There are many different types of phlebotomy schools. It is possible to learn the skill in a variety of different settings. Traditional classroom education and hybrid classes are also available. Here’s a look at some of the kinds of schools you might choose if you want to become a phlebotomist. General information about each kind of school is also provided.
Community colleges are also known as junior colleges. Most offer programs related specifically to becoming a phlebotomist and some of the top phlebotomy schools fall into this category.
Programs typically consist of one semester of theory and one semester of clinical practice. During the first semester you will learn about the components of blood and some of the most common tests for which blood is drawn.
During the clinical practice semester, you will learn how to locate a vein, how to determine the size of needle to use, how to draw blood, how to use the vacuum containers and many other skills. This semester will give you the experience that is a part of the phlebotomist certification requirements.
The certification requirements vary, because there are a number of different certifying agencies including the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians and the National Phlebotomy Association. Each organization requires a number of successful blood collections, which is why the clinical hours offered by the best phlebotomy schools are so important. Without the clinical hours, it would be necessary to land a job in the field prior to becoming certified.
Nationwide schools have grown in popularity along with the desire for distance education. Distance education is sometimes called online learning. People may say they are taking Internet classes. There are numerous names for the idea. Basically, it means that you do not have to leave home as often to complete a program.
Some of the nationwide phlebotomy schools include Kaplan Career Institute and Everest Institute. They are accredited universities. Any classes you take at these schools should be transferrable to other institutions, as long as the college has the same program.
The programs offered by Kaplan and the Everest Institute are referred to as hybrids. Some classes are all online. But with something like phlebotomy, it is not possible to learn everything that you need to know from a book or video. You will need some clinical practice.
Kaplan Career Institute offers an Allied Health Preparation program, which can be used to get the basic classes that you need for an associate’s degree. Some phlebotomy schools focus only on venipuncture and other skills you will need to learn to draw blood. A career studies certificate or a similar certificate may be awarded.
Both community colleges and nationwide schools have programs that will allow you to earn a two year associate’s degree. Employers prefer to hire people with degrees, even when a degree is not essential to the job. Most of the classes necessary for the Allied Health degree can be taken online.
Vocational and technical schools are often associated with local high schools. Some of them have phlebotomy schools or programs. Only students attending the local high school (or high schools in the case of some of the smaller towns) are eligible to take the classes offered at the vocational school. So this is not an option for everybody. If you already have a high school diploma or a GED, you will have to choose one of the other options. It bears mentioning that all of the other options require a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in the phlebotomist training program.
In some areas, hospitals serve as phlebotomy schools. Even when the program is run by a community or junior college, the clinical hours must be completed at a hospital. The college makes the arrangements with the clinic. There are, of course, many rules that must be followed.
Until the field became popular and trade organizations along with others recognized the need for specialized training and some type of standard certification, phlebotomists were typically trained on the job. People who have been working in the field for years are finding themselves in the awkward position of either returning to school or taking the certification test without additional education. It would be even more upsetting to lose their jobs.
Even if you find that a hospital is willing to hire and train you, you should still choose one of the many phlebotomy schools and get the formal education. It won’t be long before all hospitals require a formal degree.