California phlebotomy certification rules are some of the strictest in the U.S, and picking a school that hasn’t been approved by the Department of Public Health can be a huge mistake. We’ve written a guide to those rules, so you can start your phlebotomy certification journey on the right footing.
Here are the answers to some common questions about California phlebotomy training:
That depends on whether you want to take your classes online or in-person. There is one available through Contra Costa Medical Career College Online, this program is only available for phlebotomists who have been previously certified and just want a refresher class. For new phlebotomists, the following counties have approved in-person phlebotomy training programs. Click on your preferred location and you’ll be taken to a list of schools in that area:
The California Department of Public Health decides who can and cannot work as a phlebotomist. According to their website:
Effective April 9, 2003, all persons performing phlebotomy who are not California licensed physicians, nurses or clinical lab scientists or other licensed professionals where phlebotomy is not in their scope of practice, must be certified as a phlebotomist before they can draw blood.
What does this mean? You will need a license if you plan to practice phlebotomy and you are not a doctor, nurse or lab scientist.
There are 3 kinds of phlebotomy certification available. You can become a:
If you have less than 1,040 hours of experience as a phlebotomist (for example, if you’re brand-new to phlebotomy, or you’ve been working as a phlebotomist in a state which doesn’t require a certification or license), you must meet the following requirements:
If you have more than 1,040 hours of on-the-job experience, you’ll need to do the following:
Contact your high school and request that your official transcripts be sent to the following address:
Alternately, you can request a copy of your official transcripts in a sealed envelope and provide this document to Lab Field Services as part of your phlebotomy certification application. Finally, another option is to include a notarized copy of your high school diploma in your application.
You’ll need to earn your GED.
Yes, the following 6 organizations have been approved by the State of California to give phlebotomy certification exams:
PLEASE NOTE- each certification board has different requirements. For instance, some boards only require 50 venipunctures, while others require 100. So be sure to find out the requirements of the board whose exam you plan to take BEFORE choosing a phlebotomy training program.
Yes, every practicing phlebotomist in the State of California must be certified via one of the above 6 exams.
The California certification lasts for 2 years.
You will need to complete 6 hours of continuing education training during those 2 years, as well as pay a renewal fee. You will receive a reminder notice 60 days prior to the expiration of your current certificate.
Lab Field Services maintains a list of approved training programs on its website.
Once Lab Field Services receives your complete application, you should expect to receive your certification within 90 days.
No, you cannot work as a phlebotomist until you receive your certificate from the state.
Visit http://www.dhs.ca.gov/lfs. Here you can find an online application, sign up for the California phlebotomy certification exam, and even pay the exam enrollment fee by credit card.
For more information or to check our sources, visit the California Department of Public Health’s Lab Field Services homepage.