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Phlebotomy Training Program

All Phlebotomy training sessions at UC Irvine Health have been canceled for 2020. Please check back toward the end of the year for updates.

Program Overview

The Phlebotomy Training Program is operated by the UC Irvine Health Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. It was established in 2003 and is the only University-based phlebotomy training program in Orange County. Program faculty includes clinical laboratory scientists and experienced, certified phlebotomists.

The phlebotomy program is approved by the California Department of Public Health, Laboratory Field Services (DHS-LFS).

The purpose of the program is to provide training to students who seek a career in phlebotomy or related healthcare professions. The school offers two sessions per year and accepts up to 12 students per session with classes starting in March and August. The curriculum includes 40 hours of didactic training and 100 hours of practical training.

A certificate of completion is awarded when students have successfully completed the training program. The students are then eligible to take the PBT (phlebotomy technician) certifying examination offered by ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) or other certifying examinations approved by DHS-LFS. Students who have successfully passed the ASCP certification exam can apply for the California State Certified Phlebotomy Technician 1 (CPT1) certification and PBT (ASCP) Phlebotomy Technician certification (National Certification).

Application Procedure »

Selection Criteria

To be considered for admission to the program, candidates must have submitted complete applications by the specified deadline and have met the state eligibility requirements and admission criteria. Selected applicants will be contacted for an interview with the members of the program's admissions committee. In addition to evaluating academic performance, interview, interest in phlebotomy and letters of recommendation, the admission committee also considers clinical laboratory work experience, honors, extracurricular activities and communication skills.

Application materials consist of the following:

  • A completed application form (pdf doc).
  • Copy of official high school transcript(s), and/or official college transcript(s). An official transcript is one that is signed by the Registrar where the student is/was in attendance and imprinted with the institutional seal. The transcript(s) can be mailed directly from the Registrar to UC Irvine Phlebotomy Program c/o program coordinator. If transcripts are given to students, they must be placed in sealed envelopes and the seals must be intact (not broken) when submitted with the application packet.
  • Statement of interest in phlebotomy.
  • At least two letters of recommendation from teacher(s), academic advisor(s), career counselor(s) or employer(s). All letters must be printed on original letterhead paper.

For foreign degree transcript evaluation contact:

AACRAO, Office of International Education Services
1 Dupont Circle, NW Suite 370,
Washington, D.C., 20036-11110

All documents must be legible. They should be either typed or clearly printed in blue or black ink.   

Application deadline  

  • Application deadline: Jan. 7 for the March session and June 1 for the August session.
  • The application form, official school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and statement of interest must be submitted to the program coordinator on or before the application deadline.
  • Additional references such as clinical laboratory work experience, honors, extracurricular activities and other personal recommendations must be received on or before the application deadline also.
  • Applicants are encouraged to start the application process early. Incomplete applications will not be processed and will be held upon request only.
  • Selected applicants will be contacted by the program coordinator for an interview appointment after the application deadline.
  • Individuals selected for the program will be notified immediately after the selection process is completed.

The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, identity, pregnancy, disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, martial status, citizenship, sexual orientation, status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access and treatment in University programs and activities.

Admission Requirements »

To be eligible for admission, the applicant must:

  • Submit a completed application form.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent (official high school transcript required). Copies and unsealed transcripts are considered unofficial and will not be accepted. College units and laboratory or related healthcare experience are not required, but preferred.
  • Be fluent in English (verbal and written).
  • Submit at least two letters of recommendation printed on original letterhead from teacher(s), academic advisor(s), career counselor(s), or employer(s).
  • Submit a personal statement of interest.
  • Be at least 18 years of age or older.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have a valid Social Security number (for state licensing purposes).

The following information will not be required until the applicant has been accepted into the program:

  • Successfully complete and pass a background check done by HireRight. The background investigation is used to determine if a person has a criminal history.
  • Meet all medical requirements and pass the health assessment given by the UC Irvine Medical Center's occupational healthservice.
  • Submit proof of immune status and all supporting documents for the following:
    • Measles
    • Rubella (German measles)
    • Varicella zoster (chickenpox)
    • Hepatitis B virus
      • Have proof of a Hepatitis B vaccination or signed vaccination waiver (provided by the program).
    • Tuberculosis (TB) screening
      • TB skin test (two steps)
      • Chest X-ray (must be taken within past 12 months) is required if there is history of positive TB skin test.
  • Submit a current basic physical examination signed by a licensed physician (conducted within the 12 months prior to the beginning of the training) to specify that there are no physical limitations for participating in the training activities, or a note from a licensed physician (on original letterhead paper) indicating student may participate in the clinical training without limitations.

