Best Phlebotomy Certificates Online
Online phlebotomy degrees will prepare graduates to withdraw blood safely and swiftly for medical examination. In order for students to gain necessary hands-on experience, all online programs will have some in-person requirements, but these can generally be completed at a local facility for the student. Due to the variety of needs for blood collection services, phlebotomists can find work in all manner of medicine-related practices. They assist surgeons, general practitioners, and blood drives, and are active in nearly every other category of medical work.
Enrolling in an accredited phlebotomy training program can mean the difference between a below-average learning experience and an exemplary education. High-quality programs in this field are formally recognized by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Be sure to check whether your prospective program meets or exceeds accepted academic standards before enrolling. Completing a phlebotomy certificate program is not the same thing as obtaining professional certification. Learn more about certification requirements here.
|School||Accreditation||Annual Tuition||Recommend Rate|
|American National University||ABHES||$10,321||19% (21 reviews)|
|Neosho County Community College||HLC||$5,032||Add Review|
|University of Alaska Anchorage||NWCCU||$25,228||83% (35 reviews)|
What Is Phlebotomy?
Phlebotomy is the process of performing blood draws in a healthcare setting. The samples phlebotomists collect may be used for lab testing, blood donation, or blood transfusion. These professionals typically work in medical offices, hospitals, or blood banks. Although, some travel to nursing homes, work sites, or between medical facilities.
Phlebotomy doesn’t require as much time and intensive medical training as physician or nursing careers. Instead, the process is comparable to becoming a medical assistant. Still, students must complete technical coursework in laboratory terminology, HIPAA and patient privacy, and anatomy. For certification, they must also complete in-person hours to gain experience with different types of blood draws, lab procedures, professionalism, and safety practices.
Learners interested in a medical career with strong projected growth, plentiful opportunities, and room for advancement may choose the phlebotomy path if they don’t want to spend years pursuing a degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 10% growth in the field from 2021-2031, as the demand for these professionals will continue to increase with an aging population.
Online Phlebotomy Programs
An online phlebotomy certificate program builds the skills and knowledge future phlebotomists need to succeed in their careers.
However, a phlebotomy technician certificate should not be confused with a phlebotomy certification. Certificate programs do not provide a professional certification like certification programs do. In contrast, they prepare learners for the medical field by teaching clinical and professional skills and getting them used to various healthcare settings.
An online phlebotomy certificate program usually takes 6-12 months to complete, but some may be as short as three months. Learners explore handling hazardous materials, patient safety and privacy, specimen processing, and various phlebotomy techniques.
Although programs deliver course content online, they usually require students to complete in-person labs or internships in order to gain tangible experience with blood draws and patient communications. These face-to-face segments comprise a significant credit portion of the curriculum and are required for phlebotomy students to sit for future certification exams.
Courses in an Online Certificate in Phlebotomy
Phlebotomy certificate programs include lecture courses and clinical requirements to give future professionals a well-rounded understanding of their responsibilities as healthcare workers. Courses are designed to introduce learners to the medical laboratory environment while giving them the vocabulary, techniques, and knowledge they need to become successful phlebotomists.
The following are a few of the most common courses in these certificate programs:
How Much Does an Online Certificate in Phlebotomy Cost?
Online certificate-only phlebotomist programs typically cost less than a degree because they require fewer credits. Most programs are 10-20 credits, with many schools charging between $200-$500 per credit for a total tuition of $2,000-$10,000.
Of course, some schools may charge out-of-state tuition for online learners, increasing their overall tuition costs. Online programs can also sometimes include technology and other online learning fees. Phlebotomy certificate students also need their own computer and internet service to access their courses and scrubs to complete their clinical hours.
Upon successfully completing the program, students may sit for a certification exam, which generally costs between $100-$170.
What Can You Do With a Phlebotomy Certificate?
Several healthcare specialists, like nurses, laboratory technicians, medical assistants, and emergency medical technicians, can benefit from adding a phlebotomy certificate to their resumes. The following are a few careers learners can pursue after completing a phlebotomy certificate program.
Phlebotomists draw blood from patients for medical laboratory testing, blood donations, or blood transfusions. They typically work in medical facilities or blood donation centers. A phlebotomy certificate can prepare students for professional certification, which most employers require.
Clinical Laboratory Technician
After a phlebotomist draws blood, a clinical laboratory technician processes and studies the blood to report results according to requested medical tests. These professionals may also analyze other medical samples, such as tissue or urine. Pursuing a phlebotomy certificate allows technicians to collect blood samples, when necessary, in addition to analyzing them. Some technicians may need to also obtain licensure, depending on their state.
Veterinary technicians work in veterinary clinics and hospitals to care for animals. They have multiple responsibilities, including monitoring and restraining animals during procedures, providing first aid, and performing laboratory tests. A phlebotomy certificate can build their blood draw and sample management skills while following the path toward a bachelor’s degree and certification.
Phlebotomy certifications differ from phlebotomy certificates. While certificates build skills and knowledge in phlebotomy and healthcare practices, certifications prove a candidate’s competency based on industry standards.
Several credentialing agencies offer phlebotomy certifications, including the following:
- American Medical Technologists (AMT): Phlebotomy Technician (RPT)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP): Phlebotomy Technician (PBT-ASCP)
- American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, Inc. (ASPT): Phlebotomy Technician
- National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT): Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT)
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA): Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT)
- National Phlebotomy Association (NPA): Certified Phlebotomist Technologist
Requirements for each certification vary by agency. Generally, candidates need both educational and clinical experience before they can sit for a certification exam. Certified individuals typically need to renew their certification periodically with the certifying agency.
What To Look For in a Phlebotomy Program
Whether you’re interested in a medical assistant role or are on the pathway toward becoming a phlebotomy supervisor, there are a few key elements to look for in a quality phlebotomy program.
First, consider accreditation, which denotes schools and programs that meet the standards of certifying bodies. Often, accredited programs have highly trained faculty, in-depth curricula, and successful outcomes and resources for graduates. Certificate programs through accredited colleges may look better on your professional resume and your future college applications.
Also, search for programs that fit your scheduling needs. Online programs sometimes require you to attend virtual classes at specific times, which can be challenging for full-time workers. Others are self-paced, allowing students to complete coursework on their own schedules. Regardless of the format, online phlebotomy programs usually have in-person clinical components, so it’s a good idea to understand all requirements before applying.