Basic Phlebotomy Course? Y/N?


Specializes in Cardiac, CVICU. Has 3 years experience.

So, I start my second year (out of three) of nursing school next month! I am in a BSN program, but I saw a local tech school is offering a basic phlebotomy course.

I texted one of my professors (who ironically used to work there) and she said we would be going over phlebotomy in med-surg this semester. She knows the instructor and said he was very good.

The whole class costs $269 and I think I could get at least one credit through my university. The registrar normally gives us credits for additional classes we take (like BLS, ACLS, PALS, etc.), if we choose to take them.

The class is a four-week evening class on tuesdays and wednesdays, which works well with my schedule. My questions are... Would it be worth it to take this additional class? Could I get a job as a phlebotomist while I am in nursing school?


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Does the class prepare you to sit for the CPT exam? Is your instructor able to proctor? If yes, then yes, you can work as a phleb while in school. However, places may be hesitant to hire you because they see that you'll be ready to leave the instant you're an RN, and that's not far away, at this point.

Will it help you with nursing? Eh. If you work at a hospital where nurses draw their own labs, AND your school doesn't cover it in clinicals/skills lab, then sure. If you want to do it so you can improve your IV skills, I think it's not the best route to take (and I'm sure some would disagree with me, but allow me to elaborate).

First, the criteria for a vein for a lab draw and a vein for an IV catheter are NOT the same. For a lab draw, you don't need much of the vein. You can go in a curvy vein, you can go in a little bump of a vein. For an IV, you need a length of straight vein long enough to feed the catheter. It needs to be stable enough to maintain the IV. The equipment is also VERY different. Knowing the order of draw (and understanding that there is one and why) is an advantage you'd have over most nurses. I see SO many nurses who don't even know that there's an order, or understand the importance of drawing in the correct order or COMPLETELY filling the blue top or even how to properly invert tubes. So these things, yes, it would put you a little above other nurses. Will this help you find work as a nurse? Not in my experience. But maybe if you don't live in CA, your situation is different and it WILL help.

SopranoKris, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in ER & Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

Do you want to be a C-PBT? To get that type of certification, you have to show documented proof of an approved course, plus a certain number of actual, live draws on patients, etc. I got my PBT to get points on my nursing school application. It was a 2 semester program. First semester was lecture & lab was practicing blood draws on each other. The second semester was an externship in the hospital. I did blood draws on patients, made rounds for all the lab draws, did draws in the outpatient lab, etc. It was great experience, as far as learning how to feel comfortable talking to patients. I learned to do basic lab procedures as well (prepping samples for the MLS)

I feel like it gave me the confidence to find a good vein when it comes time to learn to do IVs. However, would I recommend it if you're already going to cover it in your nursing program? No. I think it's too much of a time investment. You can try finding work as a PBT, but if your area of the country is like mine, good luck finding a job! I tried to get employed as a tech, but once they knew I was in the nursing program, no one wanted to hire me because they knew I'd just transfer out into an RN position once I graduated. Such a shame, because they would have at least had me there for 2 years.

I don't think it's a worthwhile investment of time nor money.

You will learn the basics while in nursing school and won't become proficient until you've been working for awhile.

Focus on your core studies.