Top Phlebotomist Tech and Health Science Schools
Phlebotomists are key to the ever-growing healhtcare industry, as they are the ones trained to draw blood for lab tests or donations. In the U.S. the requirements for becoming a phlebotomist vary from state to state. But most will require at least a high school diploma, and getting some additional college education will surely improve one's chances of beginning a career. Below are some of the best schools offering related health science programs online.
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BBA in Health Services
|DeVry University — The BBA in health services management from DeVry quite frankly is more training than a typical phlebotomist will need to begin a career. This degree is better suited for the phlebotomy technician looking to expand his/her career with a more managerial role.
AS in Medical Assisting
|Keiser University — The medical assisting associate's degree from Keiser is a perfect curriculum for anyone looking to enter the field of phlebotomy, as students of this program will learn skills such as taking X-rays, giving injections, performing venipuncture, and more.
AS in Allied Health Science
|South University — South provides an associate's in allied health science that will teach students most of the healthcare knowledge that they will need to being an entry-level position as a phlebotomist.
BS in Health Services Mgmt
|Virginia College Online — The BS in health services management degree program is another bachelor's degree-level program that will provide an aspiring phlebotomist with more schooling than is necessary to begin in an entry-level position. Graduates of this program are well suited to begin in healthcare management.
BS in Medical Imaging
|Grand Canyon University — GCU's medical imaging bachelor's degree degree will look fantastic on the resume of anyone applying for a job in phlebotomy. A graduate of this program will be head and shoulders above most other job applicants in terms of education and training.
BS in Clinical Lab Science
|University of Cincinnati — Cinci's BS in clinical lab science is a degree program that will provide anyone training to become a phlebotomist with more than enough education and skills to enter a career in the healthcare field. In fact, graduates of this program will be overqualified to work as a phlebotomist and will be candidates for jobs with more responsibility if anything.
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What Does a Phlebotomy Technician Do?
Phlebotomy technicians are trained to draw blood, conduct some clerical work and data revolving around blood samples, and handle blood between labs. Specimens must be labeled correctly and properly stored for the correct readings to take place. Nearly all data and labeling is done on computer programs. Phlebotomy techs are an essential part of clinics and hospitals. It’s a growing field that allows one to work in the medical industry with a diploma or certificate that can be obtained through a traditional program or online. Phlebotomy techs learn about anatomy and how to safely handle samples and specimens. Through all legitimate phlebotomy tech programs, students complete clinicals that give them hands-on training for working with patients and samples.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
The majority of phlebotomy tech programs take one semester to one year to complete. This is for students attending school full time and varies based on the program. Those attending part time can expect to take up to two years depending on how many hours they are taking per semester. Some community colleges and online programs offer accelerated programs where students can complete coursework in a shorter amount of time. Regardless of how long you spend on the coursework portion of a phlebotomy tech program, you will spend the same number of hours in clinicals. All accredited phlebotomy tech programs involve clinicals, which allow students to work with patients and understand their role in the clinic or hospital more thoroughly.
Most phlebotomy tech programs consist of 60 coursework hours. About six weeks of clinicals are required for most programs in order to work as a phlebotomy tech. Some employers prefer employees to have certification from designated organizations. While these certificates are not required, they are very beneficial for a student’s career. Many employers will choose someone with certification over someone who only has a diploma in the subject.
What Types of Certifications Exist for Phlebotomy Technicians?
There are two types of certifications that phlebotomy technicians can test for. One is the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), and the other is called the Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT). A tech does not need both to increase their employment opportunities. One is enough to help you get a job that may not be available to you without a certificate. There is no single governing organization for obtaining either of these certificates.
How Do I Get Certification as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Students can gain certification from many different organizations. A student must have a C average or higher in order to sit for certification from most of the following groups. These organizations are:
- The National Phlebotomy Association (NPA)
- Association of Phlebotomy Technicians (APT)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
Any of these organizations are valid for certifying phlebotomy techs. Your program director or instructors will have further information on what organization for certification is most acceptable in your area. Often, the preferred certification source varies by region.
