The American Phlebotomy Association (APA) is a nationally recognized alliance of phlebotomists and their community that offers a variety of services including certification for the trained professional. It is an organizational member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (I.C.E.) which sets the standard of quality and integrity for certifying organizations, customer groups and government agencies. The APA is also an Educational Member of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (C.L.S.I.) which is a worldwide laboratory agency that is described as a “standards-developing organization that promotes the development and use of voluntary consensus standards and guidelines within the health care community”. By being a member of these two organizations, the APA can continue to its teaching of health care professionals in the medical testing field.
Certification Qualification and Guidelines
The APA offers education for nine qualifying positions available for certification. These are:
- Clinical Research Assistant
- Patient Care Technician
- EKG Technician
- Clinical Research Assistant
- Phlebotomy Technician
- Phlebotomy experience
- Medical Laboratory Assistant
- Medical Laboratory Assistant experience
- Health Care Instructor
The guidelines for education of a phlebotomy technician or phlebotomy experience are:
1. Completion of an Approved Phlebotomy Program
2. Minimum of 40 Hours Lecture/lab
3. Minimum of 50 Successful Venipunctures in class or clinical site
4. Minimum of 10 Skin Punctures (Capillaries)
5. High School Diploma or G.E.D.
6. Successful Completion of Certification Exam
1. A minimum of 1 year full-time employment as a phlebotomist or related field
2. Documentation of Employment
3. High School Diploma or G.E.D
4. Successful Completion of Certification Exam
Although not required, Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification is highly recommended for the phlebotomy professional. The APA offers ACLS certification which is the continuation of Basic Life Support (BLS). It is the study and testing completion of the necessary skills to treat a variety of life threatening medical predicaments including cardiac arrest. This phlebotomy training is compromised of such teaching as clearing a patient’s airway, administer intravenous access, assess electrocardiograms and possess a basic knowledge of emergency pharmacology. The ACLS examination is comprised of a seventy-five question, hour and a half test covering Airway/Oxygenation/Emergency Ventilation, Ventricular Fibrillation (Primary & Secondary), Asystole & Pauses, Bradycardia & AV Blocks, Tachycardias (Stable & Unstable), Pulseless Electrical Activity, Special Resuscitation Situations, Acute Coronary Syndromes, Stroke, Ethics, Medical Futility and Advanced Directives.
APA and Your School
The APA also offers approval to qualifying institutions that meet strict national standards. Once the approval is awarded the institution will become a national certified organization backed by the APA.
It is considered in the best interest of the professional phlebotomist to become a member of the APA. It will increase his or her employment desirability and high standard of practicing qualifications.