How to Become a Phlebotomist in Rhode Island

A phlebotomist is also known as a clinical laboratory technician or a medical assistant. Phlebotomists draw blood from patient’s veins or skin. They’re responsible for setting up any laboratory equipment and storing blood samples safely. Usually, a phlebotomist must draw blood at least twenty times a day or more.

Phlebotomist Requirements and Training in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, a high school diploma or equivalent GED are necessary before enrolling in a phlebotomy course to obtain a diploma or an associate degree to qualify to work as a phlebotomist. Coursework can prepare you for all the technical aspects of working as a phlebotomist. As long as you possess a high school diploma or have earned a GED, you may be eligible to work as a phlebotomist. It’s necessary that a medical assistant who wants to become certified that you complete at the minimum, 100 venipunctures without assistance, or at least 140 hours of practical experience in a clinical setting.

The top cities in Rhode Island where there is the most need for phlebotomists are:

• Bristol

• Greenville

• Middletown

• Newport

• Portsmouth

• Rumford

• Warwick

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Certification For Phlebotomists

A phlebotomist may be required to be certified, but it depends on the state in which you live. Rhode Island doesn’t require phlebotomists to have certification. However, it is recommended that you take a training course before applying for a job in a hospital, doctor’s office, clinic, or laboratory.

Phlebotomist Certification

Rhode Island offers one of the top phlebotomy certification programs in the country. The program is offered at the Community College of Rhode Island. Classes are offered in the morning and evening so you can continue to work while studying. An examination is required when you complete the course to be certified. The exam is offered through an agency such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Phlebotomists and Continuing Education

In Rhode Island, a phlebotomist must complete 6 hours of continuing education to renew their license as a certified phlebotomist. The course not only provides a refresher course for phlebotomists but teaches the latest technology and newest trends in the medical profession.

Phlebotomist Salary in Rhode Island

The salary that a phlebotomist earns depends on your education and qualifications, the area of the country you live in and the facility in which you work. The demand for qualified medical technicians is high, even in times of a poor economy. Private hospitals and clinics pay higher salaries than county or community owned hospitals or clinics. Facilities on the East Coast pay phlebotomists and medical technicians higher salaries than in some areas of the country. According to statistics from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, salaries in Rhode Island range anywhere from $12.50 to $14. The median salary in Providence is $32,656, while salaries may go as high as $39,581.

Job Duties of a Phlebotomist

The phlebotomist is responsible for getting samples of blood from patients. The technician must verify all patient records and prepare all blood samples to be analyzed in the laboratory. They may interview patients to get essential information, take vital signs or screen donors at a blood bank. The phlebotomist must be familiar with all guidelines for drawing blood samples and be knowledgeable about all procedures and methods of drawing blood. The phlebotomist works supervised and reports to nursing or laboratory supervisor.

Some patients especially the elderly and children, are often apprehensive when having blood collected. The phlebotomist should be compassionate and caring, and be able to answer questions patients may have.

Tasks That a Phlebotomist Can Legally Perform

A phlebotomist can collect blood samples in the lab for diagnostic testing. Tests may be done to detect the presence of infection or diseases. The phlebotomist doesn’t conduct the blood tests but prepares the samples to be tested. A phlebotomist may also draw blood to test glucose levels in diabetics.

The phlebotomist prepares the equipment used to collect blood samples and keeps it properly maintained. The phlebotomist must ensure that all samples are identified, and assists the patient during the procedure. The technician may be responsible for performing an EKG or collecting other fluid samples, but collecting blood samples is their primary duty. Under the HIPAA, the phlebotomist is required to keep confidential the medical records and personal information of all patients.