How to Obtain Your State Certification for Phlebotomy
Depending on your state, you may or may not have to receive state certification to practice as a phlebotomist. In fact, Louisiana and California are the only two states that absolutely require the certification. Without the proper licensure, it’s incredibly difficult to get a job, since even in states without certifications requirements, employers look for some degree of competency to draw blood.
Difference Between State VS. National
The national certification doesn’t count as licensure in any state to draw blood legally. The national certification basically is just an added bonus to assist you in finding a job. You don’t need to keep your national certification renewed, although prospective employers do consider it during the hiring process. The state certification is required in California and Louisiana, and employers look for employees who possess state certification, because it does show that you have the skill and know-how to complete the job.
Step One: Find an accredited school to attend to learn to be a phlebotomist. Our directory is a wonderful place to start looking. Make sure you look into regulations regarding certification, so you choose a school that meets the prerequisites, so you may take the examination.
Step Two: Attend the required courses, hands-on training and internship to finish to program. Keep in mind, the testing done throughout the program and even at the end are not the only time you’ll need to use the information you retained from the coursework and hands-on learning.
Step Three: Gain on the job experience. This usually will come from your internship; however, in some states you only need to have training drawing blood to work in a facility. Therefore, you can work while acquiring the on the job training you need. The amount of experience you need varies based upon the state exam you plan to take. For instance, all of the certifying organizations require you to have at least 100 unassisted blood draws, but the National Phlebotomy Association requires you to have 160 hours working as a phlebotomist, not including your internship.
Step Four: Determine which organization you should go through to earn your certification.
Step Five: Apply to take the examination using the online option. Typically, after you apply, you’ll have a waiting period before you can schedule your test.
Step Six: Take the test. You’ll need to renew your certification every two years in both Louisiana and California, in order to be able to work as a phlebotomist. However, you should renew your certification every two years anyways.