How Long Does a Phlebotomy Course Take?

When comparing different Phlebotomy training programs, an important element to consider is how long the course takes. We take a look at how long Phlebotomy courses take, and if faster courses are truly better.

Phlebotomy Requirements by State

Because phlebotomy licensure is not nationally mandated or regulated, each state has its own laws and requirements for phlebotomists’ certifications. When considering a move across state lines, phlebotomists must be aware of whether the state they are moving to has license or certification reciprocation.

How to Study for a Phlebotomy Test

Phlebotomy is a specialty that is in high demand. Phlebotomists work in a variety of medical settings such as hospitals, labs and health practices. Their primary job is drawing blood samples for testing, an extremely important task for assessing patient health. The phlebotomist not only draws blood but is also responsible for making certain that specimens are properly labeled to avoid inconvenient and costly errors. To be sure that a phlebotomist knows his or her stuff, every student must go through extensive training that involves both classwork and hands-on practice. Finally, students must pass a certification exam. In order to make it through this final step, students need to carefully prepare for the test.

Understanding the NCCT National Phlebotomy Certification Examination

The National Center for Competency Training offers its phlebotomy test in many locations. Students have three hours to complete 125 test questions that cover several categories concerning blood-drawing practices. Most of these questions are in a multiple-choice format. However, there are a few exceptions.

Hotspot questions: Students are given a chart or figure with several clickable areas. They will answer a series of questions to prove that they understand the image.

Drag and drop questions: In this format, students must put a group of statements in the right order. These questions focus on procedural knowledge.

Multi-select questions: This type of question is similar to the multiple-choice format. However, students are asked to select more than one correct answer from a series of statements.

The Six Content Categories You Need to Know

The National Phlebotomy Certification Examination covers six content areas that range from legal knowledge to practical aspects of the career. Students must have a decent knowledge of the following areas.

Quality and Professional Issues: Phlebotomy requires direct work with patients. As such, there are several legal aspects of the practice the students need to know. Students will need basic information about HIPAA rules, the Patient’s Bill of Rights and privacy laws around specimen collection. In addition, students will need an understanding of dealing with patients with special needs.

Safety and Infection Control: Working with blood and other samples may mean working with infectious materials. Students must prove that they know how to protect themselves and their fellow staff members against infection. They will also need to prove their knowledge of workplace safety practices.

Order of Draw and Equipment: This section includes questions about the basic materials of phlebotomy. Students will show that they can interpret medical orders and identify common equipment. Learn more about the all-important Order of Draw at the provided link.

Patient ID and Site Preparation: It is critical that a phlebotomist knows the procedures that make certain the right patient gets the right tests. They must also show a knowledge of the proper preparation for a safe blood draw.

Collections: Questions in the category focus on the practical side of phlebotomy. Students will show they know the theory behind an effective blood draw. They will also be asked to display a knowledge of proper sample labeling.

Correcting Issues: This section focuses on cases where a blood draw is complicated by a physical condition, collapsed vein or adverse reaction to the draw. These questions also revolve around the proper procedure when a phlebotomist realizes a mistake has been made in the identification or labeling process.

Phlebotomy Study Tips

Studying for the phlebotomy exam is similar to studying for any major exam. If you have been an attentive student, you have all the knowledge you need to pass the test. Your challenge is to retrieve that knowledge under the pressure of the exam day. There are several strategies you can use to get ready.

Think Procedurally: One of the major concerns of this test is that students understand the many procedures around phlebotomy. You can practice step-by-step procedures by creating flowcharts or checklists for study purposes.

Group Study: Gathering fellow students to study as a group gives you the opportunity to quiz each other. It can also be helpful to talk through procedures with another student. Explaining information is a great way to learn it.

Practice Tests: A week before the test, you might want to find some practice questions or tests to see where you stand. This will allow you to brush up on your weak spots.

How to be Ready on Test Day

On the day of the test, you want to be well-rested and calm. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the testing site. Make sure you get a solid amount of sleep the night before. Eating a healthy breakfast will also help you have the energy to get through a three-hour testing time.

PhlebotomyU: Professional Career Preparation

A solid education will lead to a good score on the phlebotomy test. At PhlebotomyU, we have more than 30 years of experience in helping people enter a career in this important medical field. We work with medical sites throughout Southern California, offering the best training possible. Not only do we offer the phlebotomy exam on-site, but we also prepare you to succeed. Do you think a career in phlebotomy is right for you? Contact us today. 

