Why You Should Get Certified
Since you don't have to have your phlebotomy certification in order to start your career as a phlebotomist, why should you get certified?
Because without your phlebotomist certification, getting a job is nearly impossible.
California and Louisiana may be the only states that require "all persons who are not doctors, nurses or clinical lab scientists" to be licensed in order to draw blood. But phlebotomy certification tells your prospective employer that you have met the requirements laid down by respected certifying bodies in your field. These certifying bodies maintain standards for education and experience.
Where to Get Phlebotomy Certification
If you're interested in earning your certification, there are three widely-recognized certifying bodies through which you can become a certified phlebotomist:
- American Society for Clinical Pathology
- Association of Phlebotomy Technicians
- National Phlebotomy Association
Below are a few details about how to qualify for each:
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
For people without past experience, ASCP requires:
- High school graduation or equivalent
- Completion of 40 classroom hours
- 120 hands-on training hours
- 100 successful, unaided blood collections
Your classroom training must include anatomy, physiology or the circulatory system, specimen collection, specimen processing and handling, and laboratory operations. See the phlebotomy courses page for other courses that might be included in your training.
Another thing to note is that the ASCP specifies that the laboratory at which you intern must be regulated according to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment of 1988. This act was put into effect by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to ensure quality laboratory testing across the United States.
The Association of Phlebotomy Technicians (APT)
For phlebotomy technicians with no prior work experience the requirements for certification through ASPT are:
- Completion of an accredited phlebotomy training program
- 100 successful documented venipunctures
- 5 successful skin punctures
- A current membership to APT
National Phlebotomy Association (NPA)
Similarly, unless you have one year of prior experience as a phlebotomist, you need to attend a phlebotomy training program to qualify for certification through NPA.
The program you attend must include:
- Venipuncture techniques
- A hands-on clinical practical internship
- 160 classroom hours in addition to the clinical practical internship