A phlebotomist works with patients to draw blood for various medical uses. While playing a crucial role in the medical field, these technicians have fewer requirements than most other medical professions. However, those working in phlebotomy must have sufficient education and training to become employed and properly perform duties associated with the job.
Phlebotomists work in medical settings like hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, blood banks, and diagnostic labs.
Depending on their place of employment, they may draw blood for tests, transfusions, donations, or research. Ethical behavior and appropriate treatment of patients are critical since a phlebotomist must be able to draw blood while causing the least amount of discomfort possible
Help with Tests
Along with drawing blood, phlebotomists identify what blood tests a patient needs. They run required tests and send the results to whoever requests them. If a patient reacts to having their blood drawn due to weakness, fear of needles, or another cause, a phlebotomist must assist them in recovery.
Education and Training
To become a phlebotomist in Texas, there are a few educational and training requirements. A high school diploma or GED is the highest degree of education required to begin a phlebotomy program in most states. By attending this type of program at an accredited institution, students receive their necessary training and on-the-job practice.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Phlebotomist in Texas?
To begin your career path, you must attend a technical or vocational training school offering a phlebotomy program. This may take anywhere from eight weeks to a full year to complete depending on the program, your schedule, and any internship work you have. You may have to work six months to a full year as a part-time or full-time phlebotomist in training to become certified.
How Much Does it Cost to Become a Phlebotomist in Texas?
The cost of becoming a phlebotomist in Texas is relatively low compared to other medical professions. Expect to pay the combined cost of tuition, certification fees, and an annual renewal fee of your certification. The numerical value varies depending on where you go to school as well as where you choose to obtain your certificate.
Phlebotomy technician programs can cost anywhere from just under $1,000 to $2,000. The pricier programs typically include the cost of textbooks and exam vouchers. Most colleges allow students to make payments. Students can pay for their education through grants, loans, scholarships, and other financial aid.
What Courses Do You Take?
Required coursework and lessons often include:
- Medical terminology
- CPR and basic first aid
- Human pathology
- Phlebotomy with advanced classes
- Clinical practices
- Work ethics
- Patient care
- Handling lab and medical equipment
- Disposing of medical waste
Excellent communication skills are required of any phlebotomy technician, so be prepared to take additional courses in speech, patient relationships, and work ethics if they are specific weaknesses for you.
All students are expected to pass certification exams before they can graduate. A number of organizations hold acceptable certification exams.
You can obtain a phlebotomy license in Texas through multiple national organizations. These businesses administer the exam either at your college or at a separate location.
The following list includes which organizations proctor exams, along with their costs and qualifications:
- American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians offers phlebotomy technician exams for $65 with an annual membership fee of $35. To qualify, you must have six months to a year of experience working as a phlebotomist, a letter or signature from a supervisor, and successful completion of a training program.
- American Society of Clinical Pathologists allows students with varying levels of experience in the field to take the phlebotomy technician exam for $135. The one-year membership fee is $100. Qualification requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent plus completion of an approved phlebotomy program within the last five years. You may also need evidence of training and classroom time.
- American Medical Technologists has certifications available for any person working in a field involving medical training. The phlebotomy technician certification costs $125 nationally and $155 for international test-takers. The annual renewal fee is $60. You may qualify by completing a phlebotomy program or having sufficient work experience.
- National Phlebotomy Association has an application and certification fee of $170 total. To renew your membership each year costs $100. To take the exam, you must successfully pass a continuing education training program and accumulate enough lecture time and practical experience to meet the NPA curriculum requirements.
Those who attend a phlebotomy technician program may not have to fulfill the qualifications listed above. Instead, there are provisional certificates available through special arrangements with school programs. This makes it beneficial to attend a trade school for your phlebotomy training.
You can obtain your certificate and license from as many of these organizations as you wish. Even after receiving your license, you must continue your education through seminars or advanced training to keep your certification. The college you choose to attend will have a favored organization in most cases.
Education is important and necessary for many jobs. You must successfully complete your phlebotomy education in order to become a phlebotomy technician. Apprenticeships are not an option.
Hospitals and medical facilities often have their own conditions when looking to hire a phlebotomist. In addition to the educational requirements, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have the necessary experience. They must also acquire a certification and/or formal training from an accredited college or post-secondary institution.
- You also must be prepared to pass a typing test (typing speeds of more than twenty-five words per minute are the norm.)
- Additionally, you will need to demonstrate proficiency with Windows, Microsoft Word, and basic computer skills.
- Drug screening is mandatory, so expect to be tested periodically. You also must pass a criminal background check.
- Working with blood can expose you to many diseases (HIV, Hepatitis, etc.) so proof of current health insurance is a requirement.
- You must also have up to date vaccine records (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Chicken Pox).
- You must be able to pass a health exam, including a negative test result for tuberculosis.
Phlebotomist Salaries in Texas
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas had the second-highest level of employment for phlebotomists in May of 2020 with more than 11,000 working in the state. On average, a phlebotomist’s salary in Texas is more than $34,000 a year. Below are several metropolitan areas and their average annual salaries for a phlebotomist.