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Phlebotomists collect blood samples from patients to help diagnose illness. Find out how you could train as a phlebotomist.
Working life
As a phlebotomist, you will take blood samples from patients. The samples are examined in a laboratory and the results can be used to diagnose diseases and conditions.
When taking blood, you have to be careful that you
  • don’t harm the patient
  • don’t disturb any nursing care that the patient is receiving
  • take the blood correctly so it can be used for testing
  • label the samples carefully
  • store the blood correctly
  • deliver the samples promptly to the lab
Patients may be nervous about having their blood taken, so you have to reassure them and put them at ease.
Phlebotomists may work in hospitals, clinics or health centres. You may visit patients at home or in residential or care homes.
Depending on where you're based, you will work as part of a team with a nurse, healthcare science staff working in blood sciences, biomedical scientists, GPs and other healthcare staff. You may work as a healthcare assistant, and then receive training in phlebotomy so that you can take patient's blood.
Entry requirements
There are no set entry requirements to become a trainee phlebotomist. Employers usually ask for at least two GCSEs or equivalent. They may ask for a BTEC or equivalent vocational qualification in health and social care or healthcare.
Employers often ask for relevant work experience. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked in health or social care, in either paid or voluntary work. There are apprenticeships in healthcare that would give you relevant experience to apply for a trainee phlebotomist position. You could work as a healthcare assistant, and then receive training in phlebotomy so that you can take patient's blood.
Skills and personal characteristics needed
As a phlebotomist, you'll need:
  • to be caring and kind
  • willing to be hands-on with patients
  • to be able to put patients at ease - they might feel anxious about giving blood
  • able to follow instructions and procedures
  • able to work in a team but use your own initiative
  • able to explain procedures to patients, careful and methodical
You'll also need:
  • good communication skills
  • including listening skills
  • good organisational and observational skills
Training and development
Phlebotomists are trained on the job and so securing a trainee phlebotomist position is recommended.
The training includes theory and practical work including
  • how to take blood from different patient groups, including children and the elderly
  • different ways to take blood
  • health and safety
  • anatomy and physiology
  • labelling samples
If you take a freestanding course in phlebotomy before applying for a job as a phlebotomist, there is no guarantee of a position within the NHS.
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Certificate of Completion 
£1500 per person
Phlebotomy Certificate of Attendance
This ONE DAY course. In a small group of people, you will be instructed in how to take blood ensuring that you adhere to strict infection control principles and our local Trust Policies.
Upon completion of the course, we will provide you with a Certificate of Attendance.
We recommend that you are then supervised by a suitable and competent person in your work place.
This course is attended mostly by research scientists, doctors and nurses and non-medical background individuals.
Please Note:
  1. You will NOT receive a certificate of COMPETENCE; only of Attendance. You cannot claim that you are competent in phlebotomy after only one successful attempt on a real person. Competence will be deemed by future employers and can vary between institutions.
  2. We are unable to organise any voluntary work in our associated hospitals for you to gain further experience. You will have to arrange this yourself.
Course objectives
By the end of this session, candidates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate appropriate infection control principles when performing phlebotomy.
  • Use both the butterfly system and the vacutainer system to collect a blood sample.
  • List the potential complications during and after taking blood.
Course outline
  • The session will begin with a theoretical component followed by demonstrations and then practise.
  • Participants will practise on simulation arms.
  • You will be given ample opportunity to practise on the manikins.
Certification and Other Details
On completion of this course, you will receive a certificate confirming that you have ATTENDED the course and achieved the above objectives.
Supervised phlebotomy in a clinical setting on real patients is required by most trust policies to achieve full proficiency in this skill.
Equipment & Guidelines
You will have the opportunity to use butterfly needles and vacutainer blood taking systems.
It may be worthwhile checking which system is more commonly used at your facility so that we can concentrate on that.
This course is designed for non-medical background individuals, any healthcare professional, research scientist who is required to take blood from patients in a clinical, research environment or beauty professional. We also accept members of the public who are planning to pursue a career as a hospital phlebotomist. A maximum number of participants per course is 10.
The course is designed, written and taught by nursing and medical clinicians, all of whom have many years of experience teaching and performing practical procedures.
Phlebotomy (part I) Training Programme
  1. 9:45am - Registration and coffee
  2. 10:00am - 4.30pm Interactive lecture led by one of our Tutor​
  3. 12:00pm - 1:30pm - Lunch
  4. 2:45pm - 3:00pm - Break
  5. 4:30pm - 5:30pm - Live demonstration. Practical session, taking blood from the manikin and live models 
  6. 5:30pm - Questions and answers
  7. 6:00pm - Close
Phlebotomy Certificate of Competence

One day - intensive course. This advanced course will enable participants to build on their existing skills to learn techniques. The course is only open to candidates that have already successfully completed our cannulation training and hold the appropriate Certificate of Attendance.
Course objectives
  • Take blood from a real person under supervision.
Course outline 
  • You will be given ample opportunity to practise on the manikins.
  • Once confident at taking blood from the manikin you will have the opportunity to take blood from a fellow participant providing they give consent.
Phlebotomy (part II) Training Programme
  1. 09:45am - Registration and coffee
  2. 10:00am - 16.30am - Interactive practical session. Taking blood from the manikin and live models
  3. 12:00pm - 13:30pm - Lunch
  4. 14:45pm - 15:00pm - Break
  5. 16:30pm - 17:30pm - Questions and answers
  6. 17:30pm - Diploma
  7. 18:00pm - Close
⋆ In case of a small group (up to 5 people) and participants of a training course with a minimum secondary education, it is possible to conduct a 1-day intensive course, covering an entire scope of the training course.
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