How to Become a Phlebotomist in Washington, D.C.
An integral part of the medical team, phlebotomists are responsible for performing blood draws and collecting other specimens for diagnostic testing. The job will require a high degree of manual dexterity, patience and physical stamina. If you’ve been considering a career as a phlebotomist, you might wish to know more about what the job entails. This article should help provide some clarity.
Phlebotomists often work early morning hours, long shifts, holidays and weekends. Those in a hospital setting will have the most variable schedules and face the most significant physical and emotional challenges. Since the phlebotomist is the most visible person on the laboratory team, they will often need to deal with a patient’s fears and frustrations. Therefore, it will be essential to have compassionate communication skills and a calming presence. They will also need to know how to handle emergencies and when to call for help.
Phlebotomists need to be knowledgeable about the myriad of tests that are performed in the laboratory. Without proper education, specimen integrity can be compromised, causing a patient to undergo a collection of the specimen a second time. Phlebotomists will also be responsible for ensuring patients and samples are correctly identified, as clerical errors can have serious consequences.
Licensure for Phlebotomists in the District of Columbia
The District of Columbia does not require phlebotomists to seek licensure. However, medical facilities are strictly regulated, and phlebotomists always work under a licensed professional. In general, laboratories are directed by board-certified pathologists and supervised by medical technologists. In the case of a collection center, oversight may be provided by a general practitioner and a registered nurse.
Training Programs in the D.C. Area
Proper training is essential for a phlebotomist, and as such you will want to seek an accredited training program. In the Washington, D.C. area, a few of the options include:
- Northern Virginia Phlebotomy, LLC. offers phlebotomy training. Staffed with those who currently work in the field, the school promises to prepare students for work as phlebotomists.
- Career Technical Institute provides medical assistant training. This program includes training in EKGs, pharmacology, medical coding and injections as well as phlebotomy. For those who are looking to work in a doctor’s office, this program is likely a good fit.
- Northern Virginia Community College offers a phlebotomy program. The program boasts a high rate of student success.
Acquiring certification is not a requirement to work as a phlebotomist in Washington D.C., however attaining it can accelerate your career options, as most employers prefer to hire certified phlebotomists. Accreditation can be obtained through the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP), one of the leading organizations in the field. To qualify, you will need to take and pass an examination at the current cost of $135.
Salary Information for Phlebotomists in Washington, D.C.
According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), phlebotomists in the District of Columbia are better paid than their counterparts in other areas. In fact, only phlebotomists in California make a higher average wage. What does this translate to in annual pay? In 2019, the BLS reported a salary range in Washington, D.C. of $38,370 to $52,200 with average annual salaries of $43,820.
Working as a Phlebotomist in the District of Columbia
Phlebotomy jobs should only increase for those living in Washington D.C., with Projections Central forecasting a 22.2 percent growth between 2018 and 2028. Furthermore, the District is a hub of medical activity, with the area being a national center for medical care and research.
A few of the prominent organizations seeking phlebotomists in the Washington D.C. include The George Washington University Hospital, Howard University Hospital, Bio-Reference Laboratories and Washington Hospital.