Free phlebotomy training was the only way to become a phlebotomist until recently. A phlebotomist was trained on the job by a doctor, nurse or another phlebotomist.
In recent years, phlebotomy training and certification has been offered through a variety of venues. The American Society of Phlebotomy organizes some training programs and approves of many others.
The Society also offers a certification exam that is accepted by many employers as evidence of the phlebotomist’s expertise. Although inexpensive, the certification exam is not free.
You can usually find training in your area through your local community college. The classes offered by colleges are geared towards the common requirements for phlebotomy technicians in your state. State requirements vary greatly.
You might think of a community college program as a cheap phlebotomy class as long as you have lived in the state for at least two years. One program in the state of Virginia lasts two full semesters, includes the required hours of clinical training and costs less than $700.
Most community colleges offer similarly cheap phlebotomy classes. In class, you learn the basics of drawing blood, which is referred to as the venipuncture procedure. The first semester covers basic health care information that anyone handling blood needs to know.
Some free phlebotomy training may still be available, especially in rural areas without a formal school. The way it works is pretty simple.
If you are interested, you find a clinic, hospital or doctor’s office that offers phlebotomy training and certification classes to their employees. Your job requirements while you are getting the thousand-plus phlebotomist hours necessary to take the exam will vary. You may be required to do clean up, take care of waste or perform other menial tasks. The employers usually offer a low hourly rate while you are learning.
When you complete this free phlebotomy training, you may be required to sign a contract stating that you will stay with the employer for a specific amount of time once you pass your certification exam.
The certification exam is never free, although it is pretty cheap. It usually costs between $50 and $60.
Paying for your education might not seem like something you can afford right now. But you cannot actually afford to go without an education. Because of the government grants and student loans available to most people, you may be able to get free phlebotomy training at a community college.
Government grants are available for students of all ages. The only requirement is that the student is a legal citizen with low earnings in the previous year. Grants are never repaid.
For students that do not qualify for government grants, student loans are an option to pay for tuition, books and other necessities. The loans are not repaid until the student has completed his or her education.
If you want to become a phlebotomist as quickly as possible, but you also want to be sure that you know what you are doing, taking an accredited course is your best option. You may be able to learn the skill from someone else in the workplace setting, but the skills may not be transferrable to another office. In other words, free phlebotomy training might not be your best choice.