Understanding Continuing Education

continuing-educationWithout continuing education for phlebotomists, the medical professionals who draw blood from patients and test subjects would not be prepared to continue doing their jobs to the best of their abilities. But before phlebotomists can think about the continuing education requirements that they will need to fulfill, they must first think about their initial education. Phlebotomists must complete some basic educational requirements and complete a certification exam before they can begin working in the field in the first place.

The Importance of Continuing Education
The work isn’t over once a phlebotomist is trained and certified, though. In order to maintain phlebotomy certification one must meet various federal, state and institutional requirements for continuing education, which may vary depending on the state and place of employment. Many phlebotomists choose to complete their continuing education requirements online. This usually consists of competency tests which are approved by the state and/or professional organizations. Without fulfilling this continuing education requirement, phlebotomists might be unable to continue working in their current jobs.

Basic Educational Choices
Before beginning phlebotomy school, students must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Then you can choose from certificate and associate’s degree programs at vocational or technical schools, online universities and community colleges. Some of the certificate programs can be completed in as little as three months for those who just want to get in and get out, but these will only qualify the graduate for the most basic entry-level phlebotomy jobs. There are also bachelor’s degree programs at traditional four-year universities for phlebotomists who want to go into management and other high-level positions. Most phlebotomists choose associate’s degree programs which can be completed after 18 months of full-time study.

Hands-On Experience
Phlebotomists must know all about anatomy and physiology before they can learn the specific techniques of puncturing the skin, drawing blood and safely securing test samples. The hands-on experience of skin puncturing and venipuncturing are typically learned during internships, which are required to complete the program. After completing the program graduates must then sit for a certification exam before they apply for jobs.

Basic training is required to ensure that phlebotomists know what they’re doing and are prepared to work with patients. Continuing education for phlebotomists is also required, to ensure that they are current with all the latest industry information, best practices and any applicable changes in technology. For patients, it is good to know that the person puncturing their skin is always abreast of the latest information in the field.