Phlebotomy student taking a blood sample

Phlebotomy Program Frequently Asked Questions

A phlebotomist is a health care professional who is trained to withdraw blood for the purpose of evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Many health care facilities also require the phlebotomist to perform electrodcardiography (EKG) tests that measure and monitor the electrical activity in the heart.

Using venipuncture and microcollection techniques, phlebotomists play an important role on the clinical laboratory team by collecting laboratory specimens prior to testing. Other responsibilities might include inputting key patient data into computers using correct medical terminology, understanding chain-of-custody forms and drug screening procedures, using aseptic techniques and Standard Precautions, handling biohazard waste properly, and maintaining patient confidence and confidentiality. Recognizing the importance of specimen collection in the overall patient care system, phlebotomists must be able to monitor quality control within predetermined limits while demonstrating professional conduct, stress management and communication skills with patients, peers and other health care personnel as well as with the public.

A career as a phlebotomist offers flexible hours, nice working conditions and a chance to perform an integral, respected job in the health care profession with minimal post-secondary education required. In addition, a certificate in Phlebotomy can serve as a stepping stone to other health professions involving clinical, administrative and patient care. In general, phlebotomists work directly with patients – from newborns to the elderly – in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, physician offices, convenient/urgent care companies and home health care facilities.

Earnings vary depending on experience and skill level. In 2003, the average phlebotomist/EKG technician earned $10.50 to $12 per hour. The wage per hour continues to climb due to a severe shortage of trained professionals in this career.

The current explosion in this country’s youth population as well as the millions of baby boomers now entering late middle-age promises to provide a never-ending need for health care professionals at all levels. Currently, 12.3 percent of phlebotomy positions go unfilled each year, so the need for well-trained phlebotomist/EKG technicians will continue for quite some time.

The College of DuPage Phlebotomy is a two-semester, intensive program that combines didactic training with hands-on clinical experience. Students learn theory and principles related to blood collection and EKG testing during the didactic portion of the program, and practice blood collection skills in the on-campus laboratory. They then gain proficiency in the performance of these skills during clinical rotations at local hospitals. Included in this program is instruction on medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical law and ethics, principles, procedures, and regulations involving the occupation of phlebotomy. Graduates of this program are able to identify human body systems and functions, and communicate and interact effectively with patients for the purpose of skillfully and safely obtaining a proper blood specimen, while maintaining patient rights by observing the medical code of law and ethics.

 There is not a separate or additional admissions process to begin the Phlebotomy program at College of DuPage. However, students must have a high school diploma or GED. In addition, students must complete the Reading Pre-Course Test at COD with a score of Category 1.

Program Contact Information

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