Phlebotomy Certification in North Carolina:7 Best Steps

In need of phlebotomy certification in North Carolina? We will show you how to obtain one.

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Phlebotomy is the process of drawing blood by puncturing the vein. There are several reasons why phlebotomy can be carried out and that includes taking blood samples for mainly laboratory testing.

This procedure can be used to remove extra blood cells or extra iron from the blood, as well as treat several blood-related disorders.

Read on to find out more about phlebotomy certification in North Carolina.

The Benefits of Phlebotomy

Phlebotomy can be used to treat people who have diseases such as:

  • Hemochromatosis

  • Polycythemia vera

  • Porphyria cutanea tarda

  • Sickle cell disease

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

  • The risk of cancer can also be reduced as extra iron can be removed from the blood

  • Blood disorders

The Side Effects of Phlebotomy

Several side effects can also be caused by phlebotomy. These are:

  • Hematoma
  • Allergy
  • Hyperventilation
  • Air embolism
  • Anemia
  • Thrombosis

Unsafe phlebotomy can result in bloodborne pathogens which are:

  • Viruses such as HBV, HCV, HIV
  • Bacteria such as syphilis
  • Parasites such as Malaria

The Job of a Phlebotomist/Phlebotomist Technician

Phlebotomists are trained to draw blood from a person or animal for tests, transfusions, donations, or even for research.

Before drawing blood, the phlebotomist needs to identify the patient through their medical records.

Afterward, the phlebotomist needs to identify the correct venipuncture method based on the age and health of the patient.

The phlebotomist also needs to relax the patient and find the vein that is suitable for puncture.

After drawing the blood, they need to label the sample of a particular patient with his or her name, age, and unique ID number.

In the end, the phlebotomist will send the sample to the lab for testing. In summary, they do the following:

  • Evaluating a patient and explaining procedures

  • Verify patients identity

  • Drawing blood

  • Point of care testing

  • Preparing blood or other specimens for testing

  • Maintaining your area and equipment

Phlebotomists, Phlebotomy Technicians and Lab Technicians

A phlebotomy technician and a phlebotomist are interchangeable job titles for the same career. They both draw blood from patients, take care of lab equipment, take care of patients while in the lab, and ship samples as applicable.

However, there are usually just a few differences between phlebotomists and phlebotomy technicians.

This means in some cases, phlebotomy technicians are synonymous with phlebotomists. In other situations, they are given the same title as lab technicians.

In the real sense, a phlebotomist has undergone more training and supervises phlebotomy technicians. Both positions begin with similar training which means this article can serve for both, but most states require you to earn a license or certification to work as a phlebotomist.

Most clinics that do blood draws have both phlebotomy technicians and phlebotomists on staff. Like phlebotomy technicians, phlebotomists work with patients and ensure equipment is functioning and sterile. In addition to doing blood draws, phlebotomists also enter information into medical records, verifying patient identity and clearly labeling samples.

However, a phlebotomy technician who performs common lab technician responsibilities is often a different role.

Lab technicians traditionally handle the blood samples after they’ve arrived at the lab. Lab technicians perform the appropriate handling and testing of the sample to find the results requested by the patient’s doctor.

Some organizations refer to lab technicians who work with blood samples as phlebotomy technicians, while others simply call them lab technicians.

When applying for a position in the phlebotomy field, it’s vital you read the job description closely to ensure you have the appropriate training, education, experience, certifications, or licenses to perform the role as described.

Steps in Phlebotomy Certification in North Carolina

As we stated earlier, phlebotomist technicians play key roles in the medical field.

Here we will outline the entire process of becoming a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT).

  1. Plan for Phlebotomy Technician Training
  2. Check Your Requirements to Attend a Phlebotomy Training
  3. Take Note of The Prerequisites to Take the Certification Exam With Most Agencies
  4. Look For a Third Party Certification Agency
  5. Preparing And Passing the Certification Exam
  6. Starting Your Medical Career in Phlebotomy
  7. Renewing Your Certification

1. Plan for Phlebotomy Technician Training

The very first step to your career as a certified phlebotomy technician(CPT) is to choose a training school.

North Carolina is home to many state-recognized phlebotomy training programs that prepare students for a Phlebotomy Technician Career.

A phlebotomy training program is generally between 40-80 in-class hours and 20-40 clinical hours that will take place outside of the class, usually at a laboratory or medical institute united with the program.

Benefits of the Phlebotomy Technician Course:

The workers will meet the following objectives after completing the Phlebotomy Training:

  • Their knowledge and awareness of risks associated with phlebotomy will increase.

  • They will learn to reduce blood-borne exposure and develop safe practices.

  • The pre-analytical errors will be reduced, and they will provide improved quality of lab tests.

  • You become a phlebotomy-certified professional in North Carolina.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Program

Not all phlebotomy programs provide the vital training required to enter the workforce. There are many training programs that do not have any resources for students to complete the clinical hours.

