Becoming a Phlebotomist in South Carolina
If you are interested in a career as a phlebotomist, you might want to know a bit more about what to expect from the occupation. Phlebotomists are laboratory professionals who are responsible for blood draws. The job also entails the collection and receipt of other bodily fluids, including urine, stool and sputum. As the gatekeepers of these important diagnostic tests, phlebotomists will need to ensure all specimens are appropriately and safely collected and properly labeled.
As a career, phlebotomy has the potential to be challenging and fulfilling, as phlebotomists are presented with arduous situations on a daily basis. Patients often present to the lab with anxiety about the blood draw or the testing process, and the phlebotomist will need to engage with them compassionately. A good phlebotomist should have excellent communication and de-escalation skills to round out their technical skills.
Phlebotomists work in hospitals, blood donation centers and doctors’ offices, and should expect to work early hours as well as evening and weekend shifts regularly. The job will also require a high degree of physical stamina, especially for those working in a hospital setting, who will need to move from ward to ward to perform specimen collection. Manual dexterity is a must, as the blood draw procedure can be difficult to perform, especially for chronically ill patients.
Licensing Requirements for Phlebotomists in South Carolina
There is no requirement for licensure for phlebotomists in South Carolina, nor is there a statewide regulatory organization for the profession. Phlebotomists generally work under other licensed professionals. In the hospital, laboratory services are often presided over by a Board-certified pathologist.
South Carolina Training for Phlebotomy
Although phlebotomists can be trained on the job, today’s professionals are mostly trained through certificate programs. A high school diploma will be a prerequisite for training, in either case. Several of the programs available in South Carolina include:
- Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg offers training in Medical Assisting. Students will learn basic laboratory procedures and complete clinical rotations in the offices of local physicians.
- Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood offers a Patient Care Technician Certificate. Graduates will hold a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA) certificate and will be eligible to become certified in phlebotomy.
- Horry Georgetown Technical College in Conway offers a certificate in phlebotomy. The program covers phlebotomy techniques and theory.
- Williamsburg Technical College in Kingstree offers a Certificate in Phlebotomy. Clinical practice is part of the provided curriculum.
Certifications for Phlebotomists
The American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) offers a certification for phlebotomists, which can be earned by passing an examination. While not required, accreditation is an industry-recognized gold standard and obtaining it will help accelerate your career choices.The test can be applied for online and will cost $135.
Salary Expectations and Growth Projections
In 2019, phlebotomists in South Carolina reported average annual wages of $32,570, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The data collected show that phlebotomists on the lower edge of the range reported making $27,440 annually, which might be closer to what you can expect in an entry-level position.
In better news, the career is predicted to grow in South Carolina by 21.4 percent between 2018 and 2028.
Working as a Phlebotomist in South Carolina
Phlebotomists should enjoy ample opportunity, especially in areas where healthcare is readily available. In South Carolina, employment can be found in one of the many hospitals and doctors’ offices within the state. A few potential employers in South Carolina include McLeod Health Hospital, Prisma Health, Quest Diagnostics, Tidelands Health and LabCorp. Wherever you find employment, this growing career has a lot of potential for a long and satisfying career in healthcare.