Because of phlebotomy’s recent surge in popularity as an entry-level career choice, many people find themselves looking into different training and certification programs. They want to receive the proper education and find the best resources necessary to become a phlebotomist.
While there are numerous hospitals, clinics, and even specific programs on school campuses, etc. offered periodically, many people tend to overlook American Red Cross phlebotomy training.
The Red Cross is one of the biggest proponents of phlebotomists. Think about it – what is the first organization that comes to mind when you think about the need for blood? It’s likely the Red Cross.
But, their blood supplies have to come from somewhere, and talented, qualified phlebotomists are always needed. So much so, in fact, that the Red Cross actually offers its own phlebotomy training program to interested individuals who may either be starting a career in medicine, or just want to help people.
Understanding the Role of the Phlebotomist
Most people associate phlebotomy with drawing blood. While that is the main job description, when you go through training with the American Red Cross, you’ll cover additional skills and techniques, such as CPR.
You’ll also have to learn the basic systems of the body, including the nervous system, respiratory system, and circulatory system.
Aside from drawing blood, however, you also must know how to prepare it, label it, and transport it, as well as know lab procedures and safety rules. You also have to be comfortable working with people on a daily basis, from doctors and nurses, to lab technicians, and of course, patients.
Phlebotomy is rarely a lonesome job. Rather, you’re on your feet, moving from place to place, and working with many different people. Red Cross phlebotomy training will cover everything you need to know, so you can begin your work after training with confidence.
Red Cross Phlebotomy Training Requirements
The requirements to train on a phlebotomy course are simple:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You’re a high school graduate, or have the equivalent GED.
- Spotless background check.
- Up-to-date on all vaccinations and don’t have any blood-borne illnesses.
The American Red Cross charges around $1,000 in tuition for their phlebotomy training course, which lasts several months.
Considering a phlebotomist is an entry-level career position, the tuition is actually extremely fair, and can be a jumping off point to continue your education in the medical field.
Nurses, supervisors, and even physicians often use phlebotomy as a starting point for their medical career, as something they can do while continuing their education.
What to Expect from the Course
The Red Cross training course will teach the skill of venipuncture, which is just another way of saying drawing blood. This includes techniques on how to make a vein pop up, or find alternative veins if you run into problems.
This can be one of the most important parts of phlebotomy training. It’s how a phlebotomist works to find a vein that will give their patient a first impression of them, and it can either be a smooth experience each and every time, or something more difficult.
The ability to work under pressure, and even find an alternate vein if necessary, can make all the difference in a patient’s overall experience.
Throughout your training, you’ll also learn the proper storage, labeling, and transportation methods for blood samples, safety rules, and even customer-service techniques.
As a phlebotomist, you’ll be interacting with people from all walks of life on a daily basis, so being able to talk with each patient and make them feel comfortable while you’re drawing blood is extremely important.
Some Red Cross training courses will also train you on how to use various lab and hospital equipment, such as an electrocardiogram. You can look into your local Red Cross branch to learn more about their specific offerings within their phlebotomy training programs.
When you complete phlebotomy training, you can begin working as a phlebotomist. However, some hospitals and organizations now require certification in order for someone to be employed as a phlebotomist technician.
The Red Cross offers certification through additional course work. In order to be completely certified, you may also have to pass a national exam that meets the requirements of your specific state.
Finding a Job After Phlebotomy Training
When you train to be a phlebotomist with the American Red Cross, and become certified, the sky’s the limit when it comes to finding a quality job. Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and even private practices are always on the lookout for quality phlebotomists to take care of their patients’ needs.
However, you can also get your feet wet by working directly with the Red Cross. Most Red Cross phlebotomy jobs are voluntary, and you’d likely be working at blood drives, or in emergency situations at Red Cross facility centers when blood is most needed.
However, it’s a wonderful opportunity to do something good, gain experience with a wonderful organization, and add that experience to your resume.
Most hospitals and clinics alike don’t allow new phlebotomy trainees to work on their own right away, anyway, requiring some kind of supervision.
So, if you can gain experience through the Red Cross after your training, you’ll be one step ahead when you move forward to a full-time phlebotomy career, showing off your skills and knowledge from the American Red Cross to prove that you know exactly what you’re doing.