Certified Phlebotomy Technicians (CPTs) and Certified EKG Technicians (CETs) are already in great demand, making them savvy career choices. However, more and more job candidates are getting certified to be both since it gives them a specialized set of in-demand skills and turbocharges their potential earning power.
This dual role is known as a Cardio-Phlebotomy Technician, and the good news is that many online certification training programs allow you to get certified (yes, for both roles) in less than six months. Becoming certified as a Cardio-Phlebotomy Technician can be the perfect first step into a healthcare career or a way to transition from one role to another one. So today let’s discuss exactly what a Cardio-Phlebotomy Technician’s responsibilities are on a daily basis, as well as what the advantages of being dually certified are.
Certified Phlebotomy Technicians (CPTs): CPTs are responsible for collecting blood and non-blood samples for testing (the samples are ultimately analyzed in a clinical laboratory). These tests are vital for patients since they are used to diagnose illnesses, evaluate the effectiveness of medications, and determine proper nutrition. In some cases, CPTs can also be called upon to collect blood for blood drives or donation centers.
Aside from blood collection, CPTs need to have people skills, too. They must be comfortable speaking with patients and donors, especially those who have anxiety about having their blood drawn.
Additional CPT duties include:
Verifying the patient’s identity to ensure proper labeling of specimens
Entering accurate patient information into a database
Keeping a clean, sanitary, and safe work environment (to avoid infection/contamination)
Assembling and maintaining equipment like needles and specimen containers
CPTs are found in clinical laboratories, hospitals, community health centers, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, blood donation centers, and other healthcare facilities. They are usually supervised by a clinical laboratory technologist or other medical professional. In fact, in medical and diagnostic laboratories, patient interaction often only occurs with the phlebotomist.
Certified EKG Technicians (CETs): A CET handles EKG testing for patients, an important test that detects irregularities that can lead to a heart attack or heart disease. Though that’s a CET’s main responsibility, they also explain procedures to patients, monitor blood pressure, position patients, and more.
Additional CPT duties include:
Managing EKG setup and performance
Preparing patients for Holter or ambulatory monitoring and stress tests
Recognizing cardiac rhythms
Reporting to physicians
Much like with CPTs, CETs also have their choice of healthcare facilities to work in as the demand for them continues to grow. And since administering EKG tests is the main aspect of the job, CETs play a significant role in providing quality care for the patients in their stead.
What Are the Advantages of Being a Cardio-Phlebotomy Technician?
Obviously, as a Cardio-Phlebotomy Technician, you’re qualified to handle all of the duties we discussed above, which will be extremely attractive for prospective employers. Of course, having two certifications means you may be hired only for one of the roles (CPT or CET), and then be asked to fill in for the opposite role as needed. However, you will come across job listings where having both certifications is preferred.
As far as the type of facility you want to work in, you’ll have plenty of options there. Your dual skill set will be in demand, making you a perfect candidate for hospitals, medical and diagnostic labs, physicians’ centers, outpatient care centers, and more.
The greatest benefit of being a Cardio-Phlebotomy Technician is the potential for higher pay. When you can serve as a CPT or CET, it makes you an invaluable member of a medical team. And again, since you’re dually certified, there are quite a few unique job opportunities, including:
Medical Laboratory Technician
Laboratory Specimen Processor
Pathology Laboratory Technician
Emergency Room/Department Technician
These roles have a salary range of $25,000 to $50,000 depending on your certifications, experience, and location. There are also roles with higher-paying salaries, such as a Medical Technologist ($36,000–$64,000) or a Phlebotomy Director ($29,000–$79,000).
Learn More About Becoming a Cardio-Phlebotomy Technician
Becoming a Cardio-Phlebotomy Technician not only gives you the ability to have a significant impact on patients’ lives but also serves as a solid stepping stone toward other careers in the healthcare industry. While serving solely as a CPT or CET is a rewarding path, having both certifications makes you dually capable, and all that more attractive to employers.