Currently, there are ten separate agencies in the United States that offer certification for the phlebotomy technician. Requirements to become a certified phlebotomy technician vary by agency, and this often presents a very confusing landscape to individuals interested in the field. The Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute sets guidelines and standards for teaching instruction and generally, not all of the certifying agencies conform to these standards.
Currently one of the most popular and widely accepted certifications comes from the American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals. This agency offers an online written exam for both the phlebotomy technician and phlebotomy instructors. In most states, the candidate for the exam is expected to have completed 100 hours of clinical work and also 100 successful venipunctures. To apply to sit for the phlebotomy instructor exam, you are required to provide proof of three years of employment history within the field.
Another agency which currently provides certification is the National Center for Competency Testing. Prior to applying to take the exam with the NCCT, the phlebotomy technician must have completed an accredited six-week program or have had one year of experience as a phlebotomy technician. Some states have additional criteria prior to applying for this exam, so if you are considered certification from the NCCT, be sure to visit their websites to determine if there are any additional factors which you need to consider.
One of the more demanding certifications for the phlebotomy technician is offered by the American Medical Technologists. Candidates will be required to have successfully completed a phlebotomy training course which has been accredited by one of the following agencies: the United States Department of Education, coursework approved by the RAC, or Regional Accrediting Commission, a training course which is made up of 120 hours of clinical work and 120 hours of classroom work, or the applicant must have acquired a minimum of 1,040 hours of relevant experience in the three years prior to applying for the certification. Additionally, the candidate should have successfully executed 50 venipunctures.
When it comes time for you to apply for your certification as a phlebotomy technician, be sure to fully understand the options available to you. You may want to consult with professionals working in the clinical setting in which you hope to be placed or instructors from your phlebotomy training program to assist you in determining certifications for which they have successfully applied. While there are many options available to become certified as a phlebotomy technician, understand that they are a valuable vehicle to increasing the standards of care offered to patients in any setting in which you may choose to work.
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