Become a Phlebotomist in New Mexico
Drawing blood is an essential part of medical evaluations. Blood tests are used to check for disorders and to evaluate how well a patient’s organs are working. Phlebotomists, sometimes called phlebotomy technicians, are medical professionals who draw blood from patients for lab work, blood donations and research. When you work as a phlebotomist in New Mexico, your skills will be in demand in many healthcare settings.
What’s Required to Become a Phlebotomist in New Mexico
Most employers in New Mexico prefer candidates who have completed postsecondary education in phlebotomy. You’ll need a high school diploma or the equivalent in order to apply to these programs. Vocational schools, community colleges and technical schools are examples of settings that may offer phlebotomy training. You may need to be able to pass a criminal background check and drug test in order to enroll.
New Mexico Phlebotomist Training
Learning the skills needed to become a phlebotomist usually includes both classroom training and clinical experience. Training programs usually take a year or less to complete. Some places that offer phlebotomy training in the state of New Mexico include:
- Santa Fe Community College. This community college offers a 16-week program that provides an opportunity for students to learn skills in a hands-on environment. Students acquire patient communication skills and learn legal and ethical considerations along with anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and working with blood specimens.
- University of New Mexico. Located in Albuquerque, UNM offers a nine-week program that includes 60 hours theory, lecture and review, 60 hours of lab work, and a 100-hour clinical experience at a medical site.
- San Juan College. This college in Farmington, NM, offers a certificate program that consists of classroom education that covers topics such as blood specimen collection and processing, universal precautions, professionalism and equipment and supplies. This is followed by 100 clock hours of supervised applied experience.
Certification of New Mexico Phlebotomists
Certification isn’t required to work as a phlebotomy technician in New Mexico. Obtaining certification from a national organization is still a good idea, though, because almost all employers choose those who demonstrate their knowledge and skills by obtaining certification. Some organizations that offer phlebotomy certification include American Society for Clinical Pathology, National HealthCareer Association and the National Phlebotomy Association.
Job Growth and Pay Expectations for Phlebotomists in New Mexico
Like other careers in the healthcare field, phlebotomy is growing at a steady rate. Employment is projected to grow at approximately 23 percent across the United States between 2018 and 2028. CareerOneStop reports that projected employment in New Mexico between 2016 and 2026 will also be approximately 23 percent.
Nationally, the median annual salary for phlebotomists as of May 2019 was $35,510 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the state of New Mexico, pay typically ranges between $28,817 and $35,733 per year according to Salary.com. The amount you earn can be affected by the level of education and experience you have and whether or not you’re certified.
Your Career as a New Mexico Phlebotomist
There are plenty of opportunities for phlebotomists all over New Mexico, especially in and around large cities such as Albuquerque. You may find work in hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, blood donation centers and diagnostic labs. In some locations, you may have to work unpredictable hours, including evenings and weekends. You may need to be careful when handling needles and specimens to avoid injury or contamination, and some jobs require standing for long periods of time.
Besides drawing blood, you’ll prepare instruments and equipment for use, explain technical information to patients, monitor patients to detect health problems or adverse reactions, dispose of biomedical waste and maintain medical records. It’s helpful to have a detail-oriented and compassionate manner as well as dexterity and good hand-eye coordination. As a phlebotomist, you’ll have a rewarding career that’s essential for any medical team.