How to Become a Phlebotomist in Illinois

If you’re interested in a career as a phlebotomist and working in the lab of a hospital, it may easier than you think. Here is some information on this career and what it takes to work as a phlebotomist in Illinois and what you can expect in the way of a career.

Phlebotomist Requirements

An individuals who wants to work as a phlebotomist in Illinois must first pass a training program that’s been accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) or another state-approved agency. Phlebotomy training programs are usually completed in less than a year and can be found at vocational schools, technical schools or community colleges. Some hospitals may also offer phlebotomy courses.

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For phlebotomy training to be approved in Illinois, it must consist of 20 hours each of both basic training and advance training. The student must also complete five successful skin punctures and 100 successful blood works. Students in phlebotomy programs may take courses in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, medical law and ethics, venipuncture and urinalysis. There are several schools in Illinois that offer phlebotomy training.

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

There isn’t really any prior training or education that’s required for entry into the phlebotomy program. The student must be 18 years old and a high school graduate or equivalent. Admission requirements may consist of the following.

• Drug screening
• Criminal background check
• Current immunizations including TB test
• Health insurance
• Liability insurance

Are Phlebotomists Required to be Certified or Licensed in Illinois

Phlebotomists are not required to be licensed or certified to work in Illinois. However, certification can be obtain voluntarily by meeting the certification requirements set by the agency. Many phlebotomists choose to obtain voluntary certification as a way to demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to their jobs. Certification can also boost the employment and earning potential for phlebotomists.

How Can a Phlebotomist Become Certified?

Certification can be obtained from several agencies throughout the nation. The candidate must take and pass a certification exam. To be eligible to take the exam, the student is generally required to have completed an accredited training program that satisfied the state’s curriculum requirements. Phlebotomists may obtain certification from the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, the National Phlebotomy Association, the American Society for Clinical Pathology and National Center for Competency Testing.

Is Continuing Education Required?

Continuing education may not be required to work as a phlebotomist, but it is required to maintain the certification. The phlebotomist is generally required to earn a certain number of continuing education credits every couple of years to maintain the certification and avoid having to retake the certification exam. The number of continuing education credits required may vary from agency to agency, so phlebotomists are urged to research what is required by the agency from which they’ve obtained their certification.

Salaries for Phlebotomists in Illinois

Phlebotomist salaries in Illinois range from about $27,000 to more than $32,000 depending on the city. Phlebotomists working in Champaign and Peoria earned $27,136 and $28,314, respectively as of a September 2014 report by

Further north in Chicago and Cicero, the earnings were $32,612. Other factors that may affect salaries include place of employment, skill level years of experience. Phlebotomists who have multiple certifications generally experience the best employment options.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 3,830 phlebotomists employed in Illinois as of May 2013. The BLS also reported that the 4th-highest level of employment of phlebotomists in the nation was in the Chicago-Aurora-Naperville metropolitan areas.

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

There are many tasks that are performed by phlebotomists from the moment a patient enters the medical facility for blood or urine tests. The phlebotomist greets the patient; verifies patient information and medical records; explains procedure to patient in a reassuring manner and assemblies all instruments that might be used in the procedures.

It is the phlebotomist’s responsibility to make sure all equipment and supplies are sanitary and the blood is drawn as quickly and painlessly as possible. Once the blood is drawn or urine is taken, the samples are put into a vial or container and the phlebotomist labels it and makes sure it safely gets delivered to the lab for processing. Phlebotomists may also take the patient’s vital signs.

Phlebotomists are not allowed to perform intravenous therapy (IV) unless they’ve had training in IV therapy and are certified in IV therapy. Although phlebotomists may analyze the samples and enter the data into the computer, the samples are usually handled and tested by medical and clinical laboratory technologists.

The phlebotomist is also not allowed to discuss treatment or offer a diagnosis to the patient. Phlebotomists may find work in clinics, hospitals, insurance companies and laboratories.