Phlebotomists work in hospitals, health clinics and laboratories to draw blood from patients for various testing purposes. Most states do not require phlebotomy technicians to be licensed or certified; California, Louisiana and Nevada are the only states with any sort of regulations governing the education, training, experience and certification requirements of phlebotomists. Illinois phlebotomy requirements vary by employer; qualifications range from a high school diploma to completion of a training program and voluntary certification.
High School Diploma or GED Equivalent
Phlebotomists in Illinois are typically required to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Secondary students interested in a phlebotomy career should take classes in biology, chemistry, health, mathematics and English. Students should also consider taking courses in a foreign language; bilingual healthcare workers are increasingly in demand.
Phlebotomy Training Program
Most employers and institutions that grant phlebotomy certification require applicants to attend a professional phlebotomy-training program. Programs are available at community colleges and vocational/technical learning centers. Program lengths vary; Moraine Valley Community College, located in a suburb of Chicago, reports its program takes two semesters of part-time attendance to complete. According to Education-Portal.com, phlebotomy students are typically trained in phlebotomy medical terminology, CPR, patient interaction principles, legal aspects of blood collection, introduction to phlebotomy clinical practices and blood collection techniques.
Illinois phlebotomists with on-the-job training may obtain certification if they desire. The American Society for Clinical Pathology, headquartered in Chicago, certifies phlebotomists who have a high school diploma and at least one year of full-time (minimum 35 hours per week) experience working as a phlebotomy technician in an accredited laboratory regulated by Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Applicants must have worked in a lab within the five years prior to their application for certification, and have experience performing venipunctures and skin punctures.
Illinois phlebotomists can earn a phlebotomy technician certification through three additional certifying bodies: the American Medical Technologists, the American Association of Bioanalysts and the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel. General requirements are a high school diploma or GED equivalent, completion of a formal training program in phlebotomy, extensive work experience in phlebotomy or certification in another clinical medical specialty, and passing a certification exam.