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Phlebotomy Training Schools

Phlebotomy SchoolsDrawing blood safely and painlessly is a critical procedure in health care, and it's a job that requires a skilled hand. If you think this might be the career for you, or if you already work in health care and would like to expand your skill set, then consider how phlebotomy training can help you get started.

Think about your warm and friendly way with people. It's the first clue that you may be right for this vocation. Through phlebotomy training, you'll have the chance to expand on that gift. Interacting with patients is a big part of the job—and often one of the most fulfilling.

While teaching you the fundamentals of the field, many phlebotomy schools will also provide you with broader education in related subjects like anatomy. With a deeper understanding of how the human body works, you can increase your options for further healthcare training in the future.

Depending on the program you choose, phlebotomy training doesn't usually take very long to complete. A certificate or diploma can be earned from some schools in under a year. You also may have the option to combine your phlebotomy education with medical assisting or EKG technician training.

Additionally, many of the programs at phlebotomy schools can help you get phlebotomy certification. This can give you a competitive edge when seeking employment with organizations like blood-donor clinics and hospitals.

Phlebotomists do important work that, among other things, helps to ensure that medical patients get properly diagnosed and treated. Plus, for many people, this field is a great entry point into the healthcare field. If you want to learn what phlebotomy involves, how much a technician makes, the benefits of the job, and much more, take a look at the in-depth article below.

And if you can already visualize yourself in a career that has a real impact, begin working toward it right now by requesting information from one of these phlebotomy training schools!




Featured Phlebotomy Schools


Kaplan College


North County (Vista), California
San Antonio, Texas
  • Healthcare Assistant
  • Phlebotomy/EKG Technician
  • Fortis Institute


    Forty Fort, Pennsylvania
  • ECG/Phlebotomy/Lab Assistant
  • Arizona College


    Glendale, Arizona
  • Phlebotomy Technician
  • McCann School of Business & Technology


    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    Dickson City, Pennsylvania
    Pottsville, Pennsylvania
  • Phlebotomist
  • Miller-Motte College


    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Phlebotomy/ECG Technician
  • Miller-Motte Technical College


    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Madison, Tennessee
    Lynchburg, Virginia
    Roanoke, Virginia
  • Healthcare Technology
  • Vista College


    Longview, Texas
  • Phlebotomy
  • Blake Austin College


    Vacaville, California
  • Clinical Medical Assisting w/Phlebotomy
  • Spencerian College


    Lexington, Kentucky
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • Phlebotomy
  • Star Career Academy


    Brick, New Jersey
    Clifton, New Jersey
    Egg Harbor, New Jersey
    Newark, New Jersey
    Audubon, Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Phlebotomy


  • Phlebotomy Career Information

    PhlebotomistSometimes blood tests are necessary to provide valuable information to your health care providers about how your body is working.

    That's why skilled professionals exist to do the job of collecting such samples. They specialize in drawing blood from patients while making them feel as comfortable as possible with the process. And they do it day after day, providing an essential healthcare service that contributes to the ability of doctors to diagnose and treat their patients.

    Doctors require good information in order to properly care for their patients. That's why laboratory testing of biological samples is so important. Without timely results from lab tests, many medical patients would go undiagnosed or untreated. But, in order to get those results, blood must often be drawn.

    At its most basic level, phlebotomy (also known as venipuncture) is the process of puncturing a vein in order to extract blood or introduce an intravenous fluid. It might seem simple, but the process is serious and invasive. Strict procedures must be followed in order to ensure the safety of patients and the quality of collected specimens.


    Job Responsibilities

    Duties vary a little depending on where they work, but responsibilities can include:

    • Assembling necessary equipment such as needles, vials, and tourniquets
    • Explaining procedures to patients
    • Helping patients to feel comfortable with the procedures
    • Drawing patient blood samples using the correct tubes in the correct order
    • Correctly labeling each blood sample
    • Transporting blood samples to a medical laboratory for testing
    • Collecting and transporting other lab specimens such as urine
    • Entering patient data into a computerized records system
    • Safely disposing of used needles

    When drawing multiple blood samples from the same patient for different kinds of lab tests, they must take care to avoid cross-contamination between different blood collection tubes. This is because each tube is color-coded for the type of test to be performed, and each one has different additives that can negatively affect lab testing if they accidentally wind up in the wrong tube. To prevent such accidents, a phlebotomist must use tubes in a very specific order while drawing a patient's blood.

