Phlebotomy Classes and Training in Washington

With several active volcanoes, Washington is nonetheless a state full of life, from the bustling metropolis of Seattle to the groves of cherry trees, vineyards, and apple orchards farther east. If you currently live in Washington and you’ve also spent some time pondering the idea of what it might potentially be like to be phlebotomist, then this page may be quite insightful and informative.

There’s quite a bit of information here, so in order to make it a bit easier to read, it’s been laid out in such a way that there are multiple sections, with information broken down in to smaller sub-sections. There’s some general information about the career including some details about things that phlebotomists typically do, as well as a more details section about Washington-specific certification information. There’s also one more section near the end of the page that has information about local Washington schools that might offer various phlebotomist training classes and courses.

Phlebotomist Training – Basic & General Information

It’s probably pretty clear that the goal of phlebotomist training is to equip students with the various skills and specific knowledge necessary to become competent phlebotomists. Multiple subjects may be taught in a normal phlebotomist training course and may include things like basic phlebotomy knowledge and practical phlebotomy skills. Students might also have the opportunity to practice the skills they’ve learned in a training course in a laboratory setting. Subjects that may be taught to students may include physiology or anatomy, medical terminology and definitions related to phlebotomy, and also the history or background of phlebotomy. What’s taught though might vary somewhat from among courses and schools.

Students in a training course typically learn the practical skills of phlebotomy, as well. The main hands-on skills taught to phlebotomy students may include venipuncture (drawing blood from a patient’s vein, often in their arm or hand) and dermal puncture (drawing blood by pricking the surface of the skin). Venipuncture is the piercing of a vein by a hollow needle, which blood is drawn through and collected in a test tube or another designated container. Dermal puncture is the piercing of skin by a small diameter sharp needle intended to draw a bead of blood on the outside of the wound, which is then collected by the phlebotomist. Sometimes the area may be squeezed to bring a small amount of additional blood, as needed by the phlebotomist. Other various hands-on skills that might be taught include CPR, the usage of an AED, as well as first aid procedures.

Students might practice the skills that they have learned through an externship (if available) and possibly a lab. If a course offers a lab section, students might be able to practice both venipuncture (using veins to draw blood) and dermal puncture (pricking the skin to draw blood) on each other with an instructor supervising, or on mannequins also under the close eye of a teacher. If the course offers an externship (not all courses do), the students may be able to increase their skill level with some of their phlebotomy techniques in a real medical setting (hospital, health care clinic, etc).

Washington Phlebotomists: Possible Job Duties and Responsibilities

The major job responsibilities of phlebotomists in Washington may be similar to those of phlebotomists in other states. Performing dermal puncture and venipuncture are typically the main components of phlebotomists’ daily work. Other job responsibilities might obviously vary from one location to another location, but they may include transporting blood samples, preparing blood samples for testing, using computer for medical purposes, guiding through any phlebotomy procedures, reporting patient data from the blood draws, and applying general first aid, if it is necessary.

Phlebotomists might also have to execute difficult blood draws, which are complicated or tricky draws that prove to be harder than typical draws due to emotional reasons, physical reasons, or other various reasons. For instance, trying to draw a blood sample from a uncooperative prison inmate for alcohol or drug testing might be a complicated or difficult blood collection or draw. An additional example of a  difficult blood draw can also be when a phlebotomist tries to draw a blood from the weak, fragile or frail veins of an elderly person.

Basic Certification Information for Washington Phlebotomists

Washington is one of the relatively few states that requires its phlebotomists (under the designation “medical assistant-phlebotomist”) to be certified. To obtain a certification, would-be phlebotomists must complete a post-secondary phlebotomy program through an approved college or post-secondary school, or complete a phlebotomy training program under a health care practitioner. It’s important to know that not all schools or courses may be approved by the state for phlebotomy training, so if you find a course that you’re thinking about possibly taking, it’s a definitely a wise idea to check with the Washington Department of Health before signing up to ensure that the course you’re thinking of taking meets their specific requirements.

Phlebotomists may need to fill out an application with the state of Washington that asks questions about personal data and background information (such as criminal information). Other information might need to be included as well, such as information about relevant training and professional experience.

Other requirements might include having completed high school, or equivalent, and the ability to read, write, and converse in English. Applicants may also need take seven hours of training in AIDS, which may be able to be accomplished through self-study, formal training, or other avenues. Documentation of the AIDS education may need be kept for two years, and an outline of what should be included in the AIDS training can be found at this Washington State Legislature page. An application fee may also need to be included with the application and other documents. For more information on being certified as a Medical Assistant-Phlebotomist with the state of Washington, please see the the phlebotomy page on the Washington Department of Health’s website

If you are a military spouse or domestic partner, the state of Washington has enacted laws that may allow you to obtain your professional phlebotomist license quicker than the average phlebotomist. You can find out more information on this page.

It’s important to note that the information above may not be comprehensive or current, and the way to get the most accurate and up-to-date information is by visiting the Washington Department of Health’s website online where you read about current requirements, and get other information about what’s required to become a phlebotomist in Washington.

Schools That May Offer Training Courses in Washington

Listed beneath this paragraph are schools in Washington that might have training courses for phlebotomists. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to know that not all courses or schools may meet the requirements set by the state of Washington for phlebotomy training, and if you’re considering a particular course or school, it’s a good idea to verify with the state that it meets the proper requirements before signing up. The schools listed below are for reference and are not guaranteed to meet any requirements; they are simply local schools that may offer training, and it’s your responsibility to verify whether or not they offer the appropriate type of training for your situation.

North Seattle Community College
9600 College Way N, Seattle, WA
(206) 934-3600

Bellvue College
3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, WA 98007
(425) 564-1000

Bellingham Technical College
3028 Lindbergh Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 752-7000

Cascadia Community College
18345 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011
(425) 352-8000

Clark Community College
1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663
(360) 699-6398

Columbia Basin College
2600 N 20th Ave, Pasco, WA 99301
(509) 547-0511

Edmonds Community College
20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036
(425) 640-1459

Everett Community College
2000 Tower St, Everett, WA 98201
(425) 388-9100

Renton Technical College
3000 NE Fourth Street, Renton, WA 98056
(425) 235-2352

Spokane Community College
1810 N Greene St, Spokane, WA 99217
(509) 533-7000

Skagit Valley College
2405 E College Way, Mt Vernon, WA
(360) 416-7600

Shoreline Community College
16101 Greenwood Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133
(206) 546-4101