Before you can start a phlebotomy program and pursue a career as a phlebotomist, there are some prerequisites that you have to fulfill. However, these may vary depending on the program you choose, so make sure you check with your school and confirm that you meet their specific criteria.
You need to have a high school diploma or GED and show proof of your secondary education completion before enrolling in a phlebotomy program. This can be done by providing a transcript or an official copy of your diploma or GED. Some programs may make exceptions for those who have an international diploma, were born outside of the US, or have taken some college courses.
You have to be at least 18 years old to enroll in most phlebotomy programs. This is usually not a problem for most applicants since they get their high school diploma or GED at 18, but some people may graduate earlier. You may be able to find some phlebotomy programs near you that accept applicants who are 17 years old or younger, or ask the school if they can make a special exception for you.
You have to undergo a background check before enrolling in most phlebotomy programs. This is to make sure you are qualified to work as a phlebotomist and to reduce the risk of any unethical behavior. The school usually conducts the background check, but you may have to provide fingerprints or other identification information as well.
You have to pass a drug test before being accepted into most phlebotomy programs. This is to ensure the safety and security of both the students and patients involved with phlebotomy. Drug tests can be done at various locations and usually involve a hair sample or urine test.
You have to be immunized and vaccinated against certain diseases before you can enroll in many phlebotomy programs. This is because you will be working with patients who may have weak immune systems. Common vaccinations include hepatitis B, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), tetanus, and flu. You may not have to show proof of your vaccinations before enrolling in the program, but most programs require them before you start your clinical hours or externship.
You have to complete a basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course before enrolling in some phlebotomy programs. This is to make sure you know how to react in an emergency situation where you are the best-qualified person to perform CPR. The cost of the course is usually paid by the student, although some phlebotomy programs may reimburse students for it. CPR classes can be found at most hospitals, community centers, and fire departments, or may be offered by the organization that provides phlebotomy classes.
You need to have good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity, as well as the ability to stand for long periods of time. Some phlebotomy programs may require that you meet certain physical requirements before enrolling. This may involve taking a medical exam or showing proof of physical fitness.
Don’t let the prerequisites for attending a phlebotomy program scare you away. Most programs only require a high school diploma or GED for enrollment. Before applying, contact the program or review their individual requirements to make sure you meet all the necessary qualifications.