Phlebotomy Classes and Training in Pennsylvania

From the Liberty Bell to the City of Brotherly Love, Pennsylvania is quite the state. In addition to a number of historical landmarks, Pennsylvania also has a well-established health care system. In this system, there are a number of different types of workers; from doctors and various types of nurses, to medical assistants and even phlebotomists, everyone involved in the system plays a different part in order to help patients.

Phlebotomists are an important part of this system, as they are they people who typically draw and collect blood samples. If you’ve pondered the idea of what if might be like to be one of these phlebotomists, then you might find this page to be rather interesting and possibly helpful too. From general information to Pennsylvania-specific details, you might learn more on this page about the field of phlebotomy than you knew before. There’s even a number of listings at the bottom (final section of the page) for schools that might offer training programs or various phlebotomy classes.

Pennsylvania – Basic Information: Phlebotomy Training

What are the major goals of phlebotomist training courses? They are typically to instruct students in the practical skills associated with phlebotomy, provide students with a general knowledge base of phlebotomy, and allow students to improve upon the skills they have learned during the class.

Instruction of the practical skills of venipuncture and dermal puncture is the most important part of practical training. Venipuncture is a technique used to draw blood from veins (often in the arm or hand) using a needle. Dermal puncture is another blood collection technique; this particular technique is performed by sticking a needle into the skin and withdrawing it, creating a small puncture through which blood can be squeezed. This technique is often performed on the fingertip. Other practical instruction might include learning CPR, the function and usage of AEDs, and even first aid.

Subjects may also be taught that help broaden students’ knowledge base about phlebotomy. These subjects may involve studying various subjects like the circulatory system, some general anatomy, medical terms, phlebotomy terms (and definitions), as well as other related subjects. What a student leans in one course might be somewhat different though than what they learn in another course, or at another school.

A lab or an externship might be included in the phlebotomy training course, as well (although externships aren’t included with every course). Students may work on getting better at venipuncture, and also dermal puncture, by collecting blood samples from each other while an instructor watches closely in the lab, and in the externship (if available), students may practice these skills in real life under close supervision. The externship, if it’s available (not all courses may offer something like this) may happen in a medical setting like hospitals, clinics, or other similar type of setting.

Common Phlebotomist Job Duties in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, phlebotomists’ usual primary duties are to perform venipuncture and dermal puncture. They may be asked to complete other duties, as well, such as doings some extra work helping patients (education, explaining procedures, etc), checking labels to make sure that the information on them is correct, preparing blood specimens to various tests and delivering those specimens to the laboratory, stocking medical supplies, administering first aid, and other various duties.

Phlebotomists may also be expected to perform difficult draws, which are challenging blood draws where the level of difficulty is increased beyond a normal draw for some reason. For instance, trying to draw blood from hard-to-find veins in an elderly person may be what some phlebotomists might consider a difficult draw,  as well as trying to get a blood sample from an unruly patient.

Pennsylvania Phlebotomy Certification: Information and Details

No specific certification or license is required by the state for phlebotomists living in Pennsylvania. No federally-instituted certification is required, either. However, employers may require certification from one of the several national non-governmental phlebotomist certification organizations. One reason this might be done by employers is to make sure that everyone on their phlebotomy team is properly trained and has the same minimum level of experience.

Certification as a phlebotomist might be part of certain phlebotomy training courses, however, it may not be included with other courses. If certification isn’t part of the phlebotomy training course you’re interested in taking, and you do desire to be certified as a phlebotomist, you have the option of pursuing certification on your own through a national phlebotomist certification agency after the course. However, it’s very important to note that if you choose to go this route you should dedicate some time to ask one or more of the certification agencies about their requirements for a training course to double check that the course you’re going to take meets any requirements the agency may have for phlebotomy training courses. For example, if you’re planning to receive your phlebotomist certification from the National Healthcareer Association, taking the time to reach out them ahead of time can help mitigate and frustration later if you find out the course you took didn’t meet their requirements as that’s something you really want to avoid.

There might additionally be some personal requirements that you might potentially need to meet in order to obtain a national phlebotomy certification beyond the requirements at the course level. Examples of what you may be required to have or obtain might include:

  • Graduating high school (or getting an equivalent degree, like a GED)
  • A CPR certification
  • Completion of a specific amount (hours, sessions, etc) of time in a lab
  • Participating in a specified amount of externship hours (although an externship isn’t always an option)
  • Doing a certain amount of blood draws
  • Passing various test (including written exams)

There may also be other various requirement that are not in the list above, and again, the best way to know is to get in touch with one of the national agencies in order to learn more about their specific requirements.

If you’ve worked in the healthcare field before and done blood draws or have had previous training, or both, you might be able to get a certification through a different path than persons without any prior experience. This may allow you to get it quicker or with less training than the normal route, however, not all certification agencies may currently offer this, and if they do, it might be on a very individual basis. However, if you think your situation might be a fit for something like this, then it may be worth taking the time to contact them and find out more.

Local Pennsylvania Schools & Institutions

If you look below, you’ll see various schools, colleges, and institution that may have training programs for phlebotomists.

Phlebotomy Institute of Central Pennsylvania
125 Puddintown Rd, State College, PA 16801
(814) 237-0774

McCann School of Business and Technology
2200 N Irving St, Allentown, PA 18109
(484) 223-4600

Harrisburg Area Community College
1 Hacc Dr, Harrisburg, PA 17110
(717) 780-2400

Butler County Community College
107 College Dr, Butler, PA 16002
(724) 287-8711

Clarion University of Pennsylvania
840 Wood St, Clarion, PA 16214
(814) 393-2000

Reading Area Community College
10 S 2nd St, Reading, PA 19603
(610) 372-4721

Lackawanna College
501 Vine St, Scranton, PA 18509
(570) 961-7810

Community College of Allegheny County
595 Beatty Rd, Monroeville, PA 15146
(724) 327-1327