Foreign degree students only:

  • Must have your transcript(s) translated to English and submit the transcript(s) to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) for evaluation.
  • Contact AACRAO for information and transcript evaluation or call 202.355.1057.
  • Recent history of attendance at a U.S. college or university is preferred.
Withdrawal from the Program  

A student desiring to withdraw from the program must present his/her intention and reason for withdrawal in writing to the medical director of the program.  Upon review of the request, an exit interview will be scheduled with at least one program official. Documentation of the interview and written request will remain in the student’s file. The student will turn in all training program and medical center property upon termination.

Financial Information »

Tuition — Payable after selection into the program has been confirmed

  • Tuition is $2,000 (payable by check or money order). This includes the Administrative fee and all training materials: the phlebotomy text book, lecture materials, skills lab sessions, training supplies, personal protective clothing, and the clinical rotation.
  • Administrative fee of $100 is nonrefundable.
  • National certification exam application fee and California phlebotomy technician certificate application fee are not included.
  • Tuition is due one week prior to the start of the program and must be fully paid before training begins.
    *Please do not send payment until you receive confirmation of acceptance into the program.

Financial Assistance and Payment Plans

  • No financial aid is available for this program.
  • Private loans will be accepted, but funding must be available one week prior to the start of the program.
  • Contact program coordinator to discuss payment plans (Note: there is a $50 transaction fee for setting up the payment plan).

Refund Policy  

Refunds are based on the date a written request is received by a phlebotomy program official. An administrative fee will be assessed for any withdrawal or dismissal.  

  • Withdrawal prior to the first class session: $1,900 (total fee minus the nonrefundable portion of $100).
  • Withdrawal or dismissal for any reason prior to the clinical training: $950 (50% of tuition minus the nonrefundable portion of $100).
  • Withdrawal or dismissal for any reason after the clinical training has started: no refund will be issued.
Curriculum »

The program consists of 20 hours of basic didactic, 20 hours of advanced didactic, and 100 hours of practical training in a clinical setting. 

1. Basic Didactic (20 hours)  

    • Historical perspective and roles of phlebotomists
    • An overview of services provided by healthcare professionals
    • Basic anatomy and physiology of body systems, and appropriate medical terminology
    • Basic infection control, biohazards, universal precautions and safety
    • Accuracy in patient care—proper patient identification, specimen collection and test requisition
    • Blood collection equipment, types of tubes and additives, proper order of draw when additives are required and special precautions
    • Anatomical site selection and patient preparation
    • Venipuncture procedure and technique: proper identification of patient and specimens; the importance of accuracy in overall patient care; proper selection and preparation of venipuncture site, including selection of antiseptic; collection techniques for different age groups and patient types
    • Skin puncture equipment, procedure and technique
    • Post puncture care and appropriate disposal of sharps, needles and waste
    • Test requisition, proper specimen transport, processing and storage
    • Application of basic concepts of communication, interpersonal relations, stress management and professional behavior

2. Advanced Didactic (20 hours)

    • General pathologic conditions associated with body systems and diagnostic tests
    • The circulatory system with emphasis on its functions and the circulatory pathways
    • Advanced infectious disease control and biohazards
    • Risk factors and appropriate response to complications which may arise from phlebotomy
    • Blood culture and other special collection procedures
    • Phlebotomy quality management and quality assurance in phlebotomy necessary to provide accurate and reliable laboratory test results
    • Arterial puncture equipment and procedure
    • Hemostasis and anticoagulation theory
    • Ethics and legal issues related to phlebotomy
    • Knowledge of preanalytical sources of error in specimen collection, transport, processing and storage
    • Recognition of and corrective actions to take when confronted with problems in phlebotomy, test requisitions, specimen transport and processing
    • Federal regulations and regulatory agencies

3. Practical Training in a Clinical Setting (100 hours)  

    • 100 hours of hands-on training under direct supervision and guidance of CA state-certified phlebotomists in ambulatory clinics
    • Successful completion of a minimum 100 venipunctures and 10 capillary punctures on various age groups and different categories of patients
    • Observation of at least two arterial punctures

Academic Progression

  • In order to progress in the Phlebotomy Training Program, students must successfully fulfill the minimum requirements of the program:
    • 40 hours of basic and advanced didactic
    • 100 hours of practical training in a clinical setting (successful completion of minimum 100 venipunctures, 10 capillary punctures and two arterial puncture observation)
  • Competencies may be documented through various competency checklists and direct observations of phlebotomy skills.
  • Achievement of teaching objectives may be documented by achieving passing scores (70 percent or better) on phlebotomy quizzes/examinations and 80 percent (B-) or better on overall practical training performance.
  • Students are expected to develop a sense of responsibility and ethics related to patient care, which is reflected in attitudes toward learning.
  • If a student is unable to achieve and maintain the level of performance required, the program is obliged to take steps toward probation and/or release from the program.


