Becoming a Phlebotomist in Georgia
Phlebotomists are well known as the professionals who draw your blood when you are in need of laboratory testing, but did you know there’s a lot more to the job than blood collection? Working as a phlebotomist means having a wealth of knowledge about commonly performed tests. For instance, a phlebotomist needs to know which tubes to draw, which of them need to be completely filled, and which tests need to be precisely timed. Phlebotomists are also responsible for instructing patients on the collection of urine, stool and sputum, and ensuring the specimens they receive will be enough to wield lab results.
Working in the field means working off-shifts, early mornings, weekends and holidays, and the job can be physically demanding. Phlebotomists are often under high amounts of stress with a room full of waiting patients who need to be seen for a blood draw. Those who work in an inpatient setting will need to move from ward to ward with a cart or basket full of supplies while responding to stat calls and tracking timed blood draws. Venipunctures can often be challenging to perform, and the phlebotomist will need to be highly trained and have the fine motor skills to perform the procedures with accuracy.
As the visible representative of the laboratory, the phlebotomist will often bear the brunt of the patients’ fear, anxiety and discomfort, and will need to project patience and compassion. Patients who are facing a blood draw can sometimes lose consciousness due to fear or because they are fasting. Phlebotomists will need to be well trained to handle such emergencies and know when to call for help.
Licensing for Phlebotomists in Georgia
While Georgia does not require licensure for phlebotomists, this does not mean they will not need to follow specific regulations. In fact, laboratories and doctor’s offices are highly regulated, and phlebotomists will always work under a licensed professional. In addition, the phlebotomist will likely be under the direct supervision of a highly trained professional like a medical technologist or a registered nurse.
Phlebotomy Training Programs in Georgia
Training for phlebotomists typically occurs through a certified training program, although on-the-job training is also possible. In Georgia, there are many training programs available, including:
- Columbus Technical College in Columbus offers a Phlebotomy Technician Certificate.
- Savannah Technical College in Savannah offers a Technical Certificate of Credit for Phlebotomy.
- Atlanta Technical College in Atlanta offers a Phlebotomy Technician Certificate.
- Albany State University in Albany offers a Phlebotomy Certificate.
Certification for Phlebotomy
Becoming certified as a phlebotomist is not a requirement to work in the field, but it is beneficial when searching for employment. For phlebotomists, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is one of the leading organizations for accreditation. In order to earn your credentials, it will be necessary to take and pass an examination for a fee of $135.
Georgia Salary and Career Growth
Phlebotomists in Georgia can earn up to $42,070 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, entry-level phlebotomists should expect to make considerably less, with wages at the lower end of the scale coming in at $27,101 per year.
On a more positive note, the career is expected to experience considerable growth between 2018 and 2028, to the tune of 29.9 percent, with an average of 670 new job openings per year.
A Phlebotomy Career in Georgia
In Georgia, organizations like LabCorp, WellStar Health System, University of Georgia and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are actively recruiting for phlebotomists. However, work can be found wherever healthcare services are rendered. Regardless of where you find employment, this is a career that will be challenging and satisfying.