For many reasons, phlebotomy is a popular career choice among numerous people.
One of the main reasons is that you can get your training easily as there are lots of available programs including online ones.
In other words, you have an opportunity to obtain the required skills and start a new career really fast without leaving your home.
Also, online programs give you the opportunity to control your schedule and do classes when you want.
Traditional courses are usually held at colleges and schools but online programs can provide you with a bunch of benefits.
It’s a great choice for those who are looking for their first career after graduating from high school.
Moreover, it is a perfect option for people who look for a new job.
In any case, most people prefer not to spend years and hundreds of dollars on their training in order to start a career.
Another reason for online phlebotomy training’s popularity is the convenience of such programs.
Most students may have some part-time or even a full-time job or have the need to take care of a family member.
In any case, lots of people cannot attend classes daily in order to obtain their certification.
In fact, you may have your own reasons to enroll in online phlebotomy training programs but still, it’s a great opportunity to start a successful career.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What Courses Are in an Online Phlebotomist Program?
- 2 Can You Earn a Phlebotomist Certification Completely Online?
- 3 How Long Does it Take to Earn a Phlebotomist Certification Online?
- 4 How Much Does an Online Phlebotomist Certification Cost?
- 5 What About the Red Cross?
- 6 Types of Phlebotomist Certifications
- 7 What You Should Pay Attention to Choosing Online Phlebotomy Course?
- 8 Where You Can Get Free Phlebotomy Training Online?
- 9 Benefits of Online Phlebotomy Training Programs
- 10 Drawbacks of Online Phlebotomist Training Programs
- 11 Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Phlebotomist Training Programs – Summary Table
- 12 Six Self-Study Tips for Phlebotomist Online Students
- 13 Schools Offering Online Phlebotomy Classes
- 14 Final Thoughts
- 15 Frequently Asked Questions
What Courses Are in an Online Phlebotomist Program?
You will enroll in venipuncture training, which means that you’ll learn the techniques for drawing blood samples from a vein.
Other courses include information about specimen processing and lab test preparation.
In addition, you’ll receive instruction on the various lab test procedures that correspond to written blood test diagnoses.
Classes you take will also teach you medical terminology and learning how to use digital medical technology.
Can You Earn a Phlebotomist Certification Completely Online?
Online training accelerates the educational process.
However, you will still need to complete in-person clinical training requirements before you become hired.
Therefore, you cannot complete your phlebotomist certificate with just online coursework in most cases, but you probably could complete almost all of it except for the in-person practice portion.
How Long Does it Take to Earn a Phlebotomist Certification Online?
According to the National Phlebotomy Association, you will need about 160 hours of lecture training.
In addition, you must spend at least 200 hours of practical experience with humans or mannequins.
The average length of time usually ranges from about four months to a year and a half.
It depends on how much free time you have and how motivated you are to complete your training.
How Much Does an Online Phlebotomist Certification Cost?
Online certification starts at about $300, but it sometimes costs $700 or more.
That depends on the technology used for training and if the classes require you to purchase your own equipment or paper textbooks.
You might reduce your educational cost if you spend time volunteering at a clinic that has all the necessary resources.
What About the Red Cross?
The Red Cross is known to provide phlebotomy training, but, they do not offer any online courses for free as of right now.
They do offer courses for payment and they have phlebotomy plans with online and classroom combination training.
If you’re interested in learning with the Red Cross, we have all of the information about their phlebotomy training here.
Types of Phlebotomist Certifications
There’s no official certification required to secure a job in most states.
Furthermore, learning tracks may vary.
However, it’s wise to make sure your coursework leads you to one of these phlebotomy certifications, which have become standard.
The American Society for Clinical Pathology has set the protocol for obtaining the entry-level Phlebotomy Technician certificate.
You can earn it after about a year of combined on-the-job and classroom training.
After you pass the certification exam, you would receive credentials to practice as a phlebotomist for up to three years.
The National Health Career Association has set the criteria for completing the Certified Phlebotomy Technician certification.
You earn it by passing an exam that consists of 100 questions that prove you have a well-rounded knowledge of what a phlebotomist does.
It may help you earn more money in your field, and you would renew this certificate every two years.
The Top-Level Certification
As a Registered Phlebotomy Technician, you will have already completed 120 hours of classroom time, much of which you could pursue online or have reduced if you complete enough in-person training.
Before obtaining this top-level certificate, you will need to prove you completed at least 50 successful vein punctures.
In addition, you will have to show that you carried out 10 successful capillary punctures.
You must remain in good standing in your job and have completed at least 1,040 hours of on-the-job training before you receive your Registered Phlebotomy Technician Certificate the first time.
You can renew this certification once every three years, and the American Medical Technologists have set the standard for receiving this licensing.
