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Are free phlebotomy classes a myth or reality? If the search patterns are any indication a lot of people seem to be on the lookout for cheap or preferably free phlebotomy training. In this article, we try to throw some light on this subject.
Phlebotomy is the process of drawing blood from a person for transfusion, diagnosis or research purposes. A phlebotomist is a medical professional is specialized in drawing blood. In the distant past, phlebotomy was not even a specialized function, rather it used to be one of the duties of nurses, laboratory staff or even physicians. With the evolution of the health care sector, there was increased focus on specialization. Drawing blood thus became a specialized function and health care establishments started having phlebotomists to handle this role.
The traditional route to becoming a phlebotomist was to seek a position as a trainee phlebotomist in a laboratory or hospital. Here, the trainee would learn the skills on the job under the supervision of an expert phlebotomist or nurse. While a few health care institutions still recruit trainee phlebotomists, increasing numbers of employers now prefer phlebotomists with formal training. This is because formally trained phlebotomists have a good grounding in patient communications and legal aspects besides being well-versed with the theoretical side of phlebotomy. These skills result in better patient care and an overall improvement in the establishment’s level of professionalism.
Free phlebotomy classes
While the great majority of training programs in phlebotomy are paid, there do exist some options for getting free or really cheap training. We now look at them one by one:
a. Trainee phlebotomist
The first and most obvious way to get free phlebotomy training is to get recruited as a trainee phlebotomist in a laboratory that is independent or attached to a hospital. The employer in such instances may require you to work with them for a certain period of time post the training. You may even be paid a small stipend or salary during the training period. This type of training can last from a few weeks to a couple of months. If you are interested in this option, check with the hospitals in your area to find out if trainee opportunities for phlebotomists exist with them.
b. Unemployment programs
Most states have vocational training programs to help unemployed people improve their skills and find jobs. To be eligible to recieve such free training, however, you are required to be unemployed and in many cases on unemployment benefits. Your local unemployment office can give you information about whether they offer free phlebotomy classes and if so, through which vocational schools.
c. Regional Occupational Program (ROP)
Regional Occupational Programs are state-funded career training programs for high school juniors and seniors. ROPs also offer vocational training opportunities for adults to upgrade their existing skills or acquire new ones. ROP’s are administered by the respective counties and operated through school districts. To find out if your county’s ROP offers phlebotomy training, contact your high school district office. ROP training is by and large tuition-free but there will be some fee charged for study material and supplies. However, though this is not exactly free phlebotomy training, the costs are way lower than those of paid courses.
We thus find that there exist opportunities for receiving free phlebotomy training. While attending a paid program offered by an accredited institution is always the better option, we are aware not everyone can afford the costs. For such people, free phlebotomy classes are certainly an option worth pursuing.