Before enrolling in a phlebotomy school, do your homework. And we mean more than just brushing up on veins. You need to make sure the phlebotomy schools you’re considering are accredited and offer the right mix of clinical work along with a firm academic grounding.
Not all schools for phlebotomy are created equal. So the accreditation is your primary concern. If you choose a school of phlebotomy that is not properly accredited, you will be wasting your time and effort. Employers look to accredited schools to ensure proper training standards have been met for their potential hires.
So what do you look for? Be sure the phlebotomy schools on your list follow standards set by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). They should accredited or approved by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and qualify their graduates for certification examination.
To become certified through a phlebotomy school, you must gain expertise in drawing blood (venipuncture), lab procedures, and human anatomy. Schools of phlebotomy teach you how to locate veins and optimal puncture points. And depending on whether you attend a vocational school, community college, or nursing school, phlebotomy classes can run as brief as eight months to the more rigorous two-year courses.
To be eligible for the phlebotomy certification exam, you must meet basic training requirements — either through online phlebotomy classes or offline ones. These can vary upon your phlebotomy program but most phlebotomy school courses include:
- 40 hours of classroom training (including anatomy, physiology, specimen collection, specimen processing and handling)
- 100 hours of clinical training
- 100 blood collections (including venipunctures and skin punctures)
Keep in mind that the more thorough the phlebotomy program, the stronger your credentials will be. And that will affect the starting salary you can command upon completion and certification.
For more information
Learn more about phlebotomy programs at the National Phlebotomy Association.
The American Society for Clinical Pathology provides a detailed list of certification requirements for becoming a phlebotomy technician through phlebotomy schools or phlebotomy programs.