If you are interested in a phlebotomy career, you might be wondering about the duration of the training classes involved. The answer depends on which school you attend and the type of program you pursue.
Many schools offer short-term certificate and diploma programs as well as lengthier programs that lead to associate degrees in specialized technology.
If the time commitment is a concern for you, ask your chosen school about the duration of their phlebotomy class before paying an enrollment deposit or committing to a specific program.
Certificate programs are short-term programs that focus on the basic skills and knowledge required to enter a specific field. They typically last no more than one semester and include only the basic courses required for obtaining employment in the phlebotomy field. Some certificate programs take as little as 40 hours to complete, making them ideal for students who work full-time and cannot commit to lengthy training programs. These programs include instruction in venipuncture techniques, capillary sticks, specimen handling procedures, and phlebotomy safety issues.
How Long is Phlebotomy Training for a Diploma?
Diploma programs last anywhere from a few months to just over one year. These programs are not as broad as degree programs, but they usually include more coursework than certificate programs. Diploma programs typically consist of classroom instruction and hands-on training. In the classroom, teachers help students learn about the fundamentals of phlebotomy. They also teach students about anatomy and physiology, medical ethics, privacy laws, laboratory safety regulations, and patient identification procedures. The hands-on training gives students the opportunity to practice venipunctures and capillary sticks on mannequins. Some schools also have phlebotomy students practice drawing blood from each other, although this is not as common as it used to be due to infection control concerns.
Note that diploma / certificate programs are not professional certifications by themselves. If you wish to work as a certified phlebotomist, you must take one of the certification exams offered by national certifying organizations.
The type of coursework included in a training program often dictates the program’s length. If a program includes an anatomy and physiology course that requires students to complete laboratory assignments, this program will take longer to complete than a program that does not require laboratory work. The class schedule will also affect the length of the program. If a program consists of 40 hours of training, it will take two months to complete if classes take five hours each week. Some short-term programs take only one week to complete, as they run eight hours per day for five days in a row.
How Long Does the Training Take for an Associate’s Degree?
Associate’s degree programs typically take two years to complete if a student takes classes on a full-time basis. Part-time students may take up to three years to complete this type of degree. Training is often included with A.S.T. degrees in medical assisting or medical laboratory technology. To receive an associate’s degree, a student must complete general education courses in communications and humanities in addition to their phlebotomy coursework.
No matter the type of program you wish to pursue, make sure you ask your school how long will it take and write down the class hours to determine if the program fits your schedule well.