PhlebotomyU Announces New Partnership with Live Well San Diego

Live Well San Diego PhlebotomyU Partnership

San Diego Phlebotomy Training School Joins Non-Profit Organization to Improve Public Access to HealthcareSAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, December 10, 2019 / — PhlebotomyU, San Diego’s longest-running phlebotomy training center, announced a new partnership with local government non-profit Live Well San Diego. PhlebotomyU’s commitment to providing certified phlebotomy training and other medical vocational courses expands the pool of qualified medical professionals in San Diego. Live Well San Diego is taking another step towards building their vision of improved public access to healthcare by utilizing PhlebotomyU’s medical services expertise, staff and alumni.

The new partnership with Live Well San Diego will assist students with securing valuable phlebotomy internship and career opportunities via local government healthcare clinics and other Live Well San Diego recognized healthcare partners. Live Well San Diego benefits from improved patient care and a larger hiring pool of qualified medical professionals. PhlebotomyU will also provide free and/or low-cost services at medical and wellness fairs and clinics as well as support in the event of a public medical emergency.

About PhlebotomyU
PhlebotomyU’s mission is to enhance students’ careers, meet the needs of healthcare providers, and improve patient care by providing high quality, cost effective phlebotomy education through industry leading curriculum, current technology, and extensive hands-on experience. As one of the most established phlebotomy schools in San Diego, PhlebotomyU has been approved to operate by the California Department of Public Health Laboratory Field Services (CDPH/LFS) and California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). PhlebotomyU offers accelerated CPT1 classes throughout the year, with programs starting at the beginning of each month as well as weekend and evening classes. In addition to our training courses, we work with healthcare providers around San Diego for internship programs and job placements after graduation.

We are committed to providing students with the opportunity to start or advance a career in healthcare while also assisting employers to find high quality entry-level phlebotomists. Our goal is to drive the healthcare community forward through continual refinement of our course curriculum and improvement of the caliber of Phlebotomy students.

Cinco Plumb
+1 619-294-2192
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How to Become a Phlebotomy Instructor

Many phlebotomists choose to enter the educational field after spending a few years working with patients. Let’s take a look at how to become a phlebotomy instructor.

What’s the Most Commonly Used Phlebotomy Equipment? From Scrubs to Needles

phlebotomy equipment

For the trained phlebotomist, using the appropriate phlebotomy equipment is an essential part of a successful venipuncture. A seasoned phlebotomist can assemble materials in such a way their hands glide efficiently from one part of the procedure to the next with speed and precision. Not only does this level of preparation help to ensure a correct blood withdrawal procedure, but it also helps inspire confidence in nervous patients. Let’s go over the most commonly used phlebotomy equipment.

The Most Commonly Used Equipment in Phlebotomy:


A phlebotomist is similar to other healthcare workers in that they are often required to dress in scrubs at the workplace. Depending on the employer, a phlebotomist and other laboratory personnel may be required to wear a certain color of scrubs for easier identification purposes. For practical reasons, phlebotomists rely on the various pockets in scrubs and lab coats to keep a supply of materials like extra alcohol wipes, gloves, and tourniquets.

Non-sterile Gloves

Before each procedure, the phlebotomist will don a pair of latex gloves. Like all healthcare professionals, phlebotomists wear gloves to protect themselves and the patient. While the first step in any procedure is a thorough hand-washing, gloves help prevent the passage of pathogens from the phlebotomist’s hands to the patient. Gloves are necessary to help prevent the transfer of blood pathogens from the patient to the phlebotomist. Gloves should fit neither too loosely or too tight. Snug-fitting gloves ensure ease handling phlebotomy materials. Gloves should be discarded immediately after the procedure.

Alcohol pad

Before the insertion of the needle, the site should be cleansed with an alcohol wipe. Once the site is chosen the phlebotomist will open the alcohol wipe and apply it to the site to prevent potential contamination. The phlebotomist and the patient must not touch the site after it is cleaned or the phlebotomist will have to repeat the procedure before the needle is inserted.


A tourniquet compresses the veins and restricts the flow of blood back to the heart. This allows the phlebotomist to see the veins more clearly to make a successful venipuncture. After the phlebotomist selects the vein, the tourniquet is tied three to four inches above the intended site. The tourniquet should be removed at the end of the procedure.


