Phlebotomy Classes & Course Information
Phlebotomists are healthcare professionals trained to safely draw blood from patients based on orders written by doctors. Phlebotomy training programs are designed to educate medical professionals in the technical and soft skills needed to successfully perform all duties assigned to the phlebotomist role. That includes caring for laboratory equipment and preparing blood samples for shipment in addition to caring for patients while they're in the lab.
Phlebotomy is one of the easiest medical fields to enter. The training programs are often completed quickly, and students can complete certification testing immediately after the program if desired.
To qualify for most phlebotomy training programs, students will need a high school diploma or GED. They need to be at least 18 years old with a clean criminal record. Many phlebotomy programs will also require students to provide a vaccination record and test negative for hepatitis and TB.
There are two skill classifications that every phlebotomy training program will include:
- Hard Skills – These are technical skills like drawing blood and collecting samples of other bodily fluids and products. Students will learn how to perform a variety of procedures safely and with as little patient discomfort as possible. It's also important to learn some medical technology and medical data entry.
- Soft Skills – These are the personal skills that phlebotomists need to take care of their patients in a laboratory or medical setting. Students will learn how to interact with patients in a caring, professional manner. That may include handling patients of varying ages, including children who cry and act out of fear.
The best phlebotomy training programs will help students find placement with reputable clinics, ensuring they have the resources needed to complete their clinical hours. Some programs don't include clinical training because it isn't required for certification in the state. Students interested in obtaining certification for employment purposes should look for programs that require clinical hours and help students find clinical placement.
For example, the phlebotomist program at the University of Alaska is completed in two semesters of part-time enrollment. The program includes 9 credit hours, which includes three credit hours of clinical experience. Students must also meet all admission requirements for the Medical Laboratory Science Department. While online distance learning is allowed, the school must approve the clinical site in advance.
Compare that to Phoenix College, where phlebotomy students are required to complete 11 credit hours in 11 weeks. That includes 120 hours of clinical experience. All clinical sites are chosen by the school, and students work approximately 40 hours per week during clinical rotations. It's a hybrid program, so students complete a lot of their coursework online.
Students enrolled in online and in-person phlebotomy training programs often take courses focused on the following:
- Tourniquet tying
- Venipuncture procedures, equipment, and issues
- Intro to butterflies
- Handling of non-blood specimens
- Straight stick and dermal punctures
- Newborn screens
- Medical terminology
In addition to book learning and in-class practice, students are also required to work in a clinical setting before graduating. That gives the student some experience to put on their resume while ensuring they qualify to take state certification examinations. Clinical hours often consume the majority of a student's time. That's the student's chance to put what they learn in the classroom into practice with real patients.
Students interested in completing a phlebotomy training program quickly may select a curriculum that doesn't include a clinical practicum. Those programs teach the hard and soft skills that students need to work as a phlebotomist without extensive practice in a clinical setting. Completing the program faster and paying less tuition is attractive, but many employers do require certification and clinical experience for new employees.
Phlebotomy training programs typically have two requirements for graduation:
- Up to 80 hours of classroom study
- Up to 40 hours of clinical experience
Students can complete a phlebotomy program in a matter of months or up to a full year, depending on the program chosen.
A quick look around the country suggests a phlebotomy class runs between $750 (includes fees and supplies) to $1500 depending on location, certification offers, and time of class taken with clinicals. It will also depend on your current skillset and employment status within the healthcare field.
We have compiled a complete directory of phlebotomy classes near you. You can look at the state or city level.
- Washington, DC
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Most states do not require official certification testing for phlebotomists. Many nurses and other medical professionals receive on-the-job training in phlebotomy, which qualifies them to accept phlebotomy positions if desired.
For students applying for phlebotomy jobs without previous on-the-job training, employers will typically look for experience through accredited training programs and/or certification from an organization such as the National Phlebotomy Association (NPA). That's where completing a phlebotomist program that includes clinical experience is advantageous to students.