The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) offers certification exams for individuals working in a wide number of professions, from bookkeeper to medical office assistant. It offers certification for both phlebotomy technicians and donor phlebotomists (phlebotomists who specialize in blood donations). Tests are available at a number of sites throughout the United States, including some colleges. Review materials for these tests can be ordered directly from the NCCT’s Web site, and applications for the tests can be filled out online or submitted via the mail. In addition, the NCCT offers services to schools, including continuing education courses.
Exams for phlebotomists measure not only the applicant’s skill at drawing blood but his or her skill at working with patients. According to the NCCT’s Web site, the donor phlebotomist test covers these areas: understanding the role of the phlebotomist careers; requirements and regulations; knowledge of blood and components; principles of donor selection; and proper collection techniques and special procedures. The phlebotomy technician exam covers infection control, universal precautions, and safety; anatomy and physiology of circulatory and other major body systems, and medical terms; identification, accuracy, ramifications to patients; preparation and site selection; equipment and additives; disposal; infectious disease and biohazards; the coagulation process; sources of error; risk factors and complications; corrective actions; application of professional topics (communication, stress management, ethics, legal); and quality assurance.
Applications for testing must be mailed to the NCCT in time for them to be received at least two weeks before the test date. Forms should be mailed to:
National Center for Competency Test
7007 College Blvd.
Overland Park, KS 66211
Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. If you’re applying for the donor phlebotomist exam, you must have six months of full-time work (or the equivalent part-time work) under a doctor or nurse and 80 full-blood draws with attendant processing and paperwork. Applicants for phlebotomist technician must have a year of full-time experience (or the equivalent part-time experience) or a degree from a phlebotomy technician program approved by the NCCT. Experience must be documented using forms available from the NCCT Web site. Fees for both types of exam are $90 for students and $135 for everyone else. Continuing certification is available on an annual basis by taking continuing education courses (available from the NCCT and elsewhere) and paying a recertification fee. The NCCT will mail you a recertification form six months after your initial certification.