Clinical hours are important because that is when students get their hands-on experience drawing blood in the lab. It is important that you note that without this, you will not meet the requirements to register to be certified after completing the training. Here are the questions you should ask before choosing a program:

  • Is the phlebotomy training program approved by the state?

  • How many hours is the phlebotomy training program?

  • Where are the clinical hours of the program completed?

  • Does the phlebotomy training program include the certification exam?

  • What agency do students take the exam with?

2. Check Your Requirements to Attend a Phlebotomy Training

The following are the requirements you must have to enroll in a phlebotomy program:

  • High School Diploma or GED

  • Over The Age Of 18

  • Clean Background Check (No Felonies)

  • Negative Hepatitis Test

  • Negative TB Test

  • Immunization Records

Once you complete your program in a phlebotomy training school, you will earn a Certificate of Completion.

Your Certificate of Completion does not make you ‘Certified’. This is an entirely common misunderstanding.

A Certificate of Completion is just proof of your successful completion of a phlebotomy training program and it is important because it is required to sit for the national certification exam for individuals who have no experience in the field. Schools for your phlebotomy training in North Carolina are:

  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
  • Programs Offered: Phlebotomy Certificate Program
  • School Website: www.abtech.edu
  • Brunswick Community College
  • Programs Offered: Phlebotomy Certificate Program
  • School Website: www.brunswickcc.edu
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • Programs Offered: Phlebotomy Program
  • School Website: www.cfcc.edu
  • Care One Health Training Institute
  • Programs Offered: Phlebotomy Program
  • School Website: www.careonehealth.org
  • Catawba Valley Community College
  • Programs Offered: Phlebotomy Program
  • School Website: www.cvcc.edu
  • Cleveland Community College
  • Programs Offered: Phlebotomy Certificate Program
  • School Website: www.clevelandcc.edu
  • The College of Albemarle
  • Programs Offered: Phlebotomy Program
  • School Website: www.albemarle.edu
  • The College of Davidson and Davie Counties
  • Programs Offered: Phlebotomy Program
  • School Website: www.davidsonccc.edu
  • Gaston College
  • Programs Offered: Phlebotomy Certificate Program
  • School Website: www.gaston.edu

See the complete list.

3. Take Note of The Prerequisites to Take the Certification Exam With Most Agencies

The following prerequisites are needed to take the certification exam:

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Completion of a Phlebotomy Training Program OR 1 Year of On-The-Job Experience in the Past 3 Years
  • 30 Successful Blood Draws
  • 10 Successful Capillary Sticks

4. Look For a Third Party Certification Agency

After receiving your certification, your competency has to be put to test by a third-party certification agency such as NPS.

Furthermore, there are so many other certification agencies that you can choose to become certified with or take the competency exam with. Below are National Certifying Organizations For Phlebotomists:

  • American Medical Technologists. If you decided to get this certification, there are requirements to meet, such as adequate work experience, and an oral or written exam. It also requires renewal every three years through CEU and re-examination.

  • American Society for Clinical Pathology, Training, or work experience, in combination with an oral or written exam, is obligatory for this license. Furthermore, a renewal every ten years through CEU is necessary as well.

5. Preparing And Passing the Certification Exam

Once you have registered to attempt the competency exam, you should prepare by reviewing related materials provided to you by the credentialing agency. 

Every agency has examination materials based on their certification exams.

Be certain to study every day for at least one hour until you feel confident in your knowledge. 

Taking practice exams can greatly grow your chances of passing the final exam.

For instance, NPS provides full examination materials, unlimited practice exams, and three chances to attempt the national certification exam.

After you have taken the certification exam and passed, your credentials are inputted in the national registry and a digital copy of your credentials is available in your account.

It is advised that your digital copy, paired with your transcripts are downloaded and printed for use as proof of certification.

6. Starting Your Medical Career in Phlebotomy

Now that you’re a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), you’re ready to begin your medical career in North Carolina.

Phlebotomy is a good field to enter the medical workplace and is a starting place for many nurses, nurse aide, medical assistants and medical laboratory technicians.

Phlebotomists can expect to work for a typical 40-hour long week and earn an average annual salary of $31,000.

This salary is the national average and does differentiate from city to state.

7. Renewing Your Certification

Once certified, a phlebotomist will have to renew their certification every two years by completing Continuing Education.

This can be completed through on-the-job workshops or online education units.

Certified Phlebotomy technicians will have to renew their CPT certification after two years.

A phlebotomist should begin the process at least 30 days prior to the week their credentials expire.

This will permit the phlebotomist sufficient time to complete their continuing education hours and submit their renewal assessment. 

You will not need to go back to a training program or attend a class to renew your certification.

For instance, the cost to renew your certification for the next two-year time period is $150.00 in the NPS learning management system.

Renewing ensures your employer that you are dedicated to updating your knowledge in the phlebotomy field.

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