What If I Don’t Have a Certification?
You are still able to work as a phlebotomy tech without certification. Technically, you’re able to perform the same tasks and you will have experience after completing clinicals. With additional experience, you may become as desirable of a candidate as someone with certification. You may also land a job as a phlebotomy tech and go on gain certification later on. This is common for techs who need to start working right away and are able to find an employer comfortable taking on someone who is relatively new to the field. This is most common in major cities with very large hospitals that regularly experience a shortage in phlebotomy techs.
What Do I Look for in a Phlebotomy Technician Program?
You must look for an accredited phlebotomy technician program when researching what school to attend. These are available through community colleges, traditional universities and online schools. The source of the program does not matter as much as the accreditation for that program. Without coming from an accredited program, you will not be allowed to sit for certification, which greatly improves your chances of employment.
Look for a program that has been accredited for a few years and is well-established. Many schools offering phlebotomy technician programs specialize in medical diplomas that can be achieved in a short amount of time with very limited pre-requisites. Many of these programs have online extensions for students who work full time and have families. It is best to find a program that has a history of placing students in clinics and hospitals versus taking a chance of a new program that may have fewer contacts in the industry in your area.
What Will I Learn in a Phlebotomy Technician Program?
Students learn human anatomy and proper procedures for taking blood samples. Coursework includes physiology. Students learn lab safety and blood and cell composition, which is vital for those working with blood samples on a daily basis. After entering the clinicals phase of the program, students focus on blood sample procedures for newborns, as well as finger stick methods, which are used for those who do not have visible veins or damaged veins. Students also learn the butterfly stick method, which is typically used for the elderly and children or those with small veins that are difficult to detect. The program also covers basic venipuncture techniques, which is the most common method used with patients.
Many programs also cover how to handle lab equipment, how to prevent spills and how to properly clean up any mishaps when taking blood. CPR certification is also included for some programs. If your program does not include CPR certification, your employer may require you to take a class. CPR classes are often available at hospitals, libraries, community centers, and community colleges. The Red Cross also sometimes hosts CPR courses at high schools. CPR training usually takes four to six hours and takes one morning or afternoon to complete. In many areas, it is free.
Is There Any Additional Training I Can Receive as Phlebotomy Technician?
Phlebotomy techs can gain certification as a Donor Phlebotomy Technician (DPT), which allows them to work at blood collection sites. You may have full time employment at one of these centers or work under contract for special blood drives held in the community. It is an excellent way to increase your career possibilities. To become a DPT, you need only a few hours of additional training and you must sit for an exam specific to working with blood donors. Some employers pay for techs to receive this certification, so it’s worth asking your supervisor or someone in HR about this opportunity.
Where Do Phlebotomy Technicians Work?
The vast majority of phlebotomy techs work in hospitals. This is where there’s the most volume of patients for techs to work with. Large hospitals in urban cities often employ many techs, as they’re needed in nearly all departments of a hospital. Techs can also work in labs, doctor’s offices and clinics, but most work in hospitals, especially at the beginning of their careers. Working in a hospital, techs typically report to a head tech and often work under the supervision of another tech when they first start. Those working in labs, doctor’s offices and clinics have far more autonomy and usually report to a nurse or physician versus a supervising tech.
In labs and hospitals, techs are usually needed around the clock. You may work morning or night shifts, depending on what’s needed and seniority. Many techs start their careers working night shifts. You may also have to work holidays and most techs do work weekends, even if it is only one weekend a month. Others regularly work weekends and have two weekdays off. Like doctors and nurses, techs may also be on-call and have to report to work at a moment’s notice. Schedules depend on many factors and vary by facility and employer. Those working in doctor’s offices and clinics have more typical business hours that do not involve holidays or weekends. These positions can be difficult to get, as most techs stay at these jobs for the duration of their careers.
How Much Do Phlebotomy Technicians Earn?
