How to Become a Phlebotomist in New York
What is it like to work as a phlebotomist? Phlebotomists work primarily in hospitals, donor centers and doctor’s offices, performing needle sticks for blood collection as well as collecting and receiving other specimens for diagnostic testing. This crucial job requires a compassionate demeanor and the ability to safely handle blood and bodily fluids on a regular basis.
As potentially the only medical professional a patient sees on a given day, a phlebotomist will need to interact with care and patience. Patients are often afraid of blood draws and will want to discuss their fears and concerns. As such, a phlebotomist will require excellent listening skills, a calming presence and the training to know when to call for help.
The job will also require a certain level of physical stamina, as phlebotomists are often busy, performing blood draw after blood draw. In a hospital setting, phlebotomists travel throughout various wards, carrying a basket or pushing a cart of supplies. Hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity are essential skills for phlebotomists, and the specimen collection itself will often be the most challenging and rewarding part of the job. For those on the receiving end of the needle, excellent technical skills will be critical.
New York State Licensing Requirements for Phlebotomists
A license is not required to work as a phlebotomist in New York, and there is no statewide regulatory board for the profession. In general, phlebotomists work under and are supervised by other medical professionals, often a medical technician, nurse, doctor or both. Although on-the-job training is possible, most phlebotomists today will have attended a training course and become certified to perform blood draws. A high school diploma is a required prerequisite for most training programs.
Training for Phlebotomists in New York
If you are serious about phlebotomy training, you will likely want to start with a certification course. These are available in many areas throughout the state. A few of the programs available in New York include:
- Niagara County Community College in Sanborn offers a Phlebotomist Certificate. Students will gain the knowledge and experience to collect blood and other laboratory specimens.
- Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie offers courses in phlebotomy as part of a degree in Allied Health and Biological Science.
- Manhattan Institute in New York provides a phlebotomist diploma. Students will learn the technique of the blood draw, how to properly label specimens and helpful communication skills.
- SUNY Broome in Binghamton offers a Phlebotomy Certificate.Students will be prepared to take a certification exam upon graduation.
Professional Certifications for Phlebotomists
Certification is widely recognized for laboratory professionals, making it an important consideration for those who are seeking employment in the field. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is currently the leading certifying organization for the profession. Participation in a certification process, although voluntary, is a mark of professionalism and worth the time and cost to obtain.
Salary and Growth Projections
According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2019, phlebotomists in New York State made an average of $42,950 annually. Wages in the state ranged from $34,230 to $59,570 in the same year.
The career also has excellent job growth potential, with Projections Central predicting a 30.4 percent increase in the job classification between 2018 and 2028.
Opportunities for Phlebotomists in New York
Phlebotomists in New York can find work nearly anywhere, but especially in larger cities where there is a hub of medical services. Potential employers include LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, New York-Presbyterian, Health Quest and CSL Plasma. Wherever you find employment, this career has the potential to be both fulfilling and exciting.