An accredited phlebotomy training program is one that is administered by a college, university or vocational school that has been approved by an accrediting organization. The purpose of accreditation is to allow schools to show that their program meets the needs of students that wish to become certified phlebotomists.
Prerequisite Requirements for Enrolling in the Programs
In order to enroll in the program, you usually have to be a high school graduate, although a GED (general education diploma) is also acceptable. Some schools require CPR training, either as a pre-requisite or as a part of the complete program.
What do the Programs Entail?
The training necessary to become a phlebotomy technician includes classroom education and clinical experience. In the clinical portion of the program, students learn how to draw blood samples by performing a process called venipuncture.
Venipuncture typically involves the use of a needle to extract blood from the radial artery of the wrist, often at the bend of the elbow. In younger children, a phlebotomist may select the heel as the best point to take a blood sample. Finger-sticks can also be used when only a small amount of blood is needed for the test.
How Long Does the Training Take?
An accredited phlebotomy training program typically includes 100-120 hours of classroom education. This may be divided into 3-6 hours of education per week for two full college semesters. During the clinical portion of a phlebotomy technician program, the potential phlebotomist will complete at least 25 successful venipuntures. This is a requirement to sit for the certification exam in most states.
The training can be completed in as little as three months. Accelerated programs may be completed in less time, but might not be acceptable alone for taking the certification exam.
Does Work Experience Matter?
When it comes to taking the phlebotomy certification test sponsored by the American Medical Technologists organization, previous work experience can be used to qualify for the test. If the applicant did not take a formal phlebotomy course, he or she must have phlebotomy work experience of at least 1040 hours within the last three years.
Until recently, most phlebotomists were trained on the job. It can still be difficult to find an accredited phlebotomy training program, although online programs are helping to fill the gap. Because more and more states are requiring certification and most employers expecting applicants to hold an AMT certification, there are fewer on the job training programs today.
Currently, you can say that work experience does not really matter. If you have it, that’s great. If not, you can get the experience you need through an accredited phlebotomy training program.
What is the Phlebotomy Certification Exam?
The phlebotomy certification exam is recognized throughout the nation. It can be taken in lieu of taking a state certification test in most states. Employers recognize the certification as the best way to find qualified phlebotomists.
Once you have completed an accredited phlebotomy training program, you can take the test. If you have not completed any phlebotomy courses, but you have worked in the field for the last three years, you can apply. The AMT has the final say concerning who may take the test and who may not.
In order to pass the certification exam, students must score at least a 75% on the written exam. A student that scores less than 75% has the option of retaking the test, although each retest costs the same as the initial test. An applicant can only fail the test three times.
If an applicant fails the test three times, he or she must obtain additional training. So, even if you have the work experience, it could be worth your while to invest in an additional training course.
Are Online Phlebotomy Technician Programs Accredited?
Online phlebotomy training programs are available in some areas. Although the classroom portion of the program can be completed online, the students must attend clinical training in person. You can find an accredited phlebotomy training program online. You just need to ask the administrators about their accreditation if you cannot find the information on the website.
You should be able to find an accredited phlebotomy training program in your area by contacting the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Board of Certification or the organization of American Medical Technologists.