In order to become a certified phlebotomist, it is necessary to post a passing score on the phlebotomy certification exam. While there may be some differences in the exam’s exact content from state to state, there are standard elements that are always included. By preparing for this standardized material, you should be well-prepared for this important final step in earning your phlebotomist certification.
Since most states do not require the passing of a phlebotomy certification exam for becoming a phlebotomist, it is important to know what it will take to become a phlebotomist for the state you live in. Currently, only California and Louisiana require certification for employment. If you live in the other 48 states you only need to pass an accredited training program to become a phlebotomist. Here are the some of the topics typically included on the test:
- Anatomy and physiology, including the circulatory system, typical blood draw sites in the veins and arteries, and the composition of the blood
- Blood draw procedures (Drawing blood from the veins—venipuncture; from heels in the case of infants or adults with compromised veins; and from fingers.)
- Patient and technician safety procedures (Infection control; prevention of unprotected needle sticks; avoiding needle sticks to arteries and muscles.)
- Handling blood specimens and collection procedures
- Patient care
- Quality assurance
- Professional standards
- Patient privacy
Phlebotomy Certification Exam Prerequisites
Aspiring phlebotomists in California, Louisiana or any future state that will require a passing a phlebotomy certification exam will have to be aware of the expected duties listed above in passing a certified phlebotomy training program. In addition to that one will have to become certified through one of various certifying agencies in the US. To be eligible to take the exam one has to meet the requirements listed below:
- High school graduation (or equivalent), and the completion of an approved phlebotomy program or a phlebotomy program within the last five years
- A high school diploma (or GED), and completion of an acceptable two-part formal structured phlebotomy program in an accredited laboratory within the last five years. This two-part program, to be arranged by the individual program director, must consist of: 40 clock hours of classroom training and 100 clock hours of clinical training and orientation in an Accredited laboratory with a minimum performance of required Successful and unaided blood collections
- Be a high school graduate, and have at least one year full time acceptable work experience as a phlebotomy technician in an accredited laboratory within the last five years.
- HS graduation (or equivalent), and successful completion of RN, LPN or other acceptable accredited allied health professional/occupational education which includes phlebotomy training and orientation in an accredited laboratory with a minimum performance of 100 successful, unaided blood collections. Applicants must submit a notarized copy of their current state/provincial license for RN or LPN or a notarized copy of a certificate of completion from the accredited allied health program they completed along with the application form
- MT/MLS(ASCP) or MLT(ASCP) certification
- DPT(ASCP) certification, AND a minimum performance of 100 successful unaided non-donor blood collections in an accredited laboratory within the last 5 years.
Final Steps Toward Testing
Once becoming eligible there is an application fee that must be paid and paperwork that must be correctly filled-out. Once application is filled-out and turned in you will then make an appointment to take the exam and then on your way to passing the phlebotomy certification exam and become a phlebotomist.