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How to Start a Phlebotomy School

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Blood banks need them. Hospitals require them. Physicians can’t properly diagnose an ailment or illness without one. Given the value of the phlebotomist to the community, it’s easy to see why those seeking a career in health care would flock to this job. Phlebotomists literally save lives every day, so if you’re investigating what it takes to open a school that trains these caregivers, your investment of time and money will reap rewards and you can lay claim to some of that lifesaving yourself.

File for licenses and permits required by your state government. Find out whether your school will also require certification or accredidation to open its doors. Seek funds to build and operate your school by approaching obvious sources--venture capitalists, banks, credit unions and private lenders—and not-so-obvious ones: hospitals, medical businesses and practices with a vested interest in seeing more phlebotomists trained.

Prepare a business plan to show underwriters the merits of your school. Include a needs assessment study, projected budget for launching and operating the phlebotomy program, strategies for attracting students and other documentation substantiating your school’s path to success. Include a financing option so students with high aspirations and little cash can still get the training they need with your school’s help.

Choose from several options when seeking a physical building for your school. Inquire into space availability at an existing trade school so you don’t have to purchase a building until you’ve begun making a profit. Talk with hospitals about locating your school within a medical campus or rent building space in close proximity to other schools to take advantage of public transportation, restaurants and services in place for students.

Purchase used or new equipment needed to support classes and laboratories. Ask major health care insurers, manufacturers and suppliers for donations—particularly if a firm is in the business of supplying, using and manufacturing goods that require blood, plasma and platelets. Approach medical supply companies for everything from syringes to gauze to lab coats and latex gloves.

Put together a coordinated marketing plan covering student recruitment and retention, communications vehicles--class catalogs, schedules, recruitment and informational brochures, print and electronic ads. Launch a dynamic interactive website to attract technologically savvy students and offer them everything from course selection to registration and fee payment with a click of the mouse.

Recruit the best nurses and certified phlebotomy instructors you’re able to find so your school builds an immediate reputation for employing teachers who are the best in their field in addition to having plenty of professional experience in the trenches.

Offer job placement services for your graduates and increase their chances of being placed by affiliating with professional organizations like the National Phlebotomy Association or National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Alternately, look into these credential-granting organizations: the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel and the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians.


Based in Chicago, Gail Cohen has been a professional writer for more than 30 years. She has authored and co-authored 14 books and penned hundreds of articles in consumer and trade publications, including the Illinois-based "Daily Herald" newspaper. Her newest book, "The Christmas Quilt," was published in December 2011.

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