Phlebotomists draw blood and insert intravenous needles (IVs) into patients. The need for trained phlebotomists in Florida is growing. According to a 2009 report by the Florida Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), an average of 236 phlebotomy positions open each year. If you have a strong stomach, work well with others and have a calming presence, a career in phlebotomy may be right for you.
Florida does not require phlebotomists to be certified or licensed. However, the AHEC recommends obtaining formal education from a vocational or community college. Phlebotomy training programs last eight weeks, which includes four weeks of classroom instruction followed by 105 hours of clinical experience at a hospital. For a full list of schools offering phlebotomy training, visit the Florida AHEC website.
To improve your job prospects, the Florida AHEC recommends obtaining certification from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) or the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT). Both organizations require six months of fulltime work experience and evidence of 100 successful venipunctures and 25 skin punctures to take a certification exam. The multiple-choice certification exams test your knowledge in anatomy, physiology, specimen collection and processing and laboratory operations. For test-application information, visit the ASCP or ASPT website.
Six continuing education credits, five in phlebotomy and one in medical safety, are required every three years for recertification. College courses, professional presentations and employer training all count toward these requirements.