Phlebotomy technicians earn on average about $37,000 per year. Those starting out usually earn just under $30,000, but that quickly rises once the tech has a few years of experience. Techs working in a supervisor role or specializing in blood donors can earn more, due to increased responsibilities and certification. As previously mentioned, many medical facilities offer reimbursement for education and training for techs. A tech can work full time and attend school part time, either online or through a traditional program, and earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Usually, this tech will go on to work at the same facility, but in a different role that utilizes their new education and training.
Complete Database of Campuses that have Phlebotomy Technician Programs
- Arizona College of Allied Health
- Central Arizona College
- Estrella Mountain Community College
- Maricopa Community Colleges
- Mayo School of Health Sciences
- Northland Pioneer College
- Phoenix College
- Pima Community College
- California Nurses Educational Institute
- California State University, Long Beach
- Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
- Empire College
- Fresno City College
- Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts
- Loma Linda University
- Long Beach City College
- Modesto Junior College
- MTI College
- Newbridge College
- University of California
- Ventura College
- Victor Valley College
- Aims Community College
- Arapahoe Community College
- Front Range Community College
- Morgan Community College
- Cambridge Institute of Allied Health & Technology
- Indian River State College
- Pasco-Hernando Community College
- Pensacola State College
- Southern Career College
- Ultimate Medical Academy
- Darton College
- DeKalb Technical College
- North Georgia College & State University
- Okefenokee Technical College
- Savannah Technical College
- West Georgia Technical College
- Blackhawk Technical College
- College of Lake County
- College of Office Technology
- Harper College
- Illinois Central College
- Illinois School of Health Careers
- Kaskaskia College
- Malcolm X College
- Moraine Valley Community College
- Oakton Community College
- Richland Community College
- South Suburban College
- Southwestern Illinois College
- Waubonsee Community College
- Barton Community College
- Coffeyville Community College
- Cowley College
- Johnson County Community College
- Neosho County Community College
- Wichita Area Technical College
- Bossier Parish Community College
- Delta Tech
- Fletcher Technical Community College
- Southern University at Shreveport
- University of Louisiana at Lafayette
- Anne Arundel Community College
- Cecil College
- College of Southern Maryland
- Hagerstown Community College
- Prince George’s Community College
- Medical Professional Institute
- Middlesex Community College
- Mount Wachusetts Community College
- Northern Essex Community College
- Springfield Technical Community College
- BaKer College
- Mid Michigan Community College
- Monroe County Community College
- Oakland Community College
- Southwestern Michigan College
- Alexandria Technical & Community College
- Dakota County Technical College
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College
- Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
- Minnesota West Community & Technical College
- Northland Community & Technical College
- South Central College
- St. Catherine University
- Branford Hall Career Institute
- Broome Community College
- Jefferson Community College
- Rockland Community College
- The College of Mount Saint Vincent
- York College
- Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
- Brunswick Community College
- Carolinas College of Health Sciences
- Central Piedmont Community College
- Coastal Carolina Community College
- College Of The Albemarle
- Davidson County Community College
- Forsyth Technical Community College
- Johnston Community College
- Miller-Motte College
- Stanly Community College
- Wake Technical Community College
- Wayne Community College
- Columbus State Community College
- Eastern Gateway Community College
- Edison Community College
- Lorain County Community College
- Mercy College
- Polaris Career Center
- Terra Community College
- The University of Akron
- Bucks County Community College
- Central Pennsylvania’s Community College
- Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center
- Harcum College
- Lehigh Carbon Community College
- Luzerne County Community College
- Montgomery County Community College
- Alvin Community College
- Austin Community College
- Dallas County Community College District
- Del Mar College
- El Paso County Community College
- Galveston College
- Lone Star College System
- Pima Medical Institute
- Tarrant County College District
- Texas State Technical College Harlingen
- Weatherford College
- Lord Fairfax Community College
- Northern Virginia Community College
- Southwest Virginia Community College
- Stratford University
- Bellevue College
- Cascadia Community College
- Clark College
- Columbia Basin College
- Community Colleges of Spokane
- Renton Technical College
- Seattle Vocational Institute
- Shoreline Community College
- Walla Walla Community College
- Yakima Valley Community College
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