Becoming a Phlebotomist in Colorado
If you’re looking for a career in the healthcare field that requires less than a year of training, consider becoming a phlebotomist. Just about every healthcare setting requires a phlebotomist, the person who draws blood from patients for lab tests, transfusions and blood donations. Since blood tests are an important part of diagnosing health conditions and nutritional deficiencies, an individual who’s skilled in drawing blood is a vital part of any medical team.
Colorado Requirements for a Career in Phlebotomy
You’ll need a high school diploma or GED to apply to postsecondary programs in phlebotomy training. Colorado employers almost always choose phlebotomy candidates who have completed formal training in the field. Programs are offered in vocational schools, technical schools and community colleges. You may be required to pass a criminal background check and drug screen.
Phlebotomy Training Programs in Colorado
Formal phlebotomy training programs in Colorado usually include instruction through classroom training and lab work. A variety of subjects are covered such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, specimen processing and regulatory considerations. Some phlebotomy training programs in Colorado include:
- Red Rocks Community College. This community college in Lakewood offers a certificate program. Phlebotomy and comprehensive medical terminology are taught in a classroom setting, followed by a 135-hour internship. The internship is full-time Monday through Friday and unpaid.
- Emily Griffith Technical College. Students can complete phlebotomy training in only eight weeks at this technical college in Denver, CO. Training includes skin puncture, venipuncture, syringe with transfer unit and special collection procedures as well as safety procedures and infection control.
- Pima Medical Institute. This phlebotomy technician program in Colorado Springs lasts approximately three months. It consists of classes in CPR and first aid, anatomy and physiology, venipuncture, urinalysis and centrifuging and processing followed by a 160-hour externship.
Do Colorado Phlebotomists Need Certification?
While certification isn’t required for Colorado phlebotomists, almost all employers prefer candidates who have earned professional certification. Testing for national certification is offered by several organizations including the National Phlebotomy Association, National Healthcareer Association and the National Center for Competency Testing. Certification testing usually includes both written and practical testing.
Pay and Job Outlook for Colorado Phlebotomists
Projected employment growth for phlebotomists between 2018 and 2028 is 23 percent, faster than average for all occupations. According to CareerOneStop, even faster growth is expected for phlebotomists in Colorado, with annual openings between 2016 and 2026 expected to grow approximately 36 percent.
The median annual salary for phlebotomists as of May 2019 was $35,510, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This represents the salary at which half of those who work as phlebotomists are paid a higher wage and half are paid a lower wage. The average salary of phlebotomists in Colorado as of June 2020 was $34,940, with salaries ranging from $31,471 and $39,025 according to Salary.com. Salary can vary based on location, education, experience and additional skills.
Working as a Phlebotomist in Colorado
Phlebotomists in Colorado work in settings such as hospitals, diagnostic labs, blood donor centers and doctor’s offices. Besides drawing blood, your role may include explaining techniques to patients, helping them feel calmer and being ready to assist if a patient has adverse reactions. You’ll also prepare instruments, clean medical equipment and dispose of biochemical waste.
You’ll need good physical stamina because you may have to stand for long hours, travel from one site to another and work weekends, evenings and holidays. Compassion and attention to detail are important qualities for phlebotomists. If this sounds like the right career for you, there are many opportunities for phlebotomists all over Colorado, especially in larger cities such as Denver and Colorado Springs.