Phlebotomy has become a favorite medical career for many reasons. One of the primary benefits is that you can find free phlebotomy training courses online. That means that you can gain many of the skills for a new profession from the comfort of your home at no cost.
Another great thing about training for phlebotomy at home is that you can do it at your own pace. Training programs usually take place at a college or school. But, online courses have become more popular in recent years for many reasons.
First, people don’t want to spend a lot of money on schooling for a new profession. Maybe you’ve just graduated high school, and you’re looking for your first entry-level job? Or, perhaps you’re looking to make a career change and need to balance family commitments? No matter the reason, many people don’t want to go through years of school or spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on education for a job.
Online classes for phlebotomy have also become popular due to their convenience. You may already have a part-time or full-time job. Or, you may have a family to raise. It isn’t always possible to attend a physical class to get your phlebotomy certification. Everyone can have their own reasons for taking online courses, but it’s a great way to kick off your career in the healthcare industry.
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What to Look for in Online Phlebotomy Training Courses
This guide will focus on the basics of taking courses on the Internet. There are certain things you should look for and things to avoid when choosing the right training course. It can be tempting to sign up for the first course that suggests it’s free. But, selecting a training program online can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for.
- Important: There may be specific parts of a training program that can’t be completed online. You can choose a course through a program that will set up ‘real world’ blood draw sessions for you.
First, let’s cover what a good online training program for phlebotomy should have.
What Are the Benefits of Learning Phlebotomy Online?
There are strengths and weaknesses to completing your phlebotomy training online. The most significant benefit is obviously convenience. If you’re able to find a free course, the money factor can also be a huge plus. Not only are you able to go at your own pace, but you don’t have to feel bad about spending extra money to do it.
The goal is to learn the material covered in the training course. Doing that at a slower pace works better for some people, even though it’s a good idea to keep up a steady schedule.
Treat an online course just like you would if you were in a classroom setting. But, if you have a busy schedule already and don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on learning phlebotomy right now, online courses are a great way to go.
What Are the Disadvantages of an Online Phlebotomy Training Program?
There are some drawbacks to training for phlebotomy online. The main disadvantage is not necessarily getting the experience you’ll need. Phlebotomy is a profession that deals directly with people. Training online can be convenient, but eventually, you’re going to need to work with people to be good at what you do. Most organizations won’t even consider you for a job if you haven’t.
The other disadvantage is that you may not have direct support. In a classroom setting, you’ll have an instructor. So, if you have questions, it’s easy to get answers right away. Having an instructor online is different. You can pose a question, but it may take awhile to get an answer.
If you take a free course, you may not even have an instructor at all. Free sections of a program are usually already set up. You watch videos or read and take a computer-calculated quiz. So, if you’re someone who likes to ask questions and get extra help, an online course may not be your best option.
What Are the Features of a Good Online Training Program?
The first thing you should look for when you’re trying to find a phlebotomy training course online is accreditation. The Internet can be an excellent resource for learning. But, it’s easy for people to get taken advantage of. When you’re signing up for a training course, be sure it’s a program you can trust. Not only will you get better training, but employers will be more likely to hire you.
It’s better to look for a program that has a physical presence behind it. Hospitals, job training programs, and even the government offer free phlebotomy training programs. This is because there is a continually growing need for competent phlebotomists. It’s always better to go with a program like this instead of one that might sound too good to be true.
Another feature an online training program should have is upfront information about cost and how long it will take to complete the program. Some websites that offer free courses may have things like hidden fees.
They might also make false promises, like telling you that you can complete the training in just a day. Training doesn’t take long to complete. But, don’t fall for the idea that you can become certified in a short amount of time.
A good training program will be clear and concise. It should lay out a schedule for you and let you know what you can expect. Again, a good thing about training at home is you can work at your own pace. But, there should be a general plan/syllabus for what you’ll cover throughout your program.
Which Schools Offer Free Phlebotomy Training Programs?
It’s important to look for a reputable, accredited training program or school when you’re studying to be a phlebotomist. This is true whether you take classes in person or online.
- Tip: One accredited institution that offers some free phlebotomy courses is Loyola University. They offer a free arterial puncture course. The course includes a video and quiz you can take afterward.
