The demand for certified and competently trained phlebotomists has given rise to a large number of training programs around the United States. Owing to the nature of their work, it is important that a phlebotomist be trained well in various aspects of laboratory safety. As such, as they collect blood from patients, they will not put themselves (or their patients for that matter) at risk of infection. This is why it is important to evaluate different phlebotomy training programs before choosing the one which is most appropriate for your needs.
Common Features of Good Phlebotomy Training Programs
There are some basic criteria which every phlebotomy training course worth its salt should meet. These will guarantee that you will be trained in all theoretical aspects of the career and also expose to adequate hands on training to perform your duties with expertise that is necessary for such primary healthcare providers as phlebotomists are.
Duration of the Course: Most professional phlebotomy courses take place over a period of two to four months. Since a good number of phlebotomy trainees are often working adults, it is not uncommon to find the training organized as a series evening and weekend classes.
Depth of Curriculum There are some basic elements which must be included in every self respecting phlebotomy training curriculum. These include:
- Basic concepts of phlebotomy
- Elementary physiology and anatomy
- Medical terminology
- How to control risks of infection
- Handling phlebotomy tools and equipment
- Preparing the patient for the operation
- Venipuncture skills
- Handling specimen
- Post operation patient care
Popular Phlebotomy Programs
To provide a glimpse of the options available in phlebotomy training, we have reviewed two phlebotomy courses on offer today:
- The UCLA Center for Prehospital Care Phlebotomy Program in California
- Lake Tech Center Phlebotomy Course in Eustis, Florida
UCLA Center for Prehospital Care Phlebotomy Course
Located at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA’s Center for Prehospital Care is one of the most respected training centers for phlebotomists in continental United States. The program is highly respected as it is offered by qualified and experienced faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping students throughout the duration of the course, offering tutoring as well as mentorship that is quite unequaled in California or elsewhere in the country.
The UCLA Center for Prehospital Care phlebotomy course runs for 8 weeks and comprises two forms of learning: didactic (in classroom) and clinical (hands on training in a hospital setting). The classes are offered in the evenings and on the weekends to make it easy for working adults to attend without creating inconveniences at home or in the office.
During the didactic phase of the program, students attend classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6.00pm to 8.00pm and then on Saturdays from 8.00am to 6.00pm. This programs runs for two consecutive weeks after which the midweek classes are stopped and now students attend classes on Saturdays from 8.00am to 6.00pm for four weeks.
The clinical phase of learning kicks off during the third week of didactic classes. The lessons are carried out in shifts spread over daytime, evenings and weekends; all scheduled separately from class hours. Students learn in various UCLA hospitals as well as in some selected community clinics which have affiliations with the college.
The UCLA phlebotomy course costs $1,775 for students who can pay the fees upfront. For students who opt to pay following the college’s payment plan, the total cost climbs to $1,930. Students may have to pay more to purchase the mandatory textbook as well as lab scrubs.
Lake Tech Phlebotomy Course in Eustis, Florida
The course is offered at Lake Tech Center‘s main campus in Eustis, Florida. The classes are spread over three weekdays: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5.00pm to 9.30pm with a 30 minutes break per session. The entire course requires 165 hours spread between two modules: Basic Healthcare Worker and Phlebotomist training. The former takes 90 hours of instruction while the latter is assigned the remaining 75 hours.
Lake Tech Center charges $475 as tuition fees for the phlebotomist certification course. Other internal costs such as background check, registration fee and liability insurance cost a further $136. Students may also have to pay accident insurance if they are without their own private coverage plans. This will cost a further $12. As such, a student taking the Lake Tech Center phlebotomy course would end up paying $611 or, at the highest, $623.
If you compare the two phlebotomy training programs, very clear differences emerge . To begin with, the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care program offers its students more comprehensive training and hands on experience on what to expect when they begin practicing as phlebotomists. However, the California program has more rigid hours and some of the lengthy weekend sessions can leave students drained.
The Florida program is attractive for the relatively fewer hours required to gain the skills and prepare for exams. It also costs far much less than what students enrolling in the UCLA program end up paying. However, it fails to guarantee a comprehensive set of hands-on classes in a clinical setting.