Needle selection depends on the procedure and personal choice. Some experienced phlebotomists prefer the butterfly needle for every procedure, while others use the butterfly needle for smaller veins or pediatric procedures. Also known as winged infusion sets, butterfly needles are characterized by a pair of plastic wings that the phlebotomist can grip to more easily guide the needle into the vein. A tube extends from the needle down to a tube holder where the phlebotomist connects the collection tube. Straight needles vary in size and are often connected to a plastic tube holder. After insertion in the vein, the needle will be held still by the phlebotomist while the collection tubes are switched in and out in the tube holder.

Blood Collection Tubes

Collection tubes come in a rainbow of colors. Each stopper color denotes a particular function and test. Colored stoppers are essential for the correct order of the draw. A phlebotomist will select the tube depending on the type of test that is ordered for the patient. Additives in the tubes are essential for the type of test for which the blood is collected. For example, lavender tubes contain an additive that helps the blood coagulate and is used for specimen collection specific for hematology procedures. Collection tubes are manufactured so that they are evacuated tubes and then seal. When the phlebotomist inserts a needle in the tube the vacuum pulls the blood from the vein into the tube. At times, a tube will malfunction requiring the phlebotomist to reach for another one to complete the blood collection. For this reason, the phlebotomist should keep extra tubes within reach so that the procedure can continue.


Blood collection tube labels are necessary for the correct transfer of patient samples to the lab for testing and diagnosis. Like other phlebotomy equipment, labels should be secured before the start of the venipuncture. Labels should include the patient’s name, date, and other identifying information. The process for labeling blood collection tubes depends upon the laboratory. Labels may be computer-generated and printed or blank for hand-written labeling. Either way, the phlebotomist will double-check the patient’s identity to make sure the blood sample reaches the lab under the right name.

Gauze or Bandages

At the end of the venipuncture procedure, the phlebotomist will remove the needle from the blood draw site and check for bleeding. A piece of gauze or a cotton ball will be placed over the injection site and a slight bit of pressure applied to prevent excessive bleeding and to encourage clotting. Afterward, the phlebotomist will affix a bandage or a piece of gauze secured by tape. The bandage should remain in place for the length of time specified by the phlebotomist.

Learn More About a Career in Phlebotomy

Are you interested in pursuing a rewarding career in a demanding field? Contact us and learn more about how phlebotomy training at PhlebotomyU will put you on the path to success.

PhlebotomyU Announces New Phlebotomy Training Program Director

San Diego Phlebotomy Training School Appoints Chris Nicholson As New Phlebotomy Training Program Director

San Diego’s longest running phlebotomy training center, PhlebotomyU, announced today the hiring of Chris Nicholson its new Phlebotomy Training Program Director. In this role, Nicholson will be responsible for the overall operation and administration of PhlebotomyU’s training program and for advising on strategic initiatives that the school is considering or currently pursuing.

As a California certified clinical laboratory scientist (CLS), Nicholson brings over 40 years of healthcare and clinical lab experience. Nicholson joins PhlebotomyU after serving as the Senior Director at the Scripps Medical Laboratory where he lead over 600 employees across 5 hospitals. Under Nicholson’s leadership, Scripps and Scripps Medical Laboratory has been named one of the best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine for 11 consecutive years.

“Chris’ pedigree and reputation are unsurpassed in the industry, and we are extremely excited to have him join the PhlebotomyU team to oversee our phlebotomy program and advise us on future initiatives,” said Preston “Cinco” Plumb, PhlebotomyU’s President & CEO.

With the addition of Nicholson, PhlebotomyU will continue to provide leading phlebotomy and venipuncture training in Southern California. PhlebotomyU’s core offering is the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT I) course enabling students to become licensed phlebotomists in California. CPTI courses are offered year-round with monthly day classes, quarterly evening classes and weekend classes. Students receive full didactic and practical class training as well as a phlebotomy internship with a partnering hospital, clinic or lab to obtain the necessary hours for certification. Nicholson will integrate with the team at PhlebotomyU to improve all aspects of the existing course offerings while also developing new business strategies.

About PhlebotomyU
PhlebotomyU’s mission is to enhance students’ careers, meet the needs of healthcare providers, and improve patient care by providing high quality, cost effective phlebotomy education through industry leading curriculum, current technology, and extensive hands-on experience. As one of the most established Phlebotomy schools in San Diego, we are approved to operate by the California Department of Public Health Laboratory Field Services (CDPH/LFS) and California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). We offer accelerated CPT1 classes throughout the year, with programs starting at the beginning of each month as well as weekend and evening classes. In addition to our training courses, we work with healthcare providers around San Diego for internship programs and job placements after graduation.

