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Does Phlebotomy Make You the Perfect Med School Specimen?

Posted by Marc Costanzo Monday, Feb. 1, 2016

A white gloved hand holding a vial of red liquid supposed to symbolize bloodWhen you’re applying to med school, you’re trying to turn yourself into the best candidate you can be. That means making your Curriculum Vitae irresistible to the committee that’s ultimately going to decide your fate.

While Nebraska Methodist College doesn’t offer you a med school, we do get a number of med school students registering for one particular class of ours.

Phlebotomy is a course that teaches an individual how to collect specimens and prep them for further analysis in a laboratory. At NMC, we offer a five or six week accelerated version as well as a nine week version, each with 180 clock hours. Some persons in med school or applying to med school take one of these certification courses in order to establish their qualifications for this very task.

But why would persons seeking their PhDs take this course? Today, we take a closer look at the trend.

phlebotomy degree guide

Doctors Surely Receive That Education Already…Right?

Not necessarily. As this article in the New York Times suggests, many med schools don’t actually require their students to learn the intricacies of sticking a needle into the appropriate vein, and if they do, they’re certainly not requiring their students to perfect that art again and again and again.

As a result, physicians understand the different kinds of procedures that need to be carried out and why they should be carried out but not always the nuts and bolts of how to carry out those exact procedures. He or she gives the order and someone else does the task.

Future doctors take phlebotomy because they want to be able to conduct the work themselves if they’re going to be ordering others to do the same. They take the training to make sure they’re capable of intervening in a procedure if the person normally assigned to those duties is otherwise indisposed or time is of the essence.

Med School Training

We’re not going to tell you that practicing physicians are taking our courses to become better at collecting blood samples, because that’s simply not true.

But people who want to be physicians? That’s another story entirely. Many individuals want to become proficient if not highly skilled at every conceivable task related to the healthcare community, and that often means supplementing med school education with training outside of the course of study.

Persons applying to med school may also do this to bolster their resumes. In these cases, it’s not the technique that matters. What matters is if you can show decision boards that you’re so invested in patient care that you go above and beyond simply what’s required, even taking additional training if that’s what it takes.

Does It Work?

That really all depends on what you’re trying to get out of it.

A phlebotomy class is not going to make or break anyone’s attempt to get into med school. Phlebotomy education is more important for what it shows about your character. It means you’ve dedicated time to practicing a skill you could eventually assign to someone else but that you want to be able to do yourself if necessary. It shows you care enough that you’ll spend clinical hours working directly with patients in a role that not all doctors understand.

That’s the kind of positivity that matters, and what you’ll get out of a phlebotomy course.

So is phlebotomy certification a deal breaker for a medical school? Probably not. But is it a skill that’s nice to have in your back pocket for when you’re making your case, highlighting the ways you answer the call of duty for your patients?


Ready to learn more about the phlebotomy course from Nebraska Methodist College? Download our phlebotomy certificate guide today.

phlebotomy degree guide

Topics: allied health career, health professions, preparing for college

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