Phlebotomy Technician

A phlebotomy technician’s primary responsibility is drawing blood and conducting other specimen collections. A phlebotomist must recognize any conditions that might alter collections, have a high regard for patient safety, and communicate with both the laboratory and the patient to ensure the best possible care. They must also understand lab test requirements and maintain specimen quality. Work settings include doctor’s offices, hospitals, research facilities, and industrial laboratories.

Please view the following video for a demonstration of what this technician does and the manual dexterity required to be successful at it.

Letter to Potential Phlebotomy Students

Career Opportunities

The job of phlebotomy technician is an entry-level position. National certification for this position is not required in Washington State. Job seekers will need English language skills. Graduates of this Bellevue College certificate program should have a hiring advantage over applicants who have no training or formal education in this line of work.

This position often serves as a stepping stone for further advancement in the field of healthcare. Phlebotomists who continue their education may have the opportunity to move up in the laboratory or into other healthcare positions. Because of this upward mobility within the field, there are frequent openings for new entry-level applicants.

According to the American Society of Clinical Pathology, full-time phlebotomists earn an average of $27,040 annually, or $13 hourly. Hourly rates of pay will vary depending upon experience and the employer.

For currently available jobs and pay information in Washington, go to www.washingtonhealthcarecareers.com.

Facts

Can one get hired as a phlebotomist without Clinical Lab Assistant skills?

Hospitals seem to prefer that their phlebotomists have both phlebotomy and clinical laboratory skills. Because of this, we advise anyone applying for the Phlebotomy Technician Certificate to also apply for the Clinical Lab Assistant Certificate.

What if one has an essential tremor?

As per the Washington state law referenced above, an essential tremor would fall under the provision of possibly not having sufficient manual dexterity to perform venipuncture. Our suggestion would be to consider the severity of the tremor and if it would compromise job performance.

What if one has carpel tunnel or some other disorder of the hands or wrists?

In some cases of carpel tunnel there is lingering or chronic damage to fingertip sensation. Such a condition would interfere with the ability to feel veins and handle equipment with the dexterity required in this field. Students with such disorders should look at the severity of the disorder and consider if it would compromise job performance.

Certificate of Accomplishment

 

This certificate has a total of 33 credits and is usually completed in four (4) quarters. It prepares participants for entry-level positions in outpatient settings.

See the full Certificate of Accomplishment curriculum.

Requirements

  • Acceptance to Bellevue College as a credit student
  • Basic computer skills and access to a computer with Internet access is highly recommended
  • Placement by assessment into ENGL& 101 for advanced classes
  • Completed pre-requisites for advanced classes
  • Immunizations for externships
  • Background Check for externships
  • Externship transportation

Washington State Law Regarding Phlebotomy

Effective September 1, 1988, Category A assistants shall meet all the following minimum requirements:

  • Educational and occupational qualifications to perform venous and capillary invasive procedures for blood withdrawal:
    • High school education or its equivalent;
    • The ability to read, write, and converse in the English language; and
    • Adequate physical ability, including sufficient manual dexterity to perform the requisite health care services.

Those wishing to read WAC 246-826-130 in its entirety may view it at:

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=246-826-130

Recommended Course Scheduling

Because of pre-requisites, the usual progression through classes is as follows:

1st Quarter
2nd Quarter
3rd Quarter
4th Quarter
Total: 12 CreditsTotal: 7 CreditsTotal: 8 CreditsTotal: 4 Credits
HPRO 100 (5 credits)HPRO 105 (2 credits)HPRO 141 (8 credits)HPRO 144 (4 credits)
HPRO 120 (3 credits)HPRO 125 (5 credits)
HPRO 130 (4 credits)

Is there a faster, full-time progression through these classes?

For full-time students only, the following is the only “fast track” progression currently offered. No class substitutions or reordering of classes is allowed at this time.

1st Quarter
2nd Quarter
3rd Quarter
Total: 15 CreditsTotal: 12 CreditsTotal: 4 Credits
HPRO 100 (5 credits)HPRO 130 (4 credits)HPRO 144 (4 credits)
HPRO 105 (2 credits)HPRO 141 (8 credits)
HPRO 120 (3 credits)
HPRO 125 (5 credits)
 

Note: At this time, HPRO 130 is the only class that may be taken concurrently with HPRO 141.