The economy is tough, and finding a job is getting harder and harder. In an ideal world, starting your career in healthcare as a doctor would bring tremendous benefits, to say nothing of prestige. While there is huge demand for highly specialized medical professionals right now, there is also that extensive academic training that would take years to complete and would be prohibitive for most. Being a general practitioner may not be an entry-level option for everyone, but as with anything in career or in life, one can always start small and build great careers from there.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for healthcare, and therefore the demand for personnel to deliver health services, will remain much faster than all other occupations across all groups in the foreseeable future, especially that the baby boomers have started turning 65 and are more likely than most to require specialized care. The baby boomers are also in that coveted position of being able to afford health services that they would need, regardless of cost.
So how do you take advantage of this trend in an atmosphere of uncertain economy and scarce jobs? How can you tap into a slice of this market and make it work for you? Phlebotomy is the science of making an incision in a vein in order to extract body fluids from patients. It does not require extensive training like doctors and nurses, but it gets you to the same environment that would allow you later on to take full advantage of the ever-growing market of healthcare. Most phlebotomy courses will only take less than six months of your time, and the lecture part of the course can even be taken online. This allows you to transition into the field of healthcare if you are presently unemployed in another industry or are contemplating to start a meaningful career which puts you in place to help people in need.
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The barrier to entry in phlebotomy is easily surmountable. About 40 hours of lecture in an academic setting or online plus extensive hands-on training in a clinical environment, and you will be well on your way to get certified. That said, it is crucial to choose courses – whether online or on-campus – that are certified by CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs). This is because phlebotomy certifying bodies like American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC), American Medical Technologists (AMT), the American Credentialing Agency (ACA), the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) would likely require that your courses are CAAHEP-certified before sitting in for a licensing/certifying examination.
With the employment of phlebotomists and allied professions expected to grow by 15% until 2020, there is no reason why getting into this field is not feasible. Expect, however, that there will be tight competition for jobs which require not only certification and training, but more important, extensive clinical experience.
A degrees require a significant amount of schooling that gets quite expensive. Becoming a phlebotomist requires some schooling, hands on training, and provides you with a steady career in healthcare. In the classroom, you have around 40 hours of lecture hall like learning. After you learn about what you have to do as a phlebotomist, you have hands on training showing you how to perform what you have learned. People will always need their blood drawn, and phlebotomists will always be needed in the healthcare field.