How to Become a Phlebotomist in Louisiana
Not just anyone in the healthcare industry can safely and accurately draw blood. As a rule, this crucial responsibility falls on trained medical technicians called phlebotomists. You’ve likely seen one of these technicians at work in a hospital or while visiting your doctor’s office. You’ll also find them working away from the public eye in lab facilities. Along with drawing blood, phlebotomists help make sure that sampled blood gets processed in secure conditions that support patient confidentiality.
Public and private health facilities throughout Louisiana depend on phlebotomists’ daily contributions to the workplace. The state requires a higher level of training and oversight than most locations across the country. However, Louisiana phlebotomists also typically enjoy high levels of job security. For more information on how to get started in phlebotomy, just keep reading this introductory guide.
Louisiana Licensing, Training and Certification
Along with just three other states, Louisiana maintains a licensing requirement for anyone entering the phlebotomy field. The agency responsible for handling licensing is the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME). To meet this organization’s requirements, you must pay a fee. In addition, you must apply for a permanent or temporary phlebotomist license.
To get your permanent license, you must do two things. First, you must complete a phlebotomy training program. In addition, you’ll need to pass a national phlebotomy certification exam offered by one of the LSBME’s approved organizations. To get your temporary license, you must complete a training program and show proof that you’re scheduled to take your exam.
Only a thorough training program will provide you with enough knowledge to take and pass a national certification exam. Phlebotomy programs often design their coursework to meet the terms of specific testing organizations. The list of such organizations includes:
- American Medical Technologists
- The National Healthcareer Association
- The American Society for Clinical Pathology
Before you begin your program, check to see if it’s meant to qualify you to take a specific exam. If it is, make sure that the exam in question is approved by the LSBME.
Phlebotomy Training Programs in Louisiana
Given the state’s licensing requirements, it’s not surprising that you can find high-quality training programs in multiple Louisiana cities. Options in this category include:
- The Lake Charles Memorial Health System Phlebotomy Program – This program takes six weeks to complete. It mixes classroom lectures with clinical work that gives you plenty of real-world practice. All graduates receive a program certificate. In addition, they receive permission to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s certification exam.
- The Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College Phlebotomy Program – You need a total of 12 credits to complete this program. It provides you with more than 200 hours of training in phlebotomy. It also provides you with about 180 hours of training in phlebotomy-related topics.
- The Acadiana Area Career College Phlebotomy Technician Program – This is a 10-week training program. You’ll spend the first seven weeks learning in a classroom setting. The remaining three weeks are reserved for hands-on training in a clinical setting. Overall, you’ll complete about 200 hours of work.
Income Expectations for Louisiana Phlebotomists
In Louisiana, a typical phlebotomist makes about $30,700 a year. This figure puts the state almost $5,000 below America’s norm for the profession. You can potentially boost your earnings by working in certain areas of Louisiana. Indeed.com reports that phlebotomists working in New Orleans and Metairie make the state’s highest average salaries.
Job Stability for Phlebotomists
Compared to most other professions in the U.S., phlebotomy has an excellent forecast for stability and growth. In fact, the number of open positions will expand dramatically through 2028. This expansion is in line with the growing use of blood testing in America. It points to a robust job market for most people entering the phlebotomy field.