What You Should Pay Attention to Choosing Online Phlebotomy Course?
When you are looking for an online phlebotomy course, first of all, you need to check whether it has accreditation.
The Internet gives us lots of opportunities for getting an education but also it’s a perfect place for fraudsters.
In other words, you need to make sure that the program is really good before sighing up for it.
It will let you get good training and make sure employers will hire you.
Also, try to give preference to those programs that have a physical presence.
There are lots of various facilities such as career centers, hospitals, and even governmental organizations that provide online courses.
There is a whole variety of options as there is a growing demand for qualified phlebotomists.
As you understand, it’s better to give preference to such programs as you can be sure that your education will be good.
Moreover, good online programs provide students with such info as the cost and length of the course.
Some free programs still require fees but numerous websites hide this info.
Also, some programs tend to give false promises like your training can be completed in a day.
Of course, you don’t need much time to get your phlebotomy training but it still requires some time.
Moreover, good training programs provide students with their schedules and results beforehand.
Enrolling in the online course, you can have your own schedule but still, there should be at least a general plan so you can know what classes you will take and when they must be completed.
Where You Can Get Free Phlebotomy Training Online?
As it was mentioned before, the program you’ve chosen you should make sure it’s accredited and reliable.
It is important whether you choose an online or traditional phlebotomy training program.
One of the great online courses is offered by Loyola University which is an accredited institution.
Their free course on arterial puncture is really great and it includes a video and you can take a quiz after it.
There are also institutions that offer some online classes that can be useful for a future phlebotomist:
- The University of Michigan provides a class in patient communication. It is a really helpful class for a phlebotomist as this career requires lots of communication with people daily. If you aren’t good at communicating with others, it’s a great option to develop these skills.
- Dalhousie University has an outline video course for phlebotomists. The video contains explanations of the essence of phlebotomy, required skills, and other basic things. It’s a great opportunity to learn about this career and understand whether you want to work in this sphere.
- The University of Utah provides a basic online course for free. It gives you an opportunity to learn some venipuncture procedures. It’s a great option for those who want to make sure that phlebotomy is a great choice for you. Also, you’ll be able to understand whether you can handle this job or not.
- Des Moines University has a paid course on medical terminology so you can brush up on your knowledge. It is available online as well. During your training you’ll be able to learn all terms you may need to work in the medical sphere. It is a short-time training program and to complete it, you’ll need to take a quiz.
You should know that you’ll hardly be able to find a completely free training program provided by any university or college.
Nevertheless, by enrolling in online training, you can decrease your payments as standard programs are pretty expensive.
Before choosing the course you like, you need to search for various options and learn everything you need about them.
What Classes Does an Online Phlebotomy Course Have?
You need to make sure that the program you’ve chosen, covers as many disciplines as possible so you can obtain all the required skills.
Most online phlebotomy courses cover such aspects as:
- Most aspects of human anatomy: as a phlebotomist, you need to know the human body and its systems well including nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems.
- Safety rules: working with patients, you need to know how to make everything safe and sterile and most medical facilities have their own rules but, of course, there are some general rules you should know.
- Venipuncture (blood draw) procedures: to be able to perform your duties, you need to know how to perform these procedures correctly as you must be able to provide as much safety as possible to your patients.
- Medical terminology: it is important to know specific terms in order to perform your job properly.
- Organizing and labeling blood samples: it’s not enough to know how to draw blood samples but also know how to label and maintain them.
- Communication tips/suggestions: any phlebotomist is obliged to work with lots of patients and staff members so you need to know how to communicate properly and deal with any type of personality.
Where to Look for Online Phlebotomy Courses for Free?
To begin with, looking for phlebotomy training, you’ll be able to find two types of programs.
The first type contains courses that aim to support and supplement students.
These courses are designed to prived help for students who take phlebotomy training in person.
Most of them have some extra free resources as well as useful quizzes.
It gives you lots of advantages but they aren’t official courses.
Also, they cannot be used for the coursework in case you’ll decide to take a class in person.
The second type of program contains phlebotomy courses for those who want to obtain their certification.
Such programs are mostly offered by various medical facilities such as hospitals, government organizations, and nursing homes.
Moreover, there are numerous websites that can be used to advance your phlebotomy career.
Just make sure the program can provide you with those benefits it promises you.
You should keep in mind that most free online courses cannot cover all the aspects you need to know as a phlebotomist.
There is a whole bunch of free in-person courses that can provide you with more knowledge.
Why Do Free Phlebotomy Courses Exist?
It’s essential that you may have the question of why free phlebotomy courses exist.
Programs offered by colleges and other facilities may cost lots of money so why it is necessary to offer them for free?
