If you enjoy working with people and want to help them be healthy, consider a career as a phlebotomist. You’ll have excellent job prospects in this career and earn a good salary. Phlebotomy — drawing blood for lab tests — is an important activity in the diagnosis of disease and promotion of health. In California, phlebotomists must complete a special training program and become certified in order to practice.
List of Phlebotomy Training Schools in California
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In California, you must have a high school diploma or GED to enter a training program; this requirement cannot be waived. Each training program may have other specific requirements, but the state itself has none. You can also be trained on the job by a physician or registered nurse, but must still meet the diploma/GED requirement to take the certification exam. Certain personal characteristics may help you be more successful in this career. You should genuinely enjoy and want to help people. Patients may be anxious about blood draws, so you should be able to put them at ease. Steady hands and good eye-hand coordination are necessary, and attention to detail is a must to ensure lab tests are done correctly.
Application Process & Costs
Each school has its own application process. Contact the school of your choice for specific information. The California Department of Public Health maintains a list of approved schools on its website. Application fees will also vary. At the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, the fee for a one-day training is $125, while a similar course at the California school of Health Science in Los Angeles is $90. However, this is a very limited training. To be eligible to take the California Certified Phlebotomy Technician-1 (CPT-1) exam, you must complete 120 hours of training that includes 40 hours each of didactic and laboratory training, plus 40 hours of clinical practice. These courses typically cost between $2,000 and $3,000 and may have additional fees or costs.
Many approved programs offer a portion of the training online. However, all include a clinical hands-on component in which the student practices drawing blood under the supervision of a qualified instructor.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
You must be certified to work as a phlebotomist in California. There are three levels of certification. A limited phlebotomy technician (LPT) can only perform skin puncture blood collection (finger sticks). A Certified Phlebotomy Technician 1 (CPT-1) can perform skin punctures and venipuncture (putting a needle into a vein). Certified Phlebotomy Technician 2 is the highest level; a CPT-2 can perform skin punctures, venipunctures and arterial punctures. To become certified, you must complete an approved course of study or show proof of on-job training and supply documentation of successful venipunctures from a laboratory director, MD or RN with your certification application. To become certified as a CPT-2, you must also submit proof of 20 or more successful arterial punctures. The certification fee is $100 and you must renew every two years.
Salary & Job Prospects
California is one of the best-paying states for phlebotomists, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median hourly wage in May 2014 was $18.16, while annual salaries ranged from a low of $26,530 to a high of $50,070. An inexperienced phlebotomist should expect a salary on the low end of the scale. Job prospects are excellent, with a projected growth rate of 27 percent from 2012 through 2022, more than twice as fast as the average job growth projected for all occupations. Job prospects will be best in metropolitan areas with large hospitals or clinical laboratory facilities.
More Phlebotomy Training in California
|SCHOOL||CITY||PHONE NUMBER||FULL ADDRESS||WEBSITE|
|California Nurses Educational Institute||Palm Springs||(760) 416-5955||5200 E. Ramon Road|
Palm Springs, Ca 92264
|Angeles College||Los Angeles||(213) 487-2211||3440 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 310|
Los Angeles, CA 90010
|InfoTech Career College||Bellflower||(562) 804-1239||8527 Alondra Blvd, Suite #174, Paramount, CA 90723||infotech.edu|
|Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts||San Mateo||(650) 685-6616||2121 South El Camino Real, Building B-200|
San Mateo, CA 94403