How to Become a Phlebotomist in Illinois
Finding an educational program with a hands-on training component is the first step for those pursuing this career path.
Once you complete your schooling, you may need to obtain an official certification to meet the requirements for your preferred phlebotomy technician job in Illinois.
Education and Training
Before you start applying for phlebotomy technician jobs in Illinois, you’ll need to complete an accredited training program. Several Illinois trade schools and community colleges offer phlebotomy tech courses for students looking to learn the tools of the trade.
Training courses for aspiring phlebotomy technicians in IL typically include classes like:
- Medical Laboratory Terminology
- Universal Precautions and Safety Procedures
- HIPPA Regulations and Patient Privacy Guidelines
- Venipuncture with Syringes, Butterflies, and Vacutainers
- Finger and Heel Sticks
- Bleeding Times, Blood Cultures, Glucose Tolerance Testing
- Specialized Techniques for Difficult Draws
- Data Entry Procedures and Software Use
Some patients and blood donors have phobias that relate to needles or become anxious during blood draws. Because of this, many phlebotomy tech programs help students develop a calming bedside manner and effective communication skills that they can use to soothe patients during blood draw procedures.
Additional Information Needed
Your instructor might also cover specific information on safety protocols and preventative measures related to blood-borne pathogens.
In addition to completing traditional classroom instruction, students must undergo hands-on training before they can qualify for phlebotomy technician jobs in Illinois. Some schools have on-campus medical simulation clinics where students can practice venipuncture sticks on medical mannequins as well as volunteer faculty and staff.
Other institutions partner with local outpatient clinics, nursing homes, blood banks, and other medical care facilities to provide internship opportunities for aspiring phlebotomy technicians in IL. During these programs, students work under the supervision of licensed phlebotomists and nurses, performing blood draws on actual patients and blood donors.
How Long Does It Take?
Most training courses for phlebotomy technicians in Illinois are about four to seven weeks long. However, there are also programs that take 10 to 12 weeks to complete. Students planning to become donor phlebotomy specialists or medical lab technicians may need to enroll in a 24-month training course.
How Much Does Phlebotomy Tech School Cost?
Each phlebotomy school in Illinois charges different rates for tuition, lab fees, study materials, and registration. Depending on where you enroll, your program may cost anywhere from $1,200 to about $2,250. If you work as a phlebotomy tech while completing your courses, your employer may offer tuition assistance to help you cover your program costs.
If you already work in an entry-level healthcare profession, your employer may offer on-site phlebotomy courses for those who want to obtain extra credentials and qualify for promotions. Work-sponsored training programs may be shorter than a typical trade school course and might cost a little less, as well.
Illinois Phlebotomy Technician Requirements
Illinois is one of many states that allow unlicensed individuals to work as phlebotomy techs. Because of this, you can qualify for most phlebotomy technician jobs in Illinois as long as you meet the following criteria:
- Have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
- Be at least 18 years old
- Graduate from an accredited training program
- Pass a criminal background screening
- Test negative for Hepatitis and TB
- Have up-to-date immunization records
Phlebotomy Tech Certification
Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have an official credential from an accredited certifying agency. Depending on the organization you choose, you may need to have at least one year of phlebotomy tech experience or submit documentation showing that you’ve completed a particular number of venipuncture sticks before you can take the certification exam.
Some of the most popular certification agencies for aspiring phlebotomy technicians in IL include:
- The National Phlebotomy Association
- The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians
- The American Society for Clinical Pathology
- American Medical Technologists
Each agency has its own licensure requirements that applicants must meet. In most cases, you’ll need to pass an oral, written, and practical exam in order to get certified. Once you have a license from a nationally-recognized organization, you’ll have a better chance of qualifying for higher-paying phlebotomy technician jobs in Illinois.
Phlebotomy Technician Salaries in IL
Entry-level phlebotomy technicians in IL make about $33,168 per year, while more experienced techs earn roughly $45,089 annually. Depending on which area of the state you live in, the average phlebotomy technician salary in Illinois may differ slightly. Check the list below to discover regional salary information for newly-hired phlebotomy technicians in IL:
- Chicago $35,851
- Springfield $31,401
- Danville $26,213
- Elgin $35,441
- Decatur $30,895
- Rockford $31,489
Again, more experienced phlebotomy techs typically earn higher salaries, so you might eventually make closer to $50,000 per year. If you obtain additional certifications and get a management or supervisory position, you can boost your annual earnings even higher.
Like other professions in the healthcare and nursing industries, phlebotomy technician jobs in Illinois require a soothing, professional bedside manner and exceptional attention to detail. During the workday, these employees must:
- Verify each patient or donor’s identity before performing blood draws
- Use proper safety, sanitation, and infection prevention methods
- Properly assemble and dispose of needles, vials, and other medical instruments
- Explain each step in the blood draw process to help donors and patients relax
- Collect blood and fluid samples for medical testing or processing
- Label sample containers and submit them for testing
- Enter sample data into the required database
Experienced phlebotomists sometimes decide to obtain additional certifications and become LPNs, CNAs, or RNs. Medical facilities often need qualified phlebotomy technicians to fill the roles when these techs change careers. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 10-percent increase in the demand for phlebotomy technician jobs over the next decade.