You should know that phlebotomy is one of the most unique jobs in the medical sphere.
There is a constant shortage of qualified phlebotomists as the aging population increases and new technologies are developed constantly.
Blood analysis is widely used for diagnostic purposes as well.
All these aspects determine the growth of the need for qualified specialists.
Most free phlebotomy programs are offered by hospitals and government organizations.
Also, it can be offered by hospitals and medical clinics if they really need to hire good phlebotomists.
They are ready to train some students so they can choose the best of them.
Training phlebotomists, hospitals can be sure that the specialists are prepared according to their specific standards.
Also, some hospitals offer free training programs so they can offset paying huge salaries for phlebotomists in the future.
Speaking of options provided by the government, they are offered by the Department of Labor.
It helps the government to lower unemployment rates.
It’s more convenient to pay for someone’s training than to pay an unemployment check every week.
In other words, they are ready to offer free training courses for various entry-level positions.
Of course, there are organizations that are ready to provide free courses out of goodwill.
They use these programs to promote themselves and make more people learn about the company.
Just keep in mind that in most cases these programs don’t include all the necessary disciplines you need to learn to become a phlebotomist.
If you want to get a full course online, you need to pay for your training in most cases.
What Aspects Aren’t Included in Free Online Phlebotomy Courses?
You should keep in mind that whether you choose a free program that contains only some subjects or a paid phlebotomy course, you need to do some training in person.
A phlebotomy career requires lots of practice as you need to have some excellent skills.
Considering the fact, you are going to work with numerous patients, you need to be able to communicate with them and perform various procedures.
If you want to work as a phlebotomist, it’s not enough to learn some basics, you also need to perform some real blood draws.
Various courses require a various number of successful venipunctures but usually, there is no less than 100.
As you understand, it cannot be done if you sit in front of your computer or laptop.
You should know that the required number of venipunctures should be performed under the supervision of a qualified phlebotomist.
In most cases, online courses provide their students with some opportunities to get the training they need.
It is because these programs are related to area hospitals and if your course isn’t one of those, you might be obliged to look for some other options to get your training.
You can get your training working as a volunteer.
Nevertheless, in most cases, you will be practicing drawing blood from other students.
As you understand, most programs are divided into two parts and you can be really successful during your classes but if you cannot draw blood properly, it is impossible to complete your training.
Benefits of Online Phlebotomy Training Programs
Even though you may still need to acquire in-person clinical experience, starting your schooling online can accelerate your training.
This means you can complete your coursework in less time than without the online classes.
If you already work full time or have other obligations, you can complete your training on your time.
The only exception is when you start your onsite clinical training portion.
After all, you can’t learn how to draw blood with a needle if you don’t ever practice on a person.
Excellent Skill Refresher Option
Maybe you have already received the highest level of phlebotomy training there is and have years of job experience.
If so, you don’t have to temporarily disrupt your current life just to update your skills if you renew your certificates online.
After all, you probably completed the initial certification steps by this time, which include all that time spent drawing blood on real humans already.
Virtual refresher courses could also help you keep up with current medical technologies without attending class in person.
Remote Course Material Access
Online training might allow you to gain access to course material wherever you are even if you haven’t attended any live sessions.
It also may lessen the chance that you have to lug heavy books around everywhere you go.
What’s more, you can access this coursework from classes that wouldn’t normally take place in your area.
More Communication Options
You can send messages to instructors at your convenience.
This may enable you to seek help from them within a matter of hours rather than a day or two.
In addition, you usually have more communication options, including email or chat and not just talking on the phone.
Online sessions also could make it easier for you to receive one-on-one assistance from instructors.
You can talk to them even if you never have the chance to meet them in person.
No Travel Time
All you need to do is log into your coursework from wherever you are.
This cuts down on the time out of your day that it takes for you to travel.
It also allows you to attend sessions that you otherwise could not if you live too far from the nearest campus.
Again, the only exception pertaining to online versus in-person is when it’s time to perform your clinical hours.
However, you probably know of medical facilities where you could complete your in-person practice closer to you than your school location.
You won’t have to pay as much for transportation, and your online materials may cost you less than paper textbooks and other resources.
What’s more, virtual training allows more students the opportunity to attend at the same time, which may reduce tuition and fees for the classes you take.
Drawbacks of Online Phlebotomist Training Programs
Limited Patient Practice
Online training may not help you fulfill your requirements for practicing on real patients.
You’re going to still need to find a medical facility, clinic, or blood donation center to assist you with demonstrating your ability to draw blood in person.
No In-Person Feedback
When training online, you might not even meet your professor in person.
Although it’s not always necessary, you do miss out on the one-on-one feedback you might receive in a traditional classroom setting.
