In the not so distant past, bloodletting was a legitimate practice. All you needed was a handful of leeches, and you were good to go. Today the practice of collecting blood samples is a little different, and phlebotomy is a bit easier on the stomach.

Phlebotomy classes teach you how to properly draw blood from patients, as well as how to handle biohazard materials such as blood samples and needles. Like most technical and medical training, phlebotomy courses can be part of a four-year bachelor’s degree or a two-year associate’s degree. Vocational programs also provide phlebotomy classes, and they can be offered through local hospitals or community colleges. 

A phlebotomy course will include lessons on human anatomy and physiology, medical safety skills, and record keeping, not to mention the most crucial skill necessary for phlebotomy: deft needle technique. You also will see phlebotomy courses focus on blood and cell compositions, laboratory safety, and CPR.

Hands-on experience will be required as students learn how to work with a needle to draw blood from patients of all ages – from infants to seniors. Phlebotomy courses also include lessons on how to dispose properly of waste. Other skills involve working with syringes of multiple sizes, blood-culture techniques and tools, bandages and tape, how to apply tourniquets, and beyond.

According to the American Phlebotomy Association phlebotomy classes should prepare students for certification in phlebotomy. Students who wish to become phlebotomy technicians in patient care should complete an approved patient care technician program, clock at least 80 hours of lectures, 40 hours of didactics, 80 clinical rotations in phlebotomy, be a certified Nursing Assistant, have a high school degree or equivalent, as well as successfully complete the certification exam. 

For more information

Visit the National Phlebotomy Association to find out more about phlebotomy classes. 

The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians offers information of certification and phlebotomy courses.