You might be looking for online phlebotomy classes because there are no phlebotomy technician schools near where you live. If there is a school nearby, you might be concerned that the hours will conflict with your work schedule.
Or you might simply be interested in distance learning, as online classes are sometimes called, because you prefer to work at your own pace alone. The traditional classroom environment does not appeal to everyone.
Regardless of why you are interested in taking an online phlebotomy class, there could be many things to consider before you sign up for one. Here are some of the most important considerations.
Your Home State’s Certification Requirements
If you want to become a phlebotomy technician certified to practice in the state in which you live, you need to become familiar with your state’s certification requirements. State certification requirements vary greatly.
California for example has some of the most stringent requirements. All phlebotomists must be certified after completing a state-approved training program and a state board examination. If you want to take traditional or online phlebotomy classes and you live in California, you will need to make sure that the course you choose is a state-approved course.
Course Outline or Syllabus
If you have some experience with venipuncture or fingersticks, the two main ways that phlebotomists gather blood, you might not need a complete program. But you should take a look at the course outline to be sure that everything you need to learn is included in the program. Some examples of things to look for include:
- order of draw—samples are collected in order of priority and to prevent contamination
- arterial blood gas testing—one of the more common tests is for arterial blood gases, which involves measuring the pH of the blood
- medical terminology—even a short program should include some medical terminology
- venipuncture tool use—tools include needles of various sizes, lancets, vacuum-equipped containers and colored stoppers
- proper disposal of hazardous materials.
You need to know more than how to draw blood if you want to complete one of the phlebotomy technician certification programs. Before you sign up for any program, find out what you will learn and make sure it is enough.
Is the School Accredited?
Accreditation might not seem like an important thing since phlebotomy technician schools are focused primarily on a specific medical skill, rather than college courses that could transfer from one school to another. But you might change your mind at some time in the future and want to do something else with your career. It makes sense to choose an accredited school for that reason.
How Long is the Program?
Some of the online phlebotomy classes are completed in three days. The first two days are completed via the Internet. The third day is a full day of phlebotomy training hands-on experience. After completing the third day, you receive a certificate of completion, which may help you obtain a phlebotomy technician degree. Again, it depends on your state’s requirements.
What is the Cost of Phlebotomy Training Online?
Online phlebotomy classes could be more or less expensive than traditional classroom training programs. Since there is currently no way for a person to train to become a phlebotomist without some hands on experience, it could make sense to choose a more traditional phlebotomy technician school, if the cost seems very expensive.
Can You Take Your Phlebotomy Certification Online?
If your state requires certification, you will have to schedule the test and take it at one of the state-approved testing centers. While the Internet has made it easier to do a great many things, testing and certifications for technical jobs like this are still mostly done offline.
You might be able to work in a hospital, a doctor’s office or a medical laboratory simply by getting a certificate of completion. In that case, the three-day program mentioned above could be exactly what you need.
In other words, online phlebotomy classes work for some people. All you need to do is figure out if you are one of those people.