Pursuing a career as a healthcare worker is not easy for anybody, let alone for somebody with a felony record. However, whether intentionally or not, most people have broken the law at some point. Not every crime is as severe, and not everybody gets prosecuted. Still, those convicted could end up with a criminal record for the rest of their lives. Perhaps you are a convicted felon, or maybe you are just interested in the medical industry. Whatever the case may be, join us as we answer the question, “can you be a phlebotomist with a felony?”.
Can you be a Phlebotomist with a Felony?
Most medical professions will be off-limits to somebody with a criminal record. However, phlebotomy is not one of them. It is possible to become a phlebotomist if you have a felony conviction.
Right now, many phlebotomists are working in the healthcare industry with felony convictions. However, it is imperative to be aware that if you decide to follow this path, there will be obstacles in your way.
It is much harder to gain qualifications as a convicted felon. Once you are qualified, finding work as a phlebotomist will be much more difficult.
But if this is your dream, don’t be put off, as a medical career is so rewarding and still entirely within your grasp.
What is a phlebotomist?
So, what exactly is a phlebotomist? A phlebotomist is a medical worker that is licensed to collect blood from patients. This takes the pressure off laboratory staff or nurses who can focus on caring for patients.
If you are bothered by blood, this may not be the job for you. A patient’s blood is usually drawn for donations, transfusions, or medical testing.
A phlebotomist is one of the medical support staff professions, i.e., professions whose representatives perform activities that relieve other employees, usually doctors and nurses.
Such professions also include, among others, a doctor’s assistant, medical secretary, or optometrist (a specialist dealing with examining eyesight for the selection of glasses).
A phlebotomist is usually employed in a laboratory or a hospital, where they take blood from patients in wards. They sometimes also perform quick laboratory tests at the patient’s bedside. Some also perform cannulation procedures (insertion of a cannula).
How to become a phlebotomist?
Becoming a phlebotomist is not as simple as learning to insert a needle and draw blood. To become a licensed phlebotomist, there are some education requirements. A degree is not required for this profession, although some phlebotomists obtain a degree in medical technology.
Many potential phlebotomists get something called an associate degree. An associate degree is an educational course that is taken at the undergraduate level.
The undergraduate level is the first stage after secondary school. Generally, to enroll in a phlebotomist training course, you must have your high school diploma or GED.
A phlebotomy training program will provide students with an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, safety measures, infection control, and many other things.
During the training, students will pay special attention to studying the composition of blood, as this is what a phlebotomist’s work is based around.
A considerable part of phlebotomist training is hands-on. Students will learn to find veins and draw blood from capillaries or veins. They will also study different techniques of drawing blood for other people.
Another essential part of phlebotomist training is learning how to handle blood samples. This includes handling, labeling, sorting, and test preparation. This process is designed to keep sample organization errors to an absolute minimum.
A phlebotomist must handle sensitive patient information, so it is absolutely essential that blood samples and personal data are taken correctly.
A phlebotomist works every day with blood. This means they are in regular contact with bloodborne infectious pathogens such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, as well as many other blood-related illnesses. For this reason, phlebotomists must be fully insured and submit regular health status updates.
Can Felons Go to Medical School?
Although no specific law states that felons cannot attend medical school, every college, university, or medical institution has its own entry criteria. Having a criminal conviction does not necessarily mean a person is refused admission to a training course.
While some institutions will immediately reject a person with a criminal record, others take a more lenient approach. Factors will be considered when deciding whether to accept or reject an application.
The first thing they will consider will be the nature of the crime. Although all crimes are serious, some will not affect a person’s ability to provide fantastic medical care.
On the other hand, some drug offenses or violent and sexual crimes would be flagged as a risk to students and future patients.
Next, they will consider the time that has passed since the offense and any repeat offenses. When a potential student has a long history of arrests and convictions, their application is unlikely to be accepted.
Whereas if somebody was convicted of a crime ten years ago and there have been no more arrests or convictions, that person is much more likely to be accepted.
When applying to enroll at a medical school, you must disclose your criminal record if asked. If you fail to do so and later down the line, they find out there is a strong possibility that you will be removed from the course and expelled.
Don’t let your criminal record get in the way of you applying to medical school. Applications are judged on a case-by-case basis by most schools. So, unless you have a history of very serious crimes or are a repeat offender, there is still hope of being accepted into medical school.
Can a felon become a licensed phlebotomist?
After completing your medical training, the following important question is whether you can get licensed to work as a phlebotomist. While every state is different and has different rules, most will have a list of disqualifying crimes and negative actions that will stop you from becoming licensed.
A career as a phlebotomist can take many different paths. Sometimes a phlebotomist may require access to care homes, juveniles, or the elderly. Some may require access to vulnerable people. Some may require access to people’s homes where personal information may be accessed.
For each one of these pathways, there will be a list of different disqualifying crimes. It is essential for the state only to license the right people for each job.
How to find medical work as a felon
If you are a convicted felon and you’ve decided to pursue a career as a phlebotomist, there are some things you can do to bolster your chances of gaining employment.
If a significant amount of time has passed since your conviction and your conviction was not for a severe crime, it may be possible to have your record expunged. If you believe this is an option for you, contact an attorney to find out your best course of action.
While undertaking your medical training, you could consider volunteering at a blood bank or laboratory. In the future, you may ask for references that will be very useful when applying for jobs. Positive references from past employers go a long way when making a job application.
On some occasions, businesses, where you volunteer, may offer you permanent employment upon completing your training.
Reasons for becoming a healthcare worker
Entering the medical industry for a convicted felon will never be easy. But working with people, especially in a medical environment, can be very rewarding. Also, there can be excellent career progression when working as a phlebotomist. Many phlebotomists with felony convictions go on to become certified nursing assistants or medical assistants.
So, in answer to the question, “can you be a phlebotomist with a felony?” the answer is yes. There are no laws in place that restrict a convicted felon from becoming a phlebotomist. Currently, many phlebotomists are working throughout the country with felony convictions.
There are plenty of schools that will accept a convicted felon and plenty of jobs available for phlebotomists. However, having a felony conviction does make it harder to get licensed and will limit where and with whom you can work.
If you are not fazed by blood, if you are a people person and you are great at communicating, this could be the job for you. So do not let a past criminal conviction keep you from pursuing a new career.
See Also: Can A Felon Be A Nurse?
Robert Eric (a lover of Cats and Dogs) is the co-founder of HireFelonsJobs. In our search for a better life, after… A platform was created for the purpose of easing the search for ex-convicts.