Aspiring phlebotomists usually complete a short-term certificate program. These programs may last up to one year and consist of laboratory instruction and a practicum for students to gain experience in a supervised clinical environment.
Although most states do not require it, many employers prefer certified phlebotomists. Therefore, graduates may pursue certification from an organization, such as the National Center for Competency Testing, the American Medical Technologists or the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Such certification exams may require a demonstration of skills.
Here is a list of concepts generally covered in phlebotomy courses:
- First aid
- Centrifuging and processing
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List of Phlebotomy Courses
Theory of Phlebotomy Course
This is a required course in phlebotomy programs, teaching common phlebotomy practices for adults and children. Students learn how to safely and effectively draw blood using venipuncture and capillary puncture methods for adults and children, plus finger sticks or heel sticks for young children and infants. Non-blood specimen collection practices are usually part of the curriculum.
Aspiring phlebotomists learn proper infection control. They receive instruction on how to prepare the blood collection site, how to choose the proper collection tools and how to handle the transportation, processing and management of collected samples. Medical and legal ethics as they relate to phlebotomy services are also taught.
Medical Terminology Course
Phlebotomists study medical terminology to ease communication between physicians and phlebotomists regarding specimen requests and minimize errors and confusion. The medical terminology class includes an overview of common prefixes, suffixes and root words that used in the field. Students also study spelling and proper pronunciation. Students usually complete this course before signing up for the phlebotomy practicum.
Anatomy and Physiology Course
In this course, which is required in some programs, students get a broad introduction to body parts and systems and how they work. Students study anatomy and physiology, with particular attention paid to cardiovascular anatomy and the physiology of the circulatory, musculoskeletal and nervous systems. This course is generally completed prior to enrolling in the clinical component of the program.
Phlebotomy Practicum Course
Practicum students practice the blood and specimen collection and handling skills learned in their theory class. They practice these duties on adult and pediatric simulation arms and other students before drawing blood under supervision in clinical settings. Practicum sites may be on campus or at off-site labs or medical center. Phlebotomy practicum is a required course usually taken after a theory class as well as any other required courses in phlebotomy, like medical terminology or anatomy and physiology.