How to become a Phlebotomist in New York

Athena Kan
Aug 8, 2023
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Phlebotomists perform blood draws, which contribute to diagnosing illnesses, planning treatments, and monitoring health conditions. Phlebotomists are in high demand in New York, as they are needed in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. If you're considering a career in this critical healthcare field, our detailed guide will lead you on the journey to becoming a certified phlebotomist in New York.

Step 1: Understand the Role

Before setting your course to become a phlebotomist, it's important to understand the core responsibilities of the job. Phlebotomists are primarily responsible for drawing and preparing blood samples for medical testing, transfusions, or donations. They interact directly with patients, maintain sterile environments, and adhere to safety protocols. You can read more on our post “What is a Phlebotomist?” You can also consider similar roles, such as a Patient Care Technician or Medical Assistant.

Step 2: Meet requirements

The journey to becoming a phlebotomist begins with completing a high school diploma or obtaining a GED. If you don’t have a high school diploma or GED, don’t worry—you will still be able to take a phlebotomy class, but you’ll likely have to enroll in a private, vocational school instead of a local community college. In this case, you will have to take an 8th/9th grade level verbal and math test.

You will also need to be able to pass a background check, which includes no felonies or misdemeanors involving theft or assault in the last 5 years. Other requirements may vary per school, but you may also be required to have a negative hepatitis B and C test as well as a negative tuberculosis (TB) test.

Step 3: Enroll in a Phlebotomy Program

The next step is enrolling in a state-approved phlebotomy program. In New York, these programs are typically found in community colleges, vocational schools, or technical institutes.  These programs cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, blood collection procedures, infection control, and legal and ethical issues in phlebotomy. Practical training involving blood draws is a vital part of this program. 

Most training programs can be completed in less than a year, but some vocational schools can be as short as 4 to 6 weeks long. New York State Education Department reports that classes are on average 60 to 100 hours long. Private vocational schools cost around $700-1800. Community colleges and technical institutes can cost much more ($5-10K), but they may offer financial aid for those who qualify.

You can find phlebotomy programs in New York and compare them by length, price, and more on Dreambound. You can also find online Phlebotomy programs on Dreambound.

Step 4: Obtain Certification

Although New York State does not require phlebotomists to be certified, employers often prefer certified candidates. Certifications can be obtained from several organizations such as the National Healthcare Association, National Phlebotomy Association, and the American Medical Certification Association. To qualify for certification exams, you'll need to meet certain prerequisites, which usually include completion of a phlebotomy program and a specified number of successful venipunctures.

Step 5: Externship

Phlebotomy is a skill-based profession and gaining hands-on experience is crucial. This could involve a post-certification externship or entry-level job where you can practice your skills and gain experience in a real-world setting. Your school may also match you with an externship where you’ll be able to get some of this hands-on training, so this might come before step 4.

Step 6: Land Your First Job

With certification and experience in hand, you're ready to land your first job as a phlebotomist. New York City, being one of the nation's health industry hubs, has numerous opportunities in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic labs, and blood donation centers. Ensure your resume highlights your certification, where you went to school, and where you did your externship. You may also be able to directly work at your externship site.

Becoming a certified phlebotomist in New York not only offers a rewarding career in the medical field but also opens doors for career advancement. You may choose to specialize in areas like pediatric phlebotomy or pursue further education to become a laboratory technologist or a nurse. Whichever path you choose, know that your role is fundamental in healthcare delivery, making a difference in people's lives daily.

Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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