Health care professionals are in high demand. While becoming a doctor requires a lot of training and can be quite expensive, other careers in health care have shorter training times and can be a good way to get your start in the health care field. Two such jobs are a phlebotomist and a nursing assistant. Understanding how these jobs differ can help you decide which might be a better fit for you.
A phlebotomy technician training program typically lasts less than one year and results in either a diploma or a certificate rather than a degree. Training includes both lab work and classroom instruction on how to identify, track, label, and take blood samples as well as physiology, medical terminology, and anatomy. Once training is completed, taking an exam to become certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Center for Competency Testing, the American Medical Technologists, or the National Healthcareer Association will make it easier to find a job.
The exact training and certification requirements for nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, varies by state. There is typically an education program followed by on-the-job training and then a competency exam that must be passed to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Programs typically take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to complete. Coursework usually includes basic nursing care, taking vital signs, communication skills, personal care skills, controlling infections, long-term care, and emergency procedures.
People who complete a phlebotomy technician training program can expect to make more than those who become nursing assistants or aides. The average annual salary for a phlebotomist is about $32,770 as of 2015, while that of a nursing aide is about $26,820. To maintain your certification in either of these positions and keep your salary as high as possible, it's necessary to complete a certain number of continuing education hours each year, which varies by state. People in either of these jobs sometimes continue their education to become more skilled and get a higher paying job, such as completing a licensed practical nursing course.
A phlebotomy technician training program is also likely to give you a better job outlook than someone who completes a nursing assistant training program. Employment of phlebotomists is expected to increase by 25 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the 7 percent expected growth for all jobs and the 19 percent expected growth for all healthcare support occupations. The nursing assistant job growth rate is expected to be higher than the overall average at 18 percent, but not as high as the average for all healthcare support occupations or phlebotomists.
To learn more, contact a company like Western Career Training.