Phlebotomy Training Program – How long does it take?
You can earn your Phlebotomy Technician certificate in approximately three months. Phlebotomy is often an excellent stepping-stone to other careers in health care such as medical assisting.
As a phlebotomy technician you are an important member of the clinical laboratory team. New diagnostic techniques, clinical laboratory technology and automated instruments have greatly increased the volume of – and demand for – medical laboratory testing.
You will gain a lot of experience in your three months at school. During your training courses, you will be shown how to draw blood, known as a “stick.” You will practice your sticking skills in the classroom on faculty, staff and fellow students so you are prepared and confident before you begin your externship.
These are just a few classes you will take during the Phlebotomy Technician program:
CPR and First Aid
Anatomy and Physiology
Centrifuging and processing
What is the cost of a phlebotomy training program and certification?
Training programs for phlebotomy are available from community colleges, vocational schools, or technical schools all around the country. The costs may range from $400 up to $2000, depending on the school. Programs have classroom and laboratory portions may include instruction in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. The phlebotomy training generally lasts 2 to 4 months, depending on the school schedule.
- The cost may range from $90 to $ 135 depending of the institution.
There are different routes of eligibility to take the phlebotomy certification exam depending on the institution offering it:
To be eligible for this examination category, an applicant must satisfy the requirements of at least one of the following routes:
Route 1: High school graduation (or equivalent), AND completion of an approved phlebotomy program within the last five years; OR
Route 2: High school graduation (or equivalent), AND completion of an acceptable two-part formal structured phlebotomy program in the U.S., Canada or an accredited laboratory within the last five years. This two-part program, to be arranged by the program director, must consist of: 40 clock hours of classroom training, including anatomy and physiology of the circulatory
system, specimen collection, specimen processing and handling and laboratory operations (e.g., safety, quality control, etc.), AND 100 clock hours of clinical training and orientation in an accredited laboratory** with a minimum performance of 100 successful unaided blood collections including venipunctures and skin punctures; OR
Route 3: High school graduation (or equivalent), AND completion of one year full time acceptable work experience as a phlebotomy technician in an accredited laboratory** within the
last five years. This experience must include venipunctures and skin punctures. (Full time experience is considered thirty-five hours per week); OR
Route 4: High school graduation (or equivalent), AND successful completion of RN, LPN or other acceptable accredited allied health professional/occupational education which includes
phlebotomy training and orientation in an accredited laboratory** with a minimum performance of 100 successful unaided blood collections including venipunctures and skin punctures. Applicants must submit a notarized copy of their current state/provincial license for RN or LPN or notarized copy of a certificate of completion from the accredited allied health
program they completed along with the application form; OR
Route 5: MT/MLS or MLT certification; OR
Route 6: DPT certification AND a minimum performance of 100 successful unaided non-donor blood collections including venipunctures and skin punctures in an accredited laboratory** within the last 5 years; OR
Route 7: High school graduation (or equivalent), AND completion of a phlebotomy program approved by the California Department of Public Health* within the last five years.
Phlebotomy Certification Training Schools – What to look for
Almost all employers prefer to hire phlebotomists who have earned professional certification.
Several organizations offer certifications for phlebotomists:
- The National Center for Competency Testing
- The American Society for Clinical Pathology
- The American Medical Technologists (AMT) offer Phlebotomy Technician certifications.
Certification candidates typically need some classroom education, as well as some clinical experience. Certification testing usually includes an exam and may include practical components, such as drawing blood. Requirements vary by certifying organization.
Phlebotomists must be certified in California, Louisiana, and Nevada.
Outside of California, there are no standards or minimum requirements for phlebotomy schools. Therefore, in order for potential students to emerge with a marketable skill that will meet the needs of local employers, students must know the earmarks of a quality phlebotomy program.
The following list contains suggested indicators of a quality phlebotomy program:
- A didactic (classroom) component of at least 40 hours and a clinical component (where students draws on actual patients in a healthcare setting);
- The didactic component is based on the standards of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI);
- The clinical component requires students perform at least 100 successful unaided blood specimen collections, including both venipunctures and capillary collections, in a CLIA regulated laboratory;
- Upon completing the program students are eligible to take a national certification examination administered by one of the following agencies:
American Credentialing Agency (ACA)
American Medical Technologists (AMT)
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
You may find schools in your area by researching the following:
- Check with the various phlebotomy certification organizations for information on phlebotomy schools they affiliate with that may be in your area.
- Check with your local community college or vocational school. They may offer a phlebotomy class.
- Contact the laboratory manager or the laboratory’s phlebotomy supervisor of your local hospital. These professionals often know of training opportunities in the community.
The median annual wage for phlebotomists was $29,730 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,340, and the top 10 percent earned more than $42,600.
Most phlebotomists work full time. Some phlebotomists, particularly those who work in hospitals and labs, are expected to work on nights, weekends, and holidays.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition
Phlebotomy Training – What skills do you need?
KNOWLEDGE NEEDED FOR PHLEBOTOMY TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
TASKS TO BE DONE
- Match laboratory requisition forms to specimen tubes.
- Dispose of contaminated sharps, in accordance with applicable laws, standards, and policies.
- Draw blood from veins by vacuum tube, syringe, or butterfly venipuncture methods.
- Dispose of blood or other biohazard fluids or tissue, in accordance with applicable laws, standards, or policies.
- Draw blood from capillaries by dermal puncture, such as heel or finger stick methods.
- Enter patient, specimen, insurance, or billing information into computer.
- Organize or clean blood-drawing trays, ensuring that all instruments are sterile and all needles, syringes, or related items are of first-time use.
- Collect fluid or tissue samples, using appropriate collection procedures.
- Collect specimens at specific time intervals for tests, such as those assessing therapeutic drug levels.
- Transport specimens or fluid samples from collection sites to laboratories.
TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY
- Anatomical human mannequins for medical education or training — Phlebotomy practice arms; Phlebotomy practice blocks; Phlebotomy practice heels
- Blood bank refrigerators — Blood specimen refrigerators
- Blood collection needle — Multi-sample blood collection needles; Venipuncture needles
- Capillary or hematocrit tubes — Capillary tubes; Microcapillary hematocrit tubes; Microtainers
- Non vacuum blood collection tubes or containers — Aliquot tubes; Blood culture bottles; Sterile screw-cap glass tubes; Sterile screw-cap plastic tubes
- Phlebotomy trays or accessories — Phlebotomy trays; Specimen tube holders; Unopette equipment
- Volumetric pipettes — Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) pipettes; Transfer pipettes
- Technology used in this occupation:
- Medical software — Donor Management System DMS software; Iatric Systems MobiLab software; MEDITECH Blood Bank; MEDITECH Laboratory and Microbiology
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.