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Becoming a Phlebotomist in Canada

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For residents of Canada seeking a new career or medical technicians from other countries seeking to immigrate to Canada, the field of phlebotomy is a lucrative one. Phlebotomy, or venipuncture as it sometimes called, refers to the science of drawing blood from patients for medical testing or donation purposes. In some ways, phlebotomy is more art than science. It involves keeping patients calm and relaxed while inserting a needle into their arm and drawing blood. Thus, phlebotomy combines efficient technique with good conversational skills.

The Attraction

Phlebotomy is like many other medical technician job in that it satisfies the search for high-paying jobs ($16.00 to $20.00 per hour to start in most of Canada) with little post secondary education needed. Students often attend phlebotomy training programs while studying for other medical careers, such as nursing. A phlebotomist in Canada can expect relative job security as the demand for qualified phlebotomists is constant. Practitioners can find work in a wide range of medical facilities, including hospitals, medical clinics and donation centers.

Certification

Requirements to practice phlebotomy vary from one province to another. For example, there is no provincial certification process in the province of Alberta. But, if an individual wants to work as a phlebotomist in Ontario, the Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (MLTO) must sanction her. Provincial organizations like the MLTO require phlebotomists to have successfully graduated a training course approved by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) or the equivalent of a CMA-certified course, if the phlebotomist attended school in another country. The person seeking certification must be fluent in French or English, depending on the region he will be practicing in. Fluency in both languages is best, as it allows effective communication with more patients.

Coursework

A portion of many of these courses may be taught online, but students graduate the course only upon completion of an accompanying internship that usually lasts several months. Phlebotomy training usually includes classes in physiology, anatomy and venipuncture techniques, as well as ethics and patient psychology. Most phlebotomy courses teach students satellite skills, such as the collection of urine samples and other specimens.
Phlebotomy courses are available at a variety of technical and vocational schools throughout Canada.