    Although using a needle in a patient's arm is the most common way of drawing blood samples, other methods (known as "microtechniques")—such as using finger sticks or heel sticks—can also be employed for drawing minute quantities of blood. Heel sticks are primarily used for collecting blood from infants.

    Besides collecting blood from medical patients, many venipuncturists work for blood donation centers and draw the blood of donors so that it can be used for other people's transfusions or surgeries (after being tested to ensure that it is safe to use).


    Typical Work Environments

    Work in this field can occur in a variety of settings, including:

    • Hospitals
    • Blood banks
    • Plasma centers
    • Private medical clinics
    • Dialysis centers
    • Doctors' offices
    • Medical laboratories

    After gaining plenty of experience, some professionals choose to work for employers that provide mobile medical examinations on behalf of insurance companies. It is even possible for someone with a lot of experience to create his or her own company and provide such mobile services on a contract basis.


    Salary

    According to data from 2012, the median yearly wage was approximately $29,730, with the highest ten percent earning over $42,600.


    How to Become a Phlebotomy Technician

    Compared to other healthcare occupations, the amount of training that's required for this profession is relatively minimal.

    Your best bet is to explore the different training programs offered at schools near you. By seeking out a formal education, you can ensure that your knowledge and skills are up-to-par with industry standards, which can help you stand out to potential employers.

    Some formal programs are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).


    Certification Requirements

    California is the only state with legally mandated phlebotomy certification requirements.

    In all other states, professional certification is purely voluntary. You should know, however, that certification is not the same thing as licensure. A few states do require that phlebotomists register or obtain licensure through their state's department of health.

    Professional certification can be valuable in helping you land a job or in helping you gain the respect of your healthcare peers. If you want to know how to become certified in California (or voluntarily in any other state), then you need to know which certifying agencies are most commonly recognized. The state of California lists the following as approved certifying organizations:

    Additional organizations, other than those listed above, also provide certification, but it's best to check with employers in your area to see if they recognize a particular certifying body before committing to anything.

    Regardless of the certifying organization you choose, you will have to pass a comprehensive exam. Exam content and fees vary from agency to agency. You may also have to prove that you've successfully completed a minimum amount of formal training from an accredited school.

    The bottom line is this: In California, you definitely need professional certification to work as a phlebotomist. Everywhere else, it is best to check with prospective employers to see if it's necessary or desirable.


    Benefits of the Job

    Here are some of the most common benefits of working in this field:

    • Relatively minimal training—Compared to most other occupations in the field of allied healthcare, phlebotomy requires only a small amount of training.
    • Face-to-face interactions with different people—For anyone who likes people, you could have plenty of rewarding opportunities to meet and help a variety of people.
    • Flexible and varied work schedules—Depending where they work, experienced technicians often have the ability to choose the shifts and schedules that best accommodate their lifestyles.
    • A good starting point—You can gain a strong familiarity with different areas of a hospital as well as with related lines of work, which provides a solid stepping-stone to other healthcare careers.

    Length of Training

    Some courses only take a couple of months to complete, while others can take up to eight months. Overall, many programs tend to be at least 16 weeks long, often including up to eight weeks of clinical practice.


    What Schooling Covers

    Programs don't all share the same curricula. However, regardless of the specific program you choose, you are likely to encounter subjects such as:

    • Basic anatomy and physiology
    • Medical terminology
    • Medical ethics and legal issues
    • Circulatory system anatomy and physiology
    • Communication
    • Stress management
    • Safety precautions
    • Infection control
    • Infectious diseases and biohazards
    • Patient identification
    • Preparation and site selection
    • Equipment and tube additives
    • Techniques
    • Risk factors and complications
    • Corrective actions
    • Proper disposal of needles and other medical waste
    • Quality assurance

    Advancement Opportunities

    With experience (and sometimes further formal training), phlebotomists can have the opportunity to move into more advanced positions.

    Some technicians eventually become supervisors. Others become mobile medical examiners, collecting blood and other lab samples on behalf of insurance companies.


    Job Outlook

    Employment rates for phlebotomists are projected to experience a growth rate of about 27% by 2022. ** Most of that growth will likely be due to an aging population and the greater need for laboratory testing that comes with an increase in medical conditions requiring diagnosis.



    Main Sources

    * American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), website last accessed on Feb. 12, 2014.

    ** Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, website last accessed on Feb. 12, 2014.

    National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), website last accessed on Feb. 12, 2014.

    American Medical Technologists (AMT), website last accessed on Feb. 12, 2014.