If you seek online training from the right sources, you shouldn’t have to worry.
However, don’t just sign up for any training opportunity you find.
It must contain the coursework normally recognized by the same agencies that set standards for phlebotomy certification.
Clinical Hours Not Included
Your online training might cost less than in-person classes.
However, that’s more than likely because it also might not include practice in simulated or real clinical settings.
With emerging augmented and virtual reality technology, this may change.
However, online sessions will never take the place of “real life” phlebotomy clinical experiences.
Limited Local Networking
You may find resources in your location for networking as you prepare for your phlebotomy career.
However, you will have to take the initiative to make that happen if your instructors don’t have the local contacts you need.
If you have the drive to succeed no matter what, the limited local networking shouldn’t stop you from gaining practical life experience, however.
It’s up to you to contact your local volunteer centers, clinics, hospitals, or doctors’ offices to find out how to complete your in-person clinical hours.
Your motivation level also applies come time to find a job.
Either way, you can still mention your instructors as a reference if they also have the proper credentials.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Phlebotomist Training Programs – Summary Table
|Benefits of Online Phlebotomy Training Programs||Drawbacks of Online Phlebotomy Training Programs|
|Accelerated Training||Limited Patient Practice|
|Convenient Schedule||No In-Person Feedback|
|Excellent Skill Refresher Option||Questionable Credibility|
|Remote Course Material Access||Clinical Hours Not Included|
|More Communication Options||Limited Local Networking|
|No Travel Time|
Six Self-Study Tips for Phlebotomist Online Students
1. Start Planning While In High School (If Possible)
If you’re still in high school, see if your academic catalog has any phlebotomy electives you can take before you even receive your diploma.
Otherwise, obtain your GED or equivalent certification, which might only take you a few months.
Take advantage of approved online opportunities if you have no access to related coursework before you graduate high school.
2. Continue Training Online
After you complete your high school training, you can continue online sources to obtain your first phlebotomy certificate.
Make sure you refer to the National Phlebotomy Association or the National Phlebotomy Credentialing Excellence organizations.
This will start you on the right track if you’re not sure what online training programs you should pursue.
3. Update Immunization Records
Most medical facilities will want to see that you have all the current vaccines before working with them.
It’s wise to update all immunization records before you start your first paid or volunteer in-person clinical training.
4. Seek Volunteer Opportunities
Your online training can only take you so far.
At some point, you need to find out from your instructors where you can complete your in-person clinical training.
For instance, you might become an intern at a local hospital or clinic.
Otherwise, see what the Red Cross offers to phlebotomist trainees.
You can also seek out the right intern opportunities either during or after high school while in a post-secondary certification program.
5. Acquire Official Certificates
You may end up becoming qualified to receive your first official certificate after spending enough hours in an internship or paid training program.
If you have obtained your online and in-person training from accredited organizations, you will soon have the authorization you need to find full-time employment.
6. Begin The Job Search
Blood donation institutions, public clinics, and medical hospitals or doctor’s offices are some places you can start your job search.
Look for postings on individual websites.
Otherwise, register online to become a member of an agency that assists people in the health care field find work.
Schools Offering Online Phlebotomy Classes
|SUNY Corning Community College||1 Academic Drive, Corning, NY 14830|
|Phlebotomy Training Center||28050 Ford Rd, Ste C Garden City, MI 48135|
|Tyler Junior College||1327 South Baxter Avenue Tyler, Texas 75701|
|UT – Martin||112 Gooch Hall Martin, TN.|
|Alvin Community College||3110 Mustang Rd, Alvin, TX 77511, United States|
|Texas State University||601 University Drive San Marcos, TX 78666-4616|
|Texarkana College||2500 North Robison Road Texarkana, Texas 75599|
|Community College of Philadelphia||1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130|
You can complete most of your phlebotomy training online if you choose a credible certificate program.
The only portion you need to complete in person is the clinical practice on humans or mannequins.
We hope this article has helped you and let you understand all the aspects of phlebotomy training online as well as in person.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which states require phlebotomists to have a license?
As of 2020, only four states require a phlebotomist to have a license.
These include Washington, Nevada, California, and Louisiana.
Make sure you stay current with requirements, however.
You never know when they could change.
Can you obtain on-the-job training to become a phlebotomist?
You may, but most employers will only hire you until after you have obtained a certificate.
This may not take long to achieve, especially if volunteering for the Red Cross or a similar organization.
How do I know if the online training is valid in my state?
Most school websites have a list of locations that they serve.
If you’re not sure, contact one of the associations that’s responsible for issuing phlebotomy certification exams.
They can tell you which schools offer training approved by your state.
You might also find the information you need when you contact potential employers and scan online reviews.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Phlebotomist