Phlebotomy Training and Courses | Rhode Island

Rhode Island, originally called Providence Plantations, is the smallest state, yet has the longest official name of any state in the US. Like many other East Cost states, Rhode Island, although small, has a health care system that’s comprised of a number of different workers, performing a wide range of duties. This includes doctors, all different types of nurses, and even phlebotomy technicians who collect blood samples from patients.

While phlebotomy isn’t as mainstream and varied as nursing, it’s still an important profession. If there’s been a point where you’ve given the idea of being a phlebotomist some thought, then you might enjoy reading some of the information here. From Rhode Island-specific certification information to a general overview of the field, there’s definitely a lot of interesting information here. Additionally, there’s also some listings near the bottom (the last section) of this page where you can see information schools and colleges in Rhode Island that might have different types of phlebotomy training programs.

Rhode Island Phlebotomist Training – Basic Details

The primary aim of phlebotomist technician training programs is to impart the various skills and medical knowledge on students that is necessary to be competent phlebotomists so they can pursue a career in phlebotomy if they choose to do so. This is may be done in three ways: first, instructors may teach students the knowledge necessary to gain a solid understanding the field of phlebotomy. Second, instructors may teach students the skills that a phlebotomist needs to have. Third, a phlebotomy training course may provide opportunities for students to practice some of the skills that they learned during the course.

The first part, teaching students knowledge necessary to understand phlebotomy, may be done in a classroom. Subjects taught may include various subjects like anatomy, physiology, medical history, terminology, definitions, and other related subjects. Additional topics may be included or excluded depending upon the school where a course is being taught, and the course itself.

The second part, teaching students phlebotomy skills, may include several different practical skills, such as venipuncture, dermal (skin) puncture, learning CPR, how to use an AED properly, basic first aid concepts and skills. CPR and first aid may not always be included in a phlebotomy course, but some courses may include those skills. Venipuncture and dermal puncture comprise the main skills of drawing blood. Venipuncture is the technique of drawing blood by using a needle to extract blood from a vein. Blood is drawn through a hollow needle and then into a tube or another type of collection container. Dermal puncture (puncturing the epidermis, the top layer of skin) is the technique of drawing blood by creating a small puncture wound in the skin (often the index finger) with a very small needle. Blood then pools around the entry wound (or can be squeezed out) and is collected; paper strips or small plastic devices are often used to collect this blood. This technique may be suitable when only a small amount (a few drops of so) of blood is needed.

The third part of a phlebotomy training course may offer students some time work on practicing  their skills. This may be accomplished in a lab, where students might perform some of the various phlebotomy skills while an instructor watches over them ready to answer questions and provide instruction. Sometimes, courses may offer externships (if they are available), which are periods of time where a student may work in a medical setting, such as a hospital or possibly medical clinic. This may allow the student to gain experience drawing blood in real-world situations.

Phlebotomists in Rhode Island – Job Duties

Rhode Island phlebotomists have similar job duties as phlebotomists elsewhere. The primary one is to draw blood, often accomplished through the various phlebotomy techniques. Other possible job duties might be different depending upon the specific location of where a phlebotomist works, but examples may include the following:

  • Examining labels of blood samples for accurate patient information
  • Helping patients understand any blood drawing procedures being performed
  • Delivering blood samples to various places (such as a laboratory)
  • Preparing blood specimens for the laboratory
  • Using computers to record information about blood draws

Blood draws with an elevated level of difficulty may also be required of phlebotomists, especially at certain locations. A phlebotomist encounters a difficult draw when there’s one reason or another that the difficulty is heightened.  When a phlebotomist has a hard time drawing blood from the easily-collapsible veins of an elderly patient, that might be a difficult draw. As another example, when a phlebotomist has a hard time drawing blood from the small veins of a newborn baby, that might also be a difficult draw.

Rhode Island Phlebotomy Certification Information

Rhode Island is not currently (at the time of writing) one of the US states that requires certification or licensing. Certification isn’t required on a national or federal level, either. However, there are non-governmental national phlebotomy certification organizations that offer phlebotomist certification. Employers, in some situations, might require potential applicants or employees to have a current certification through a certification organization; this may be a common practice to ensure that all phlebotomists have a certain level of competency.

If you want to have a certification from one of the many national phlebotomist certification agencies, you may be able to be certified through the training course you participate in. Not all courses offer certification, however, so if yours does not, you can get certified outside of the course. However, if you choose this route you should make sure to check with whichever certification agency you’d like to receive a certification from to learn about their course level requirements. This way, you don’t end up taking a course that doesn’t count toward there certification, which would definitely be a waste and something to avoid. Let’s look at an example here: if you know that you want to be certified by AMT (American Medical Technologists) and one of the local courses you want to take doesn’t have AMT certification as part of it, then make sure you talk to AMT prior to getting registered for the course to ensure that it will count toward their certification as some courses may not.

There might also be additional individual requirements for certification that go beyond the requirements at the course level. These may be diverse, and some may line up with the requirements that a course itself has for participation. For example, you might need to have finished high school (or equivalent), and you may also need to have completed a specified amount of time or hours in a phlebotomy lab. You might also need to be CPR certified, or have completed other various requirements on an individual level (not the course level).

One final thing to take note of is that fact that some certification agencies may offer expedited certification options to people who have experience in a medical career. If you’ve done some work that involved drawing blood before or some other things (like an EMT who started IVs on patients) then you might be able to obtain a certification quicker than the average person without that type of experience. To find out for sure, you’d need to contact the phlebotomy certification agencies to find out what type of programs they have like this (if any), and what the qualification criteria might be.

Schools & Colleges in Rhode Island

Below are a number of Rhode Island schools where you can look for phlebotomy training (they may or may not currently have programs).

Community College of Rhode Island
1 Hilton St, Providence, RI 02905
(401) 455-6000

Bastien Academy
120 Amaral St, RI 02915
(401) 369-9174

911 Programs
175 Metro Center Blvd, Ministerial Road, South Kingstown, RI 02879-1301
(401) 773-7716