California is one of the top-paying states in the nation for phlebotomists, with over 11,000 employed in this occupation in 2014, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics The process for becoming a phlebotomist is different in California than in most other states. The Sacramento area offers many training options and job opportunities.
List of Phlebotomy Training Schools in Sacramento
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Requirements & Eligibility
California has three categories of phlebotomy technicians: Limited Phlebotomy Technician (LPT), Phlebotomy Technician I (PTI) and Phlebotomy Technician II (PTII). Training requirements and scope of practice differ in each category. All require a high school diploma or GED, and you must pass a written exam. You cannot become a PTII unless you are already a PTI. The LPT program includes 20 hours of theory; you must show proof of 25 supervised skin punctures (LPTs can only perform skin punctures). PTIs must complete 40 hours of theory and 40 hours of practical training, including proof of 10 supervised skin punctures and 50 venipunctures. PTIIs must first obtain a PTI and have at least 1,040 hours of experience to apply for certification. A PTII can perform skin punctures, venipunctures and arterial punctures. Training courses in Sacramento are widely available from community colleges, technical/vocational schools and private institutions. All training programs must be approved by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The CDPH maintains a list of approved schools on its website.
Application Process & Costs
Each training institution has its own eligibility requirements and application process. Costs vary widely. At Sierra College, for example, the cost is $2,795. At Abrams College, tuition is $2,772 for the basic course. Abrams also offers an advanced course for $975. Some — Kaiser Permanente is one example — have application fees as well as tuition. Expect to spend at least $2,000 on your training. Contact the institution in which you are interested for details. It would be wise to contact several and compare what they offer in terms of classroom training, clinical rotations and internships. Although each accredited program must meet minimum requirements, some will offer you much more for the same amount of money.
The theory portion of the training may be available online, depending on the institution. However, hands-on clinical training under the supervision of a qualified instructor is required. It’s important not to short-cut this portion of the training. Technical skill and competence are necessary to be a good phlebotomist.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
California certifies phlebotomists; it is similar to being licensed. You must pass an examination and submit documentation of your high school diploma or GED, your phlebotomy training and your clinical experience. The state does not require national certification; national certification cannot be substituted for the state certificate. Employers may prefer or require national certification, however. You must renew your California certification every two years by completing continuing education or retaking the exam. There is a fee for recertification.
Salary & Job Prospects
Sacramento is the medical hub for many outlying areas in California. It has several large university medical centers, as well as other hospitals, healthcare facilities, clinics and clinical laboratories. Job prospects should be excellent, and the BLS says demand for phlebotomists is expected to grow at a rate of 27 percent through 2022 nationwide. The average hourly salary for phlebotomists in Sacramento was $19.00 as of May 2014. Annual salaries were also much higher than in other locations across the nation, ranging from $27,629 to $56,810. Wages in the rest of the state are typically higher than the national average of $15.33 an hour.