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Oct 1, 2007
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just read an article about them. ever hear of anyone becoming a phlebotomist before applying?i think the training is 6 months to a year. i get the feeling that this would not be something ideal for undergrads to think about?

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Might as well be a CNA or something where you do phlebotomy but you do other stuff as well.
CNA's don't draw blood. Well I guess it depends on the State you live in. Most of the time they work in nursing homes and on the hospital floors. They typically have different training than a phlebotomist.
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I did as a CNA working in CCU/ICU
You are kidding. That's pretty cool! So you were trained to draw blood in your program?
just read an article about them. ever hear of anyone becoming a phlebotomist before applying?i think the training is 6 months to a year. i get the feeling that this would not be something ideal for undergrads to think about?

Not sure how it is like where you are at, but here in Utah it's fairly commonplace for premeds to seek phlebotomy jobs. In my opinion, it reeks just ever so slightly of gunnerism, but if you are honestly interested in it, I say go for it.
You could use it to work in clinical research, kill a bunch of birds with one stone (patient exposure, research, interesting EC and money).

Oh and volunteering too, places like AIDS foundations are always looking for people to draw blood.

I've actually been training to draw blood, our supervisor is certified but I don't think any of the other people drawing blood in my lab are.
so are you good at drawing blood?
I'm out of practice (I haven't worked at that job for about 3 years), but yeah I was pretty good.
I was a phleb before med school (but not a certified one). I didn't take an official course or anything. I had on the job training, practiced on lab techs, other phlebs, and had HIPAA training with my company. I hated every minute of what I did, but other people I've talked to who were phlebs before med school didn't have such a bad time. I got yelled at a lot for not getting a draw after a few days of practicing then being set loose in the hospital. Sure I could get the people with good veins, but not everyone has good veins.

I'm hoping my phleb skills help me with learning how to place an IV next week.
You can learn phlebotomy at a vo-tech in a few weeks or you could just sign up for a job where it is done. I think that to be certified, you have to have a few months of employment.

It's not going to help anybody's application, but it's an easy way to get some patient contact.

I've worked as a Medical Assistant at a busy family practice on my year (well, it'll be two years) off. I have no MA certification, but was given an exceptional opportunity to receive "on the job training." Basically the nurses taught me everything I needed to know about being an MA, including phlebotomy. On my second day there the charge nurse verbally described to me how to draw blood, then let me do it on her arm. The rest is history. After having done it for quite a while, I've gotten quite good (several of the LPNs and such commonly ask me to help them find a vein when they're having trouble), and I enjoy it. It's not the only part of my job, so I don't get sick of it, but it still feels good to know you have a talent for something like that.

The only downside is that my pay sucks.
I did as a CNA working in CCU/ICU

I think CNA who can draw blood are called PCT...

I have my phlebotomist license but I don't work as one. 2 months, 2 days a week course. 100 sticks after getting certified.
I have worked in a clinical laboratory setting as a specimen processor for the past three years. My job includes ordering tests, spinning/separating samples, drawing patients, and interacting with physicians to ensure that they order the correct test. I consider my experience with the clinical lab side of medicine to be invaluable. I have seen so many instances of patient harm simply because the ordering physician did not understand the correct way to order a test, or know which was the correct test. Lab medicine is something that every doctor needs to appreciate and understand. I know that I am going to be a more complete physician because of my experience working in a clinical lab and I strongly recommend getting real world experience if it is available to you. Being proficient in phlebotomy won't make you a better doctor, but it will expose you to a side of medicine that many MD's don't understand. If you are thinking about taking a job in this area, do it because you believe in understanding all sides of medicine, not because you think an admissions committee will approve.
If the invasive I.V experience is what you are after, why not do an EMT intermediate or IV tech cert.(the name varies from state to state) They are not that long or hard to get and you will get valuable ALS experience you might not get in a hospital. Paramedics generally let intermediates do a lot of management with the idea that they will be medics soon too. A lot more than EMT-B's at least. :cool:
Frankly, I don't see any downside to working as a phlebotomist or med lab tech. If you start early enough to get through the training, you'll get to do some really interesting things. I'm a lab tech/phlebotomist now at a fertility clinic, and I think it's a great experience - you interact with your patients who will be from all stratas of life, get used to doing actual medical work (as opposed to shadowing a physician or volunteering, which is primarily hands-off), and get paid for it too.

Whether it's valuable w/r/t boosting the resume, I don't know. I can't imagine it would hurt: you demonstrate that you're okay working with blood and body fluids, for one. Plus, it's actual patient interaction, as I mentioned before, which I have found to be invaluable (ie, how to read patients as a person, so you know if you can talk with them while you're drawing blood or if it's just a business-like encounter).

If you have the time, go for it! I've enjoyed my experience.
Phlebotomy makes better money than anything else for the training required. It's roughly 14 an hour and the training is usually in the form of a 6-month course.