Since phlebotomy requires hands-on clinical training, nearly all programs in this field are only available on campus. The few courses that are available online typically consist of demonstration lessons and theoretical subject matter. Applicants typically need a high school diploma and physical strength and stamina to perform tasks.
Most phlebotomy programs lead to a certificate, though a few schools offer associate's programs as well. Some states require professional licensing or certification for phlebotomists. Students should confirm state requirements before choosing an educational program.
While some schools may provide online demonstration videos and refresher courses, phlebotomy training cannot be completely solely online. Phlebotomy programs require hands-on training in order to teach students how to take and collect blood samples and other clinical specimens.
Clinical subjects in this program include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, first aid and techniques for safely drawing blood without causing patient discomfort. Administrative training involves greeting and preparing patients for the physician's examinations and easing patient anxiety.
Information and Requirements
Admission to a phlebotomy program is open to students with a high school diploma or the equivalent, who are physically able to perform the position duties. Since phlebotomists work with the public, individuals entering a phlebotomy program should have excellent communication skills and be able to effectively manage anxious patients.
While a few courses may be taken online, phlebotomy training programs require hands-on lab work so students can practice taking blood samples. The duration of program training varies from school to school. Students can enroll in 7-week programs offered by vocational schools or 2-year associate's degree programs offered by community colleges.
Online phlebotomy courses cover theoretical and analytical topics. All practical training must be completed in person.
Introduction to Medical Terminology
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of medical terms. Topics covered include definition, word pronunciation, spelling and correct grammar usage for medical terms.
Anatomy and Physiology
This course covers the structure, cellular function and chemistry of the human body. Students learn the organization and function for the respiratory, cardiology, pulmonary, circulatory, endocrine, nervous and muscular systems.
The HIV/AIDS awareness course covers state regulations of the control of HIV/AIDS and how phlebotomists can reduce their risk of infection. Students learn to describe HIV/AIDS, identify who is at risk for infection, explain what causes AIDS and understand how individuals can become infected with the HIV virus.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 18% increase -- much faster than average for all occupations -- in employment opportunities for medical and clinical laboratory technicians, including phlebotomists, from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a phlebotomist was $31,630 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Students interested in a phlebotomy credential can earn their certification by passing an examination or demonstration from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Phlebotomy Association or the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians. Re-certification is generally required every two years through continuing education courses.
Training programs in phlebotomy aren't typically available online, but courses that are include anatomy, medical terminology and physiology. Certification in phlebotomy is available through organizations such as the National Phlebotomy Association.