- University of Michigan: The University of Michigan offers a class in patient communication. This can be helpful to a phlebotomist since they interact directly with patients on a daily basis. If you don’t have a lot of people skills or aren’t sure how to communicate properly, this is a great free course to practice those skills.
- Dalhousie University: This university offers a free phlebotomy course outline video. In the video, they explain what you can expect from the career and exactly what you’ll be doing. It’s a nice way to get an outline of what it entails before you invest money into training.
- University of Utah: A basic tutorial course is offered for free online. It allows you to look at several venipuncture procedures. If you’re still wondering if phlebotomy is right for you, this is a great course. It’ll give you a better idea of how well you can handle the action of drawing blood from someone.
- Des Moines University: If you’ve never worked in the healthcare industry before, you may need to brush up on some medical terminology. A paid course will help you with this. But, if you need some extra help, Des Moines University has an online program for just that. The terms you’ll need to know for this course cover all the different systems of the body. You’ll go through a short training program, then take a quiz.
It’s unlikely that any college or university will offer a completely free phlebotomy training program. But, getting your training online will cost a lot less than paying the full tuition of attending the college for two or four years. Be sure to browse around at your different options to decide which online program would work best for you.
What Does an Online Phlebotomy Course Cover?
It’s important that an online training program for phlebotomy covers as much as any other course that you might attend in person.
Here’s what you should expect when you find a free training course online:
- Online phlebotomy courses should cover most aspects of the human body. It’s necessary to know certain aspects of human anatomy. You will also learn about the systems of the body. This includes circulatory, nervous, and respiratory symptoms.
- Safety rules will be the primary focus of any phlebotomy training program. Being safe and sterile when working with a patient is one of the most important things you can do. Each facility/hospital may have their own specific rules and regulations. But, general safety rules are universal no matter where you end up working.
- You’ll learn how to perform a venipuncture (blood draw) procedure. There are specific steps to take to perform it correctly. Patient safety is the most important thing to keep in mind.
- Medical terminology is usually covered in most classes. You’ll need to know certain terms and phrases to work in a hospital, clinic, etc.
- The second big part of a phlebotomist’s job is organizing and labeling blood samples. Learning how to identify and label these samples correctly is something every phlebotomist needs to know and learn.
- You may be given tips/suggestions on how to work and deal with different types of patients. You’ll have to work with a variety of people every day, including staff members. Being able to handle awkward or rude patients or knowing how to interact with people is an important skill to have or learn.
Where Can I Find Free Online Courses for Phlebotomy?
There are two types of free phlebotomy training courses.
First, there are courses designed to support and supplement. If you’re taking a course in person and you need a little extra help, you can find it online. Some sites offer things like extra resources or practice quizzes for free. You can use these to your advantage. But, they aren’t considered official courses. They also don’t count toward coursework if you choose to take a class in person someday.
The second type of online phlebotomy training can be used toward phlebotomy certification. Places like hospitals, nursing homes, and government facilities offer this type of free online training.
You can also find websites specifically designed to help you advance your career in phlebotomy. But, it’s important to look for red flags, like some of the ones listed earlier in this guide. The bottom line is, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Free phlebotomy training courses that complete the requirements you need are rare. Most free online courses only cover the basics. There are free in-person courses that can offer more. We’ll talk about that in the next section.
Why is Free Phlebotomy Training Offered?
You might be wondering why free phlebotomy training is offered in the first place. Many colleges and training facilities can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. So, why would an organization offer training for free?
Phlebotomy is a unique job. There is a huge demand for it in the medical field right now. This is thanks in part to an aging population. But, technology has also increased the demand. More illnesses and conditions than ever before can be diagnosed from a blood draw. Because so many conditions that can be determined by blood, more talented phlebotomists are needed.
There are two major players when it comes to offering free phlebotomy training: hospitals and the government.
Hospitals and medical clinics sometimes offer free training because they are in desperate need of phlebotomists. They want to train batches of phlebotomy students so they can then hire some of them into their facility.
When a hospital trains a phlebotomist, they know that that person is being trained to the standards of the hospital itself. Some hospitals also offset having to pay their phlebotomists huge salaries by offering training for free.
