If you are interested in pursuing a career as a phlebotomist, it is possible to become certified and start working within a few months. Once you complete the 6-15 week program, you will be able to legally work as a phlebotomist.
Phlebotomy training programs are offered through colleges, hospitals, and other training facilities. Once you find programs that interest you, take some time to go over their specific admission requirements. Although every program has slightly different admission requirements, the following information can help you get started.
Phlebotomy Education and Training Requirements
There are several educational requirements that all US phlebotomist programs will ask from you. These include:
- A high school diploma, GED, or equivalent: Before you can enter a phlebotomy program, it is essential that you have the equivalent of an American high school diploma. This is to ensure that all students have the ability to do the necessary reading, writing, and basic math that is required of all phlebotomists.
- An understanding of English: Educational programs in the US require students to have a good understanding of English. This may be determined through application letters, grades, or tests. Because the coursework will be in English, and most graduates will work with English speaking patients, it is important for you to have a good understanding of the language.
- Ability to use a computer: Not only are computers often necessary for coursework, but the healthcare field is becoming increasingly digital. This means that all phlebotomists must have a basic understanding of how to operate a computer.
In addition to the requirements listed above, some phlebotomy training programs also demand for:
- CPR certification: Although some programs provide CPR training during the process, most expect applicants to have a CPR certification prior to entry. Everyone working in healthcare should earn this certification and it can be acquired through a few hours of classwork.
- Introductory college courses: Phlebotomy programs offered on college campuses may have general requirements that must be accomplished before entering the program. These can include an introductory English (101) course and a basic math course.
- Previous medical education: A very few programs require the applicant to have previous training, such as a qualification as a certified nurse assistant (CNA) or medical assistant. It is possible to become a CNA in a few months, but it will add a little more time to the process.
- Medical experience: Just as rare as the requirement for previous medical education is the requirement to have previous medical experience. This is rarely a requirement, but there are a few schools that expect previous experience.
You have to remember that Phlebotomy is one of the easiest ways to enter into the medical field. Because of this medical education or previous medical working experience are rarely a condition for applying to a training program. They can be a strong point in your CV and really help you a lot in finding a proper job after you graduate.
Additional Application Requirements
In addition to the education and work requirements listed above, there are other conditions that you must meet before, or during, the application process. They might include:
- An application fee: As with many educational programs, most phlebotomy courses require an application fee that can cost from $25 to $100. This covers the cost of reviewing the application and ensures that only serious individuals apply.
- Proof of residency: This is needed for both the educational program and for the certification exam. It will be necessary to provide legal proof that you are able to study and work in the United States.
- Medical insurance: Because the length of phlebotomy programs is relatively short, they do not offer insurance. Therefore, the participant must already have insurance. Insurance will be asked for your practical training hours
- Vaccinations: Most programs will require proof of the following vaccinations: Hepatitis B, Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap), Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), Tuberculosis, and Varicella. As some of these vaccines can take several months to complete, contact the program to determine how far along you must be before they will accept you.
- A background check: Although the school will take care of the background check, it is important to be aware of the fact that your past legal record may influence your likelihood of being accepted.
Because each program might have it’s own particular set of eligibility conditions it is highly recommended that you take your time and ask about this directly. Chances are that you will be able to find a program that will suit your needs and you will able to enroll without any problems.
What to read next:
- Find out how to select your phlebotomy school and what you will study: Phlebotomy Classes. How to choose your school correctly and what you are going to study
- If you’re looking for certification we have put together a complete list with Certifying Institutions