A Career as a Phlebotomist in Maine
If you are considering a career as a phlebotomist, you might want to know more about what the job entails. Phlebotomists are responsible for drawing blood samples and collecting other specimens for laboratory testing. They also commonly instruct patients on how to properly collect their own specimens, such as stool, urine and sputum, and receive and label the material after collection. A phlebotomist will need to have specific knowledge of the types of specimens needed for each test and what the optimal window of time is for specimen collection.
Phlebotomists should expect to work early morning hours, off-shifts and weekends regularly. The job requires significant physical stamina and manual dexterity. Even the most skilled phlebotomist will encounter patients from whom it is difficult to draw blood, especially in a hospital setting where patients are more severely ill.Therefore, it will be necessary to hone your skills through practice.
Phlebotomists will often encounter patients who are under significant amounts of stress. Many patients will present with a fear of needles or anxiety about the tests being performed and the meaning of the results. As such, compassionate communication skills are essential for phlebotomists.
Maine Licensing For Phlebotomists
Licensure is not a requirement to work as a phlebotomist in Maine. However, phlebotomists do need to work under a licensed professional, usually a physician. Significant training will also be required to become employed as a phlebotomist.
Maine Training For Phlebotomists
Phlebotomists in Maine can acquire training through a certified training course, for which a high school diploma is a prerequisite. There are various courses throughout the state, including:
- Northeast Technical Institute, with campuses in Scarborough, Bangor and Auburn, offers healthcare certifications in Phlebotomy and Clinical Medical Assistant II.
- Washington County Community College in Calais offers a certificate in phlebotomy. Their one-year program prepares students for entry-level positions in the field. Practical phlebotomy experience will be obtained through internships, and each student will need to have performed 80 venipunctures prior to graduation.
- Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield offers a certificate in phlebotomy. Students will be prepared to take the certification exam upon graduation.
- Central Maine Community College in Auburn offers a Medical Assistant certification. Students will learn phlebotomy along with other medical assistant technical skills, medical transcription and medical law and ethics.
Accreditation for phlebotomists can be acquired through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), which is currently the leading organization for laboratory professionals. Certification can be earned through taking and passing an examination at the cost of $135. Although certification is not required to work as a phlebotomist, attaining it is a mark of professionalism and will accelerate your career opportunities.
Growth and Salary Information for Maine Phlebotomists
Salaries in Maine are slightly below the national average for phlebotomists, with the average annual wage for 2019 coming in at $32,200, compared to $36,480 nationwide, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Within the state, salaries ranged from $28,390 to $39,760 for those in the top ten percent.
In better news, job growth projections for the career in the state look good, with Projections Central predicting a nine percent increase in the field between 2018 and 2028.
Opportunities for Phlebotomists in Maine
Phlebotomists are needed anywhere diagnostic testing happens, so jobs should be easily found wherever there is a hub of medical activity. In general, the majority of job openings will be centered around larger metropolitan areas, where there are hospitals. Possible employers in the state of Maine include CSL Plasma, St. Mary’s Health System, Eastern Maine Healthcare and NorDx.