Overview of Online Phlebotomy Certification in Florida
Phlebotomists take blood samples from patients in a safe and hygienic manner. The samples are then typically taken to a laboratory where they are analyzed by biomedical scientists for the purposes of diagnosing diseases and medical conditions or used for blood transfusions.
Although the state of Florida does not require aspiring phlebotomists to attain certification or licensure, obtaining certification can greatly enhance their employment prospects. Therefore, when considering long term employability and career progression as a phlebotomist, it makes sense to check out the various hybrid certification programs in the state. These programs typically consist of around 165 training hours, with part of the program comprising online classroom training and part consisting of clinical placements to allow students to acquire experience in a hospital or laboratory setting.
Online Phlebotomy Certification Requirements
One pathway to phlebotomy certification requires aspiring phlebotomists to complete an accredited training program in which they learn the theoretical and technical skills to perform venipuncture and process samples safely. Upon completion of an accredited training program, students often receive a certificate of completion, which will make them eligible to take a national phlebotomy certification examination should they wish.
Information and Requirements
Certification programs will normally only be approved by national certification examination providers if they meet certain guidelines. For example, the National Phlebotomy Association will only accredit program providers if they offer at least 160 hours of lecture time and 200 hours of practical experience, while the National Healthcareer Association requires programs to offer a certain number of clinical experiences. Certification organizations also often ask candidates to provide a high school graduate transcript or GED in addition to their phlebotomy program certificate of completion.
Online phlebotomy programs are structured in much the same way as in-person programs, with the first half of the program aimed at equipping students with the background and theoretical knowledge needed to be a phlebotomist. This knowledge includes medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and specimen processing. Students also gain in-depth knowledge with regards to safety and infection control, patient communication, medical law, ethics and, of course, the theory associated with performing venipuncture, i.e. the process of obtaining intravenous access for blood sampling.
The on-site practical requirement places students in a supervised laboratory or hospital environment.
National phlebotomy certification can last for around two years. Some organizations, such as the National Healthcareer Association, require holders to present proof of at least ten continuing education credits in order to renew. Other organizations simply require payment of a renewal fee.
List of Online Programs for Phlebotomy Certification in Florida
There are a number of accredited phlebotomy training programs in Florida that allow a significant portion of their program to be taken online. Let's take a look a few of these options.
Manatee Technical College
The phlebotomy course at Manatee Technical College is a blended course with the theoretical component offered online and the clinical skills taught in person. The course equips students with the knowledge and skills associated with specimen handling, venous and capillary specimen collection, and conducting diagnostic blood tests. Program graduates can take the certification exam administered by the National Healthcareer Association.
Marion Technical College
The 165-hour hybrid phlebotomy program at Marion Technical College also prepares students for certification from the National Healthcareer Association. The curriculum grounds students in the essential theory and skills for performing venipunctures while also providing them with the ability to communicate effectively with patients and understand the relevant legal and ethical aspects. Successful students can find employment in hospitals, laboratories, blood banks, doctors' offices, and clinics.
Sheridan Technical College
The phlebotomy technician program at Sheridan Technical college is a 165-hour hybrid program that provides students with the skills and knowledge to perform venipuncture and capillary puncture in line with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for diseases including HIV/AIDS. Students also learn labeling, specimen collection, and specimen transport procedures. Graduates are qualified to sit for national certification exams.
Career Outlook After Phlebotomy Certification
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a phlebotomist as of May 2019 was $35,510, with the lowest 10% of such workers earning less than $26,000 and the highest 10% earning more than $49,750.
The demand for phlebotomists is expected to remain high as healthcare providers continually need bloodwork for analysis, diagnosis, and donation. As such, the BLS projected that job growth for phlebotomists will be well above the average for all occupations in the next few years, with a predicted 23% increase in the employment of phlebotomists between 2018 and 2028.