Phlebotomist Training

Training for phlebotomist jobs is offered by many community colleges and vocational schools. Most courses of study require a high school diploma or GED. Some programs also require a placement test or specify a minimum grade point average as admission prerequisites. The vast majority of phlebotomy training programs consist of both classroom and clinical sessions.

The primary topics covered in phlebotomy training vary among programs, but as a general rule they include the following:

  • Venipuncture (drawing blood from veins)
  • Capillary puncture (drawing blood from capillaries)
  • Collection protocols
  • Age-appropriate collection techniques
  • Maintaining sample integrity
  • Specimen preparation and processing
  • Instrument care and sterilization
  • Infection control procedures
  • Safe specimen storage and disposal regimens
  • Phlebotomy related medical terminology
  • General psychology for adults, teens, and children
  • Patient contact guidelines

Before being admitted to the clinical section of a phlebotomy training course, which requires physical patient contact, students may be required to pass a criminal background check, be tested for drug use, or be cleared of HIV infection. Some programs may require a physical exam or a psychological profile. The psychological profile is used to assess a person's ability to effectively deal with patients, especially patients under stress. It is important to remember that many people have a serious fear of needles and blood.

Phlebotomist Training

Phlebotomy students may also be required to have a current vaccination against hepatitis B or tuberculosis. Finally, some institutions ask their students to purchase and maintain liability insurance.

The clinical portion of a phlebotomy course typically requires the successful completion of 240+ hours of hands-on training in an approved clinical setting such as a hospital, laboratory, or other healthcare facility that regularly obtains blood samples. Students will perform numerous vein and capillary collection procedures under direct supervision. In many programs, students begin by practicing on their instructors or on each other.

Phlebotomy training programs range in length from a few months, usually one semester, to about one year, depending upon the exact curriculum.