In California, most phlebotomy programs culminate in an undergraduate certificate of completion. Programs combine lectures with labs and clinical experiences. Students learn about patient care, anatomy, venipuncture, blood collection, medical waste disposal and infection control. Applicants need to have current immunizations, CPR certification and background checks before completing the clinical portion of phlebotomy programs.
California requires that all phlebotomists be certified, in order to have a license to practice in the state. To become certified, an individual with no phlebotomy experience must have a high school diploma (or GED certificate), complete a training program that includes a minimum of 40 hours each of lectures and clinical experiences and pass a certification exam. Several phlebotomy certification exams are approved by the state, including those from the American Medical Technologists (AMT), National Center for Competency Testing (NCCI) and American Certification Agency (ACA). Certification lasts two years; for renewal, applicants must complete six continuing education hours and submit a fee.
The 10 largest public or private not-for-profit schools offering state-approved phlebotomy programs are discussed in this article. Each of these programs prepares graduates for state certification exams. There are three levels of certification available: limited, Certified Phlebotomy Technician 1 (CPT 1) and CPT 2. All of the following programs prepare students for CPT 1 certification.
College of the Canyons
Located in Santa Clarita, this college offers a phlebotomy certificate program. The program provides instruction in phlebotomy techniques, patient preparation and phlebotomy equipment. Labs and clinical experiences are also part of the program.
De Anza College
Located in Cupertino, this school provides a phlebotomy certificate program. This part-time program takes about a year to complete. Students learn how to do venipunctures in labs or clinics. They will also learn to identify specimens correctly and participate in lab testing. Students take courses in medical terminology, medical law and clinical lab procedures.
Lake Tahoe Community College
Situated in South Lake Tahoe, this college offers a phlebotomy training course. Students learn how to identify structures of veins, select veins for blood withdrawals and properly dispose of used phlebotomy instruments. The program includes a clinical experience.
Long Beach City College
This college in Long Beach offers a phlebotomy program that includes 2.5 units of study. During the first semester of study, students learn how to safely perform phlebotomy procedures. During the second semester, students complete a clinical practicum at a medical center.
Modesto Junior College
Located in Modesto, this junior college offers a phlebotomy certificate program that is designed to be completed in 3-6 months. The program includes 60 hours of classroom instruction. There is also a 40-hour clinical internship within the program. Courses cover subjects like anatomy and physiology, infection control, post-puncture care and waste disposal.
Mt. San Antonio College
This college is found in Walnut. The college has a 16-week phlebotomy program. Students cover 60 hours of didactic instruction. After completing the classroom portion of the program, students undertake 100 hours of clinical experiences. Admission to the program is dependent upon a lottery.
Palo Verde College
Palo Verde College is located in Blythe. The school's phlebotomy training program requires two semesters of study. Courses include topics like the circulatory system, skin puncture sites, blood collection and medical waste disposal. The second semester of study focuses on clinical internships at a lab or hospital.
Rio Hondo College
Located in Whittier, this school offers a phlebotomy certificate program. Students perform venipunctures and capillary punctures, and they must complete 100 hours of clinical work in hospitals. Courses cover topics like medical terminology, anatomy and infection control. All applicants must have taken prerequisites in anatomy and physiology, biology and microbiology.
San Diego Mesa College
In San Diego, this school has a certificate program in phlebotomy. The program has 9.5 credit hours of coursework, and students participate in clinical experiences. Students learn about skin punctures and blood samples.
University of California Irvine
This university in Irvine provides a phlebotomy training program. The program comprises 100 hours of clinical internships and 40 hours of classroom instruction. Classes in the program cover topics like infection control, anatomy, blood collection processes and quality assurance.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Phlebotomy Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|College of the Canyons||2-year, public; large suburb||Phlebotomy Technician Proficiency Certificate|| $1,156 in-state
|De Anza College||2-year, public; small city||Phlebotomist Certificate of Achievement|| $1,561 in-state
|Lake Tahoe Community College||2-year, public; rural fringe||Phlebotomy Certificate|| $1,224 in-state
|Long Beach City College||2-year, public; large city||Certificate of Accomplishment in Phlebotomy|| $1,174 in-state
|Modesto Junior College||2-year, public; midsize city||Phlebotomy Technician Certificate of Completion|| $1,166 in-state
|Mt. San Antonio College||2-year, public; large suburb||Phlebotomy Technician Continuing Education Program|| $1,350 in-state
|Palo Verde College||2-year, public; distant rural||Phlebotomy Technician program|| $1,288 in-state
|Rio Hondo College||2-year, public; large suburb||Phlebotomy Technician Certificate Program|| $1,360 in-state
|San Diego Mesa College||2-year, public; large city||Certificate of Performance in Phlebotomy Technician Training|| $1,144 in-state
|University of California Irvine||4-year, public; large city||Certificate of Completion in Phlebotomy|| $13,700 in-state
Sources: *NCES College Navigator