How to Become a Phlebotomist in Arizona

Phlebotomy is a field that is predicted to have excellent employment growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you would like to be part of career, here are all the important facts on becoming a phlebotomist in Arizona.

Phlebotomist Requirements

To become a phlebotomist in Arizona, one must first complete an accredited training program in phlebotomy. The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) is the most used accrediting agency for phlebotomist, and it also meets certification requirements.

Phlebotomy programs are generally short-term programs that can be completed in just a few months. The training usually consists of courses in subjects like urinalysis, anatomy and physiology, venipuncture, medical terminology, centrifuging and processing, ethics, laws and OSHA regulations. Students may also learn CPR and First Aid during the program.

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Once the student completes the classroom courses, he or she must complete an externship or clinical to obtain real experience doing phlebotomy procedures. There are several schools in Arizona that offer phlebotomy training. Usually, the only requirements for entry into phlebotomy programs are that the student must be 18 years old and be a high school graduate or equivalent.

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

Phlebotomy training does not require any prior training or education other than a high school diploma or GED. However, because the students will be performing clinicals, must programs require the student provide proof of current immunizations that include TB test; health and drug screening, and criminal background clearance. They may also be required to have health and liability insurance.

Are Phlebotomists Required to be Certified or Licensed in Arizona

Arizona is one of many states that does not require their phlebotomists be licensed. They are also not required to be certified, although many choose voluntary certification to demonstrate their knowledge and improve their employment options and wage potential. Employees also generally prefer their phlebotomists have certification.

How Can a Phlebotomist Become Certified?

There are a few different paths in which Arizona phlebotomists can become certified. The Center for Phlebotomy Education recommends that phlebotomist obtain certification from one or more of the following agencies.

• American Society for Clinical Pathology
• National Center for Competency Testing
• American Certification Agency
• American Medical Technologists

Before the phlebotomist can be certified, he or she must pass a certification exam. To be eligible to take the exam, the individual must meet the requirements set by the agency. Although the requirements may vary, they usually require that the individual either have completed an accredited phlebotomy program or have equivalent work experience.

For instance, to be eligible for certification with the American Medical Technologists, the phlebotomist must have completed a program that consisted of 120 classroom hours and 120 clinical hours unless they have at least 1,040 hours of work experience as phlebotomist in the last three years. Individuals should wish to check with certifying agencies to ensure the program they choose allows for certification.

Is Continuing Education Required?

Certified phlebotomists must complete continuing education credits to maintain certification. Each certifying agency may have their own requirements, so phlebotomists should check with the agency in which they’re certified to ensure they maintain their certification.

Salaries for Phlebotomists in Arizona

Phlebotomists working in Arizona experience a wide range of salaries throughout the state. Some of the lower wages were found in cities like Lake Havasu City where the phlebotomists earned $24,717 as of a September 2014 report by Phlebotomy salaries in Flagstaff and Tucson were $26,407 while Peoria and Yuma phlebotomists earned #30,330 and $31,753, respectively.

These wages are fairly consistent with the national averages. The BLS reported that phlebotomists across the nation earned an annual average wage of $30,150 while the lowest ten percent earned $21,760 and the highest ninety percent earned $43,190.

What Job Duties Does a Phlebotomist Have & What Can They Legally Not Do?

Phlebotomists work in doctors’ offices, hospitals and independent laboratories. Sometimes the phlebotomist is the only medical personnel a patient sees when they come in for tests. The phlebotomist may greet the patient and verify the patient’s identification and medical history. From there, here are some of the tasks the phlebotomist might perform.

• Assemble all necessary tools and devices, such as blood devices, alcohol, needles, bandages and syringes
• Ensure that everything is sanitary
• Explain the procedure to the patient
• Locate the patient’s vein, draw the blood, treat the punctured area and label the sample
• Make sure the sample or specimen gets to the proper destination
• Take vital signs
• Ensure all blood-drawing equipment is properly disposed of after being used

There are many tasks that a phlebotomist can do in the course of their work day. They may perform simple tests, but generally the testing is left to the lab technologists. Phlebotomists are also not allowed to do intravenous therapy (IVs) unless they have certification in IV therapy.