Becoming a Phlebotomist in Kentucky
Phlebotomists work in hospitals, physician offices, labs and some other types of healthcare settings. They are valued medical professionals responsible for drawing blood for tests or donations. To be a good phlebotomist, you need the technical skills but also the ability to work well with people, to help them feel more comfortable getting blood drawn.
In most states, there are no official requirements for becoming a phlebotomist, but a training program is strongly recommended. In less than a year you can learn how to work in this field and enter a growing, lucrative industry. As a phlebotomist, you will be an important part of healthcare and make a real difference in the lives of patients every day.
What You Need to Become a Phlebotomist in Kentucky
Kentucky has not set any requirements for phlebotomists, but this does not mean anyone can do the job. Individual employer requirements vary but generally include a high school diploma or the equivalent and completion of a post-secondary program in phlebotomy.
Some employers may also want to see that you have been certified at the national level. An appropriate phlebotomy program will prepare you for certification through a recognized organization.
It may be possible to begin working in phlebotomy in Kentucky without a post-secondary program, but this is uncommon. If an employer is willing to train you on the job, you can start earning right away while learning how to draw blood and work with patients.
Academic and Training Programs in Kentucky
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most phlebotomists earn a nondegree award from a post-secondary institution. This could be a certificate or diploma and is often available through community colleges. Kentucky has several options:
- Campbellsville University. In Campbellsville, students can complete a certificate program to become a phlebotomy technician. Class sizes here are no more than eight students. You’ll complete 50 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of clinical experience to prepare you for the workplace. This program takes just three to four months to finish.
- Jefferson Community and Technical College. This Louisville campus offers a program for phlebotomy with a lecture class and clinical experience. It requires two semesters to complete and prepares students for certification through the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
- American National University. ANU has two Kentucky campuses with phlebotomy programs, in Louisville and Pikeville. As a bonus, this program includes instruction in using electrocardiograms, which could make you more marketable with employers.
Phlebotomist Certification Options
Certification is not required in Kentucky to work as a phlebotomist. However, many employers only hire certified phlebotomists or those on a path to become certified. National certification is offered by several organizations:
- American Medical Technologists
- American Society for Clinical Pathology
- National Center for Competency Testing
- National Healthcareer Association
- National Phlebotomy Association
To be certified through any of these organizations, you will need to pass an exam. Some organizations have additional requirements, such as a certain number of classroom or clinical hours, before you can take the exam.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Phlebotomists
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth for phlebotomy across the country is strong. The number of jobs is increasing at a rate of 23 percent, which is much faster than average growth for all jobs. The average salary for phlebotomists is $35,510 per year and $17.07 per hour.
In Kentucky, growth in the career mirrors the strong increases in jobs seen at the national level, but salaries are a little lower. The averages here are $31,840 per year and $15.31 per hour. With experience and depending on the employer, you may earn more. The highest-earning phlebotomists in Kentucky make more than $41,000 per year.
Landing a Job as a Phlebotomist in Kentucky
Anywhere medical care is offered, phlebotomists are in demand. You can find work throughout the state at doctor offices, in medical testing labs and in hospitals. Some examples of recent job listings in Kentucky include: phlebotomist-lab, Baptist Health System in Corbin; phlebotomist, LabCorp in Grayson; phlebotomist, Clark Regional Medical Center in Winchester; and phlebotomist, Owensboro Health in Owensboro.