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What is a phlebotomy certification exam?

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Quick Answer

A phlebotomy certification exam is the final step in the process of becoming a certified phlebotomy technician. These laboratory specialists draw blood from patients for medical testing, transfusions and blood bank donations. The certification exam usually includes written questions as well as some clinical components, such as drawing blood. Certification is voluntary, but most employers prefer to hire phlebotomists who are certified.

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As of 2014, California, Louisiana and Nevada require phlebotomists to be certified. Several organizations offer certification, including the American Society for Clinical Pathology, American Medical Technologists, National Center for Competency Testing and American Association of Medical Personnel. Certification requirements vary depending on the organization issuing the certification. Typically, candidates need to complete a vocational training or certificate program and gain some clinical experience prior to taking their certification exam.

Community colleges, vocational schools and technical schools offer programs in phlebotomy. These programs typically require a high school diploma or equivalency to enroll. In addition, applicants must be at least 18 years old. The programs usually take less than one year to complete. Classes may include anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, laboratory techniques and interpersonal communication. Some phlebotomists enter the field with only a high school diploma and receive training on the job.

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