Best Phlebotomy Programs & Training
Trying to figure out what programs to apply to after making the decision to pursue a new career can be difficult. Consider some tenants of highly regarded phlebotomy training programs to aid in your search.
What Makes a Phlebotomy Program the Best?
Programs in phlebotomy can be difficult to sort through, as the job has gained attention in recent years as a relatively well-paying one within the healthcare field. Poor quality programs have proliferated, trying to cash in on this popularity, so it's important to find a program that's worth your time and money. A good phlebotomy program is one that has accreditation from a respected organization and prepares you to pass nationally recognized certification exams, such as those offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), American Medical Technologists (AMT), and the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). Good programs also consist of both classroom work and practical study in clinical environments. While certification isn't necessary in every state, a program designed to meet certification requirements is likely to offer a high level of education because it follows the guidelines laid out by certifying organizations.
|Program Goals||Train students for careers as phlebotomy technicians drawing blood and taking samples|
|Program Overview||Program should include 40+ hours of classroom work, 100+ successful vein punctures, and prepare students to pass certification exams|
|Accreditation||Program should be accredited or approved by organizations such as NAACLS|
|Common Courses||Medical terminology, biology, anatomy, and physiology|
What Should I Look for in a Phlebotomy Program?
According to the Center for Phlebotomy Education, a good program would consist of both class work and clinical work. At least 40 hours of classroom work is recommended. For the clinical component, recommendations include 100 hours of work in the field and/or the successful completion of at least 100 unassisted vein punctures, blood draws, or specimen collections. Quality programs will likely have an affiliation with local hospitals or labs where students can get this experience, which is one of the reasons why online certification programs may not be reliable. Good programs can often be completed within a year, and upon completion, students should be eligible to take certification exams from the major certifying organizations in the field, such as ASCP, AMT, and NCCT.
What Does Accreditation Mean for Phlebotomy Programs?
A phlebotomy program accredited by a national organization is likely to offer a quality education, as it must meet the requirements for accreditation and apply to receive it from the organization, proving it is committed to an excellent standard of education. The NAACLS, National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science, maintains a list of accredited and approved programs on its site, which can make searching for a good program offered nearby easy. NAACLS-approved programs meet eligibility requirements for certification through the ASCP.
Colleges may also offer programs tailored for the NCCT or AMT, although these organizations do not necessarily maintain lists of approved programs.
What Courses Do You Take in Well Regarded Phlebotomy Programs?
Phlebotomy programs that meet accreditation guidelines feature courses in basic biology, anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology, ensuring that students have the knowledge needed to communicate effectively in a healthcare environment. Students study the fundamentals of phlebotomy and transfusions, such as infection control and specimen integrity, and perform lab and clinical work. Learning about ethics and professionalism is critical for jobs in the healthcare industry, where sensitive, private information must be handled on a regular basis. While at present, certification for phlebotomists is only required in Washington, California, Nevada, and Louisiana, most employers list certification as a prerequisite for hiring, and some phlebotomy programs include a course designed to help students prepare for the appropriate certification exam built in.