Brenda Luczek, Medical Assistant Program Chair at GOCC, said laboratories depend on the phlebotomy technician to collect quality samples. “The phlebotomy technician must create an atmosphere of trust and confidence with patients in a skillful, safe and reliable manner. They learn to accurately collect and process blood samples by mastering both phlebotomy and capillary blood collection techniques,” explained Luczek.
Luczek said the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) forecasts a continuing need to fill these technician jobs across the country. The average annual salary ranges from $25,000 to $35,000. To insure that phlebotomy technicians are capable and competent, the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) gives a national certification exam. Those who pass the exam may use the initials PBT (ASCP) after their names to show they are proficient in their field. Certification is valid for three years. To demonstrate competency during their careers after the initial certification, phlebotomy technicians must complete the Certification Maintenance Program every three years. Phlebotomy technicians may further enhance their chances for employment by becoming certified with the ASCP as Donor Phlebotomy Technicians (DPT), qualifying them to perform their specialization in blood collection centers.
“Phlebotomy Technicians must like challenge and responsibility, must be accurate, work well under pressure, and communicate effectively. They are often the first health worker to see a patient, so they must notice and relay any important information gathered during this interaction. Phlebotomy Technicians set high standards for themselves and must be committed to providing quality health care,” said Luczek.
The 24 credit Phlebotomy Technician Certificate includes courses in medical terminology, medical office laboratory, disease conditions, medical law and ethics, business communications, anatomy and physiology and the phlebotomy externship. The 24 credits may be applied toward the 62 credit Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health, a two-year degree, which includes more courses from business, communications, humanities, social science, mathematics and a physical education class. “Many students continue for the Associate in Allied Health because they seek increased responsibilities, supervisory roles or are interested in health care office management in physician offices, clinics, hospitals and small health care businesses,” explained Luczek.