might mean taking general education courses such as college writing before being accepted into the program.
Not everyone handles stress in the same manner but a phlebotomist must be able to deal with it well. Stressors can manifest themselves in this field in areas such as shift work, getting your first job, working under pressure, and liability.
A person who cannot deal well with shift work should not consider phlebotomy training. This is because the first job out of school will more than likely involve shift work and more than likely a graveyard shift (from 11 P.M. until 7 A.M.). New hires typically get odd shifts since the coveted day shifts are already taken by established employees.
While phlebotomy is a growing and in-demand field, you could reside in a geographical location where competition is tough for a few jobs. Some health organizations want experienced phlebotomists only. So, you may have to work in a volunteer capacity after receiving phlebotomy certification and this could be quite stressful if you have no other source of income.
Then, as a phlebotomist, you will sometimes be called upon to work under pressure. For example, you might have to draw blood from a hostile patient. This working under pressure is complicated by the fact that the healthcare organization that you work for is always under legal liability and there is no room for error. If you cannot handle this kind of stress, you might want to re-think your decision to become a phlebotomist.
Other Requirements before Phlebotomy Training
The nature of a phlebotomist’s job means that this person will need to be highly responsible. Responsibility includes meeting requirements that protect patient safety, your safety, and minimize liability for the hospital or other clinical setting that you will be working in. In order to do this, phlebotomy training programs require that you have up-to-date immunizations and can pass a background check.