Phlebotomy Training in San Diego, California

With a mild climate, growing population, and beaches galore, San Diego holds a lot of appeal as a place to call home. With an average year-round temperature of almost 70 degrees, it’s definitely got some of the best weather of any city in the country. If you live in San Diego and have given some thought to the idea of phlebotomy as a career, then you might find this page to be both informative and also quite insightful.

This page has been laid out in such a way that it hopefully reduces information overload as you read through it. In order to avoid that, the content has been sectioned off into smaller segments that cover different aspects of phlebotomy from general information to California-specific certification details. In addition to that, there’s another section at the end of that page that contains a list of schools in California that may have phlebotomist training classes.

Also, if you’ve landed on this page dedicated to San Diego, but happen to live closer to a different California city, this site also has pages with information about Los Angeles and Sacramento as well.

Phlebotomy Training: Fundamental Information

The primary objective of a phlebotomy training class is to teach students taking the course perform blood draws on patients. Training may consist of a number of hours in the classroom for instruction, practical training in an educational lab setting, and a possibly an externship in a medical situation or setting, like a clinic, hospital, blood bank, etc. Topics taught in the course may include first aid, safety precautions, anatomy, physiology, field-specific terminology, blood draw procedures, and how to handle difficult blood draws draws (draws on inmates, pediatric and geriatric blood draws, blood draws on patients who are needle-phobic, etc.).

Duties of a Phlebotomist in San Diego

The main responsibility of a phlebotomist is to perform blood draws through an incision into the skin or vein. Other duties may include choosing the appropriate collection method for the blood, following all safety procedures, preparing and transporting drawn specimens to laboratories, entering data into computers, interacting calmly and professionally with patients and other healthcare providers, and reporting draws according to location’s policies.

Another aspect of phlebotomy may include working with difficult patients; phlebotomists must be able to work under stress and must have good interpersonal skills to be able to deal with these patients. Drawing blood from people who are uncooperative (such as inmates, mentally ill patients, or needle-phobic patients) may require tact and quick thinking to help calm the patient down and ease them through the procedure.

California Phlebotomist Certification Information

California is one of only four US states that require state certification (at the time of writing). A person may receive both a national as well as a California phlebotomist certification if they complete all of California’s various certification requirements, depending on tier of phlebotomy technician certification they want to achieve.

Three tiers of phlebotomy certification are available in California: limited phlebotomy technician, which allows a person to do dermal puncture (or skin puncture); certified phlebotomy technician I, which is the basic phlebotomist certification that allows a person to do venipuncture; and certified phlebotomy technician II, which is a more advanced certification that allows a person to perform arterial puncture in addition to dermal puncture and venipuncture.

People without any phlebotomy experience and who want to be state-certified in California may need to do the following things:

  • Complete high school, have a GED, or show some type of proof of higher education beyond high school
  • Complete 40 hours of classroom instruction from an approved institution
  • Complete at least 40 hours practicing phlebotomy, which includes 50 venipunctures and 10 dermal (skin) punctures
  • Successfully pass a certifying exam that is state-approved
  • Apply for certification and pay an application fee

If a person has fewer than 1040 hours of experience on the job as a phlebotomist and would like to be state certified in California, they must complete the same requirements as someone without any experience, with the exception that the 50 venipunctures and the 10 dermal (skin pricking)  punctures must be documented on-the-job. If a candidate for a phlebotomy certification has more than 1040 hours of phlebotomy experience, they must complete the same as someone with fewer than 1040 hours of experience, with the exception that you only need 20 hours of in-class instruction instead of the 40 requirement.

InCalifornia, the certification is valid for a period of two years. Renewal papers may be sent to a phlebotomist about 60 days prior to their certificate’s expiration, and to renew, they will need to have completed at least 6 hours of continuing education classes over past two years, pay a fee, and send in the renewal papers.

The information on this page may not be complete or comprehensive, and in order to get the most current information, it’s good to visit the California Department of Public Health’s website where you can get the most recent and accurate about California’s certification requirements.

Local Schools Near San Diego That May Offer Phlebotomy Training Classes

San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Dr, San Diego, CA 92111
(619) 388-2267

Universal Schools & Colleges
5353 Mission Center Rd, San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 858-3480

Family Health Services
3500 5th Ave #203, San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 955-1007

Emsta College
11489 Woodside Ave, Santee, CA 92071
(619) 593-6782

Grossmont Health Occupations
9368 Oakbourne Rd, Santee, CA 92071
(619) 596-3690

Health Career Specialist
1405 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
(800) 818-2408

Newbridge College
878 Jackman St, El Cajon, CA 92020
(619) 593-5111

San Diego County ROP
1355 Second Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91911
(619) 498-8800

Vista Adult School
510 Sunset Dr, Vista, CA 92081
(760) 758-7122