Student performance will be evaluated throughout the training based on: didactic lecture exams, laboratory exams, phlebotomy skills, work habits, professional attitudes and ability to work with others.

Students will also have the opportunity to evaluate the overall program, lecture presentations and practical training.  

Schedule of Classes  

There are two training sessions per year: spring and fall. All students for each session will have the seven-day didactic (classroom) portion of the training on the UC Irvine Medical Center campus in the city of Orange. After completion of the classroom instruction, students will start their clinical training rotation at either the UC Irvine outpatient laboratory in Orange or the UC Irvine Gottschalk outpatient laboratory on the UC Irvine campus.

The spring session generally starts on the first Monday in March and the fall session generally starts on the third Monday in August. Didactic generally starts from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday to Friday for two weeks) and clinical training generally starts from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday to Friday for three weeks). Each student will be assigned to a 5 a.m. start time on two days of the clinical rotation at UC Irvine Douglas Hospital.  

There are two or three clinical rotations per session. Each student will be assigned to one of the rotations. The rotation may start the week following didactic or up to six weeks after the didactic. Students on sick leave or personal leave will have one month after the class final to complete the training.

Frequently Asked Questions »

Q:  Is your program approved?
A:  Yes, our program is approved by the State of California Department of Public Health-Laboratory Field Services (DHS-LFS).  

Q:  What are the prerequisites?
A:  The prerequisites for our program are:

  • Students must be at least 18 or older
  • A high school diploma or GED; college/university units are desirable
  • Verbal and written fluency in English
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Proof of current mumps, measles, rubella (German measles), and varicella zoster (chicken pox) immunizations or titers
  • Proof of a negative TB skin test (two steps) or a negative chest X-ray taken within three months of the start of training
  • Proof of a hepatitis B vaccination or signed vaccination waiver (provided by the program)
  • Note from a licensed physician indicating student may participate in the clinical training without limitations

Q:  How can I apply to the program?
A:  You must submit the following required documents before the application deadline:

  • An application form (pdf doc)
  • A copy of your official high school and/or official college school transcript
  • A personal statement of interest
  • Letters of recommendation from teacher(s), academic counselor(s)/advisor(s) or employer(s)—(two or more is preferred).
  • Mail the completed application form and all required documents to the UC Irvine Phlebotomy Program c/o program coordinator for delivery on or before the application deadline. We do not have an online application.

Mailing Address:
UC Irvine Phlebotomy Program
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
UC Irvine Medical Center
101 The City Drive South, Bldg. 54, Room 1207
Orange, CA 92868-8694

Q:  What are the class hours? 
A:  Didactic lecture is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday to Friday for two weeks) and clinical rotation is from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday to Friday for three weeks). Each student will be assigned to a 5 a.m. start time on two days of the clinical rotation. We do not offer weekend or evening programs.
Q:  Where do we go for our didactic and clinical training?
A:  Didactic lectures will be taught at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, California. Students will attend clinical rotations at the UC Irvine ambulatory clinics located in the City of Orange and the City of Irvine.

Q:  Does the UC Irvine Phlebotomy Program offer the state certification exam?
A:  No, currently there are six certifying agencies approved by the State of California to give phlebotomy certification examination. Please go to the DHS-LFS website for a list of the approved testing agencies.
Q:  Do you offer financial aid?
A:  No, we do not have financial aid. (Please note that the UC Irvine Phlebotomy Program does not participate in Title IV Federal Financial Aid Programs).
Q:  How much does the training cost?
A:  The total cost for the training is $2,000. This includes text book, lecture materials, skills lab sessions, training supplies, personal protective equipment and the clinical rotation.

Q:  Are there additional fees? 
A:  Yes, the certification examination fee and the state phlebotomy technician certification fee are not included in the tuition.

Q:  How do I apply to your program if I am a foreign graduate or have attended school outside the United States? 
A:  You need to do the following:

  • Contact AACRAO for your foreign degree or foreign transcript(s) evaluation. 
  • Follow the application procedure listed above to apply to our program.   
Q:  Whom should I contact if I have other questions or would like more detailed information?
A:  You can email the phlebotomy program coordinator, Suzanne Adelsohn at or phone her at 714-456-8694.

Program Coordinator

Suzanne Adelsohn  
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
UC Irvine Medical Center
101 The City Drive South, Bldg. 54, Room 1207
Orange, CA 92868
Phone: 714-456-8694
Fax: 714-456-2200

Medical Director

Sherif A. Rezk, MD   
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
UC Irvine Medical Center
101 The City Drive South, Bldg. 54, Rte 38
Orange, CA 92868