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California Phlebotomist Certification

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Phlebotomy Standards in California

California is often a pioneer in healthcare industry workplace regulations. Those with blood drawing responsibilities in the state of California must now first become a Certified Phlebotomist. This requirement went into effect on April 9, 2003, with the exception for experienced phlebotomists who were at that time already working in the field. They had up to three years to meet the new standards, which means by 2006 all phlebotomists in California had to be certified in order to practice the skill.

California law requires that phlebotomy students must pass a practical examination as part of the phlebotomy training in a clinical setting. California also added the requirement that all phlebotomy instructors regardless of their licensure (from the doctor to the phlebotomist) must pass a certifying examination given by an approved certifying organization into their state legislation; but not just any certifying organization!

The certifying organization who administers California phlebotomy certification exams must be approved by the CA Department of Health Services. Furthermore, all qualifying phlebotomists in California will need to obtain 3 hours professional continuing education per year to maintain their state certificate. Each two-year renewal application requires proof of having completed six phlebotomy continuing education (CE) hours. American Medical Technologists provide the Registered Phlebotomyist Technician (RPT) exam, which is recognized and valid in the State of California.

California Phlebotomist Certification

Those with blood drawing responsibilities in the state of California must now first become a Certified Phlebotomist. This requirement went into effect on April 9, 2003, with the exception for experienced phlebotomists who are already working in the field, who have up to three years to meet the new standards.

To sum up the law for California phlebotomists: Those who have 1040 hours or more of documented experience in phlebotomy must document 50 successful venipunctures and 10 successful skin punctures on patients, take an approved 20 hour advanced didactic course in phlebotomy, pass an approved certification examination, and then apply to the State of California to become a state certified phlebotomist.

Phlebotomists with less than 1040 hours and more than 1 hour of documented experience in applied phlebotomy must document 50 successful venipunctures and 10 successful skin punctures, take an approved 20 hour basic followed by an approved 20 hour advanced didactic course in phlebotomy, sit for an approved certification exam, and then apply to become a CA state certified phlebotomist.

Those who wish to receive a copy of the revised regulations can call or e-mail the Laboratory Field Services of the California Department of Health Services -- Phlebotomy Program staff: Nancy Stone at 510-873-6434, nstone@dhs.ca.gov; or Gwen Wong at 510-873-6449, gwong2@dhs.ca.gov. The LFS mailing address is CA Dept. of Health Services – LFS, 1111 Broadway – 19th Floor, Oakland, CA, 94607-4036.

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