San Diego Phlebotomy Training Schools – The 2015 Guide

san diego phlebotomy trainingThe good news is that the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) lists 10 schools approved to conduct phlebotomy courses in San Diego.  The bad news is that few of them are anything to get excited about.  At best they have very few recent Yelp reviews for their phlebotomy training programs, which means they are of unknown quality.  And at worst, several of their former students have gone out of their way to post negative reviews of them.

We’ve gone ahead and made recommendations, but bear in mind that the number of reviews that these recommendations are based on is small.  We will continue to monitor California’s list of approved schools, as well as Yelp’s reviews for each school, and update this list if anything changes.

To make things easier, we’ve made a list of all the schools approved by the CDPH, narrowed it down to just the schools in San Diego County, and checked each school for its Yelp reviews.  The result is a list of schools that seem like safe choices (we call them “green-light schools”), schools that you should investigate further before applying at (“yellow-light schools”), and schools you might want to avoid (“red-light schools”).

Green-Light Schools

EMSTA College
Address 11489 Woodside Ave
Santee, CA 92071
b/t Security Way & Karerllyn Dr
Winter Gardens
Phone (619) 593-6782
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page
# of Stars (out of 5) 4 1/2
# of Reviews 4
  • “Great instructors who prepare you for the national testing!” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “I really enjoyed most of my instructors and the class was put together very well.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “…the teachers were great, very helpful and the textbook was very useful.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “Even more impressive… is the amazing energy and enthusiasm modeled by the entire staff at EMSTA.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “The instructors are readily available and go out of there way to make time for you, which is something I have rarely experienced.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “The front office staff at EMSTA has totally helped me through any scheduling or financial issues I have encountered since I have been a student here and is always super friendly and just very helpful.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “I wish they had more classes close to South San Diego…”

Yellow-Light Schools

Health Occupations Center, Grossmont Union High School District
Address 9368 Oakbourne
Santee, CA 92071
b/t St Andrews Dr & Rumson Dr
Phone (619) 956-4300
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page
# of Stars (out of 5) 3 1/2
# of Reviews 7
Teacher Quality
  • “I took a class with Ana. Cool chick, who was a paramedic and knows many people in the field. As a result you learn a lot about the class and what to expect.”
  • “The teachers were more than adequate in getting all their students active in practical application.”
Lack of Job Placement
  • “There was no job assistance after I graduated, and I have never been able to find a job in the area which I studied.”
Unsightly Campus
  • “The school itself is old and run down. All the classes are taught in portable buildings from the 70’s.”
  • “No landscaping, mostly portables from the 1970’s, in the middle of a neighborhood…. it sure isn’t anything pretty to look at.”
Student-Teacher Ratio
  • “…in the program I took, there was close to 30 students in my class…”
  • “…when it came around to the internship portion at the end, there weren’t enough places for everyone. They could only take 3-4 students at a time, at Kaiser. This is the place the school is lined up with. So, in the meantime you’re sitting around at home for months, until they can get around to you.”
Teaching Methods
  • “…you need to be a good test taker to do well in their program.. They do not work with the students on the test taking..All the grade is, is test taking.”
  •  “I would suggest doing some research on the individual instructor, that will be teaching the program you’re interested in.  Find out about their credentials and how many years of experience they have. Consider meeting them before signing up for the class.”
  • “I would also go to the main office and find out if it’s possible to talk to any of the recent grads of the program you’re interested in. Ask how the teacher was and how the program was-and if they were able to find work.”
  • “Books, uniforms, required background checks and other supplies, are separate from the actual program cost.”
  • “Most of their programs, require you take a Health Essentials course before applying, which takes about four months- and is an additional cost both financially and time-wise.”
Kaplan College – San Diego Campus
Address 9055 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone (858) 279-4500
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page
# of Stars (out of 5) 3
# of Reviews 31
  • “I love my instructors, Brenda is like my mentor, she is so nice and I just grasp on to everything she teaches us it’s amazing…”
  • “Teachers were mostly retired nurses. Which is ok at times a little unorganized but gets u were u wanna be!”
  • “The instructors were amazing. They always made sure if any students had questions they would help them better understand what they were learning.”
  • “The instructors there are a gem. Shout out to Dr. Alham, Mr. Roggelin, Ms. Joanna, Mrs. Goldsand and Mrs. Goldberg! The instructors really do care about you succeeding!! Shout out to Ms. Saretsky for putting up with all of us and still being a rock star!!”
  • “…much to my surprise, the instructors were great. I was legitimately shocked to have staff that actually knew what the heck they were talking about and teaching.”
  • “I didn’t feel like they were telling me what I wanted to hear just to get my $$ and get me into the program. They told me the pros and the cons so I could make the decision. No pressure, no drama. They were also very encouraging throughout the program.”
  • “…my admissions reps (Virginia & Carol) were awesome. Very warm, friendly, up front and honest about what I would and wouldn’t get out of the program.”
Finding A Job
  • “Passed my nclex first try. Now have a great job making $30+ so cant complain.”
  • “…pricey…”
  • “Basically its expensive…”
  • “It was very expensive, but I got in right away, which was why I chose Kaplan rather than waiting for a community college.”
  • “…the parking is pretty bad sometimes…”
  • “Unfortunately the class I was with had a lot of people that thought they were still in high school and should bring juvenile BS to school. From inappropriate language, uniforms, cheating, to physical altercations, none of that was dealt with appropriately.”
  • “Nasty, classless students creating drama, and some very biased teachers.”
Finding A Job
  • “I moved shortly after graduating from the program and although they promised to help me find a job, they did not. Thankfully I have excellent employment history and additional job skills so it wasn’t to difficult for me to find a position, however, I know there are people in my class that STILL have not been able to find a job and it’s been 6 months.”
Licensing In California
  • “…they were not clear on the fact that although you pass the NCCT exam for phlebotomy, you still have to apply for California’s licensing. I thought we did the paperwork before graduation so the school would submit it on our behalf because it was part of our program. Apparently this isn’t how it works so now I am scrambling trying to get it done for another job.”
  • “I would only recommend it if you’re used to taking fast track classes because every single class is fast track.”
  • “There are certainly better schools in San Diego, but the waitlists are long and require so many prerequisites.”
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