How to Become a Phlebotomist in Illinois
In doctors’ offices, hospitals and other medical facilities, phlebotomists play an essential daily role. They do so by drawing blood from patients and making sure that blood samples are properly catalogued. Phlebotomists also handle additional important tasks such as interacting with patients and following all safety and privacy guidelines.
Phlebotomists earn respectable salaries for the part they play in the healthcare field. This is true across the U.S., including Illinois. In fact, the average statewide salary closely mirrors the typical income for all phlebotomists throughout the nation. To become an Illinois phlebotomist, you must follow certain key guidelines. Here is a brief rundown of what it takes to get started in the profession.
Certification and Training Requirements in Illinois
Like many states, Illinois has established specific requirements for anyone wanting to work as a phlebotomist. These requirements state that you must complete a phlebotomy training program. They also state the program you choose must meet the standards of at least one of two organizations:
- The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Services, or NAACLS
- The American Society of Clinical Pathologists
As a rule, you must hold a GED or high school diploma to enter a phlebotomy training program. The specific program you choose may also have additional entry requirements.
Completion of an accredited program will qualify you to start your career. However, to stand out from other phlebotomists, you may also wish to pursue additional training and certification. Groups that provide advanced certification include the National Center for Competency Testing and the National Phlebotomy Association.
Options for Illinois Phlebotomy Training
You can seek out high-quality training at a variety of Illinois institutions. Some of the most prominent programs include:
- The College of DuPage Phlebotomy Certificate Program – The College of DuPage is located in Glen Ellyn, IL. It takes two semesters of work to complete its phlebotomy certification process. In the first semester, you’ll learn the basics of phlebotomy. You’ll also learn the basics of electrocardiogram (EKG) testing. Additional covered topics include medical ethics and law, anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. In the second semester, you’ll spend time practicing your phlebotomy skills at local hospitals.
- The Elgin Community College Phlebotomy Certificate Program – This is also a two-semester training program. In the first semester, you’ll take an introductory course that covers all the basics of the phlebotomy profession. In the second semester, you’ll take part in the Clinical Lab Technology Practicum. This hands-on course allows you to gain real-world experience under the supervision of working phlebotomists.
- The Oakton Community College Phlebotomy Certificate Program – To complete this detailed program, you must complete classes on phlebotomy and medical terminology. You must also complete a class that introduces you to current important issues in the healthcare professions. In addition, you must complete a phlebotomy practicum.
Income Prospects for Illinois Phlebotomists
The average phlebotomist working in Illinois makes about $35,000 annually. This figure is just a shade under the nationwide average for phlebotomists. However, salaries vary across the state. Indeed.com reports that the highest salaries are found in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg. Other locations that offer relatively high earning potential include Champaign and Belleville.
Employment Outlook for Phlebotomists
Phlebotomy is one of the fastest growing professions in America. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field will see a 23 percent increase in the years between 2018 and 2028. This is the equivalent of almost 30,000 new phlebotomist openings throughout the nation. Such growth means good things for phlebotomists working in Illinois. Since the state is basically representative of the country as a whole, it will almost certainly experience a substantial increase in job openings.