When we’re suggesting that the government offers free training, we’re talking about the Department of Labor. They can offer free training to keep unemployment rates down. The loss of funds in offering free phlebotomy training is far less than having to pay someone a weekly unemployment check. So, they’re encouraging people to get entry-level jobs with incentives like this.
Some organizations also offer free online training out of good will. They are trying to get the name of their organization out to more people, so they offer free training as a form of marketing. Keep in mind that these online free courses will likely not cover everything you need to know.
It’s more likely that they’ll focus on the basics or one specific subject. To get a full training program and feel like you’re in a ‘digital classroom,’ you’ll likely have to pay.
What is NOT Covered on Online Phlebotomy Courses?
Whether you find a free program that covers a certain subject or you sign up for paid online training, there are some things that need to be done in person. Phlebotomy is a hands-on job. You work with a lot of different people each day. Not only do you have to interact and talk with patients, but you also have to be able to touch them to draw blood.
So, while you can learn the basics from an online course, you have to perform actual blood draws to complete your phlebotomy training. Every course has a different number of successful venipunctures they make their students perform. But, it’s usually well over 100. Unfortunately, you can’t do that sitting in front of a computer screen.
These venipunctures have to be done under supervision by a phlebotomist. Most online classes will offer times and other opportunities to get these blood draws. This is because they have a relationship with area hospitals clinics, etc. If your online course doesn’t, you might want to look elsewhere or find a way to perform venipunctures under supervision for credit.
These venipunctures are usually on a volunteer basis. More often than not, you’ll be drawing blood from other trainees. Phlebotomy training comes in two sections. It doesn’t matter how successful you were in the ‘classroom’ part of training. If you can’t complete a successful blood draw, you’ll never be able to finish your training.
How Much Does Full Online Phlebotomy Training Cost?
The cost for phlebotomy training both in-person and online can vary greatly. Some institutions offer training programs for just a few hundred dollars. The average cost for a training program ranges anywhere from about $1,000-$4,000. So, it’s much less than average college tuition.
Certain programs can be quite expensive, reaching beyond even $10,000. That’s why most free online programs don’t cover the complete training you need. But, they are perfect as a refresher course or to get a head start. You can use a free phlebotomy program and quizzes to see if it’s the right fit for you, before moving on to a paid online course.
One of the nice things about training online is there is no need to buy extra materials or equipment. In some courses, you may have to buy a book or other training materials. Online, it can all be laid out for you. Again, it may not be for free, but it will be a fraction of the cost of attending a two-year college.
Can I Get Phlebotomy Certification Online?
Once you’ve completed a training program either online or in person, you can go one step further. Certification isn’t required for phlebotomists in all states. But, it eventually could be. It also looks much better on a resume if you’re certified. The good news is that certification doesn’t take a lot of extra training. But, you do have to take and pass an exam for certification.
- Tip: You can take it online through the National Healthcare Association. You are eligible to take it after you pass a phlebotomy training program. You don’t need to become certified immediately. If you’re already a phlebotomist and have a year of experience or more, you can take the exam at any time online.
The test for certification isn’t free but only costs about $150 to take. There are over 100 questions, and they are all multiple choice. Once you pass the certification exam online, you’ll receive a certification card.
There is no way to get phlebotomy certification online for free. There are only certain organizations that you can get certified through, and they will all charge a fee. But, if you are a certified phlebotomist, you may be able to start out with a higher salary after finding a job. So, the small fee to take the quiz is more than worth it to get hired quickly.
You can’t complete a full phlebotomy training program for free online. There are courses you can take that can help you along your way. But, to get a full program, you’ll likely have to pay a small amount. If you want to try a program for free in person, check out local hospitals or unemployment agencies. You may lose the convenience of doing it online, but not having to pay for training is a major plus for some people.
Training online completely doesn’t work because you’ll need to practice your blood draws on patients. But, don’t think that looking up free phlebotomy courses online is a waste of time. Whether you pay for an online program or take some free ‘refresher’ courses, it can be helpful. Some people work better at their own pace or need greater flexibility.
We hope this guide has given you some helpful tips about studying phlebotomy online. Don’t fall into the traps about free courses that you can complete in a day. When it’s done correctly, through an accredited program, training online can be a great option.