Phlebotomy Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
Phlebotomists, also called phlebotomy technicians, collect, label, prepare and transport blood and other clinical specimens from patients. Phlebotomy technician programs are available at numerous accredited community colleges and vocational schools. Certification is also available, although not always required.
How to Select a Phlebotomy School
Phlebotomy programs are offered by community colleges and vocational schools.
Summary of Important Considerations
- Course content
- Clinical experience opportunities
- Certification requirements
When selecting a phlebotomy college, it is important to consider the school's accreditation. In order to ensure the quality of their education and resulting certificate, students should verify a school's accreditation with an appropriate agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). The NAACLS is an organization that specifically accredits phlebotomy programs (www.naacls.org). Students may also check to ensure that the school itself is accredited.
Phlebotomy technicians can work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, private practices, insurance companies, blood banks and other clinical or laboratory settings. Phlebotomy school programs should prepare students to work in any of these settings with course topics like laboratory and clinical procedures, interacting with patients and professional communication. These curricula should also familiarize students with the laboratory technology they'll use on the job, such as EKG machines.
Clinical Experience Opportunities
Students may also investigate whether or not a curriculum includes clinical experience through an internship or practicum. This practical experience typically takes place at local facility and may help students make professional contacts to find work.
As the field of phlebotomy continues to grow, state requirements continue to change; some states require certification for phlebotomists. One accepted certification is offered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology, which requires passing an examination. While there are several routes to qualify for this exam, students are generally required to have a phlebotomy technician certificate from an accredited program, in addition to a specific number of hours of clinical work experience and a minimum number of successful collection procedures (www.ascp.org). In instances like this, it is important for students to choose a school that meets the required number of hours for classroom training and clinical experience for the state they wish to practice in.
Phlebotomy Technician Program Overview
Phlebotomy Technician Certificate
Phlebotomy programs offer classes in:
- Venipuncture and micro-capillary techniques
- Safety procedures
- Medical terminology
- Healthcare ethics
Students also receive training in a clinical setting, which allows them to have hands-on training in the process of drawing blood and completing EKG testing. Phlebotomy technician programs can be completed in as little as three months.
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