We are committed to providing students with the opportunity to start or advance a career in healthcare while also assisting employers to find high quality entry-level phlebotomists. Our goal is to drive the healthcare community forward through continual refinement of our course curriculum and improvement of the caliber of Phlebotomy students.

Phlebotomy License Renewal Steps

The CPT I License is the main requirement for becoming a practicing phlebotomist. Once certified, the CA phlebotomy certificate renewal must be done every two years using the CDPH license renewal process. The initial certified phlebotomy technician (CPT I) course can range from five weeks to 9 weeks and includes analytical subjects such as anatomy, order of draw, hospital techniques, and post puncture care. You may click here for a complete list of courses and cost information. In addition to the phlebotomy training, the cost also covers class materials, lab supplies, and the National Exam and the clinical internship. Drug screenings and background checks are also paid for. Financial aid is also available with several payment options being offered.

CPT I License Renewal Process

The CPT I phlebotomy license must be renewed every two years. This ensures that the professionals in the field are taking the initiative to stay informed of any and all updates pertaining to phlebotomy. Before a license can be renewed, certain requirements must be met. Those applying for renewal must already have either a limited phlebotomist technician certificate or a certified phlebotomist technician certificate. Keep in mind that meeting deadlines for certification renewal is crucial. This is discussed in detail under Late Renewals.

Approximately seventy-five days before the expiration of the CPT I license, notices are mailed out to certified phlebotomists for license renewal. Sixty days prior to expiration the license can be renewed. However, it must be renewed thirty days before expiration to avoid suspension.

Phlebotomy License Renewal Requirements

  1. Continuing Education with CPT Classes – Before applying for license renewal and two years before license expiration, six contact hours of ongoing education must be completed. This must be done at a CDPH credit approved school or agency. Copies of certificates or unofficial transcripts must accompany the application proving that the contact hours have been completed.
  2. Current Phlebotomist’s Information – It is the responsibility of each applicant to make sure that all their information is updated with any changes in name and/or address. This information should be reviewed prior to applying for renewal. A license or certificate number will also be needed. Go to the Laboratory Personnel License Search in case of a lost or forgotten license or certificate number.
  3. Completing the Online Application All applications must be completed online by going to the CDPH Certificates, Licenses, Permits and Registration Portal. First-time applicants will be required to set up an account with a user ID and a password. Once this has been completed, they can begin filling out the application to renew their phlebotomy license/certificate. Remember, proof of completion of six contact hours must accompany the application.
  4. Application and Renewal Fees – Whether the applicant is a limited phlebotomy technician or a certified phlebotomy technician, an introductory fee along with a renewal fee must be paid at the time of completion. The California phlebotomy license renewal fee is $100.00.

Approval and Receiving the Renewed License

Once the certification process has been completed and approved, applicants can print out their approval notice to serve as temporary proof of their certification. They can check the status of their application on a regular basis because the CDPH website updates every few days. Since hard copies of licenses are no longer mailed, applicants will need to print them out once their renewal has been approved. A PDF reader is required for printing and an applicant can print out as many copies as needed.

What Happens to Late CPT I Renewals

Getting the phlebotomy license renewed after it expires does not require the payment of a late charge for the Limited Phlebotomy Technicians or the Certified Phlebotomy Technicians. However, phlebotomists are not permitted to work while their license is expired and it may take longer to have your license reactivated. It is extremely important to get the CPT 1 renewal application done on time along with having the required contact hours of ongoing education.

Recap – The CPT License Renewal

Being a phlebotomist can be an exciting and rewarding career. You can start out with the basic beginning requirements or, if you have previous venipuncture experience, you can take the abbreviated course. There are also additional courses for those who want to advance their careers in phlebotomy. For more information on signing up for phlebotomy classes or help with renewing your license, be sure to contact PhlebotomyU. You can call, send an email and fill out a form to request course information. Don’t put it off. Your future in phlebotomy is waiting for you! 

Collecting Blood from Newborns

Neonatal phlebotomy can be understandably intimidating. There are certain things to consider when performing a phlebotomy procedure on a young infant. Learn about the neonatal heel prick, also known as dermal puncture, here.

California Phlebotomy License Renewal Requirements

While many fear blood or the act of getting their blood drawn, the role of the phlebotomist is extremely important in the health and treatment of individuals. Here are 8 phlebotomy facts that demonstrate its importance in medical practice over the past two thousand years.