San Francisco Phlebotomy Training – The 2015 Guide

san-francisco-phlebotomy-trainingGiven its size and stature as a city, we were surprised to see how few San Francisco phlebotomy training programs are approved by the State of California.  The California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) only lists 3 schools approved to conduct phlebotomy courses in the city.  Luckily, there are more programs in nearby Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

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 Francisco 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

City College of San Francisco – John Adams Campus
Address 1860 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94117
Phone (415) 561-1900
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page
# of Stars (out of 5) 3 1/2
# of Reviews 6
  • Cost is lower than other local phlebotomy training programs. (mid-$1000s vs. $3000+).
  • “The staff here actually love what they do and that’s all you can hope for. My instructors are on my side and that’s a good feeling. They will push you to be your best and receive all the knowledge that you can get from them and beyond.” (Editor’s Note: this quote was taken from a review of the nursing program, not the phlebotomy program.)
Small Class Size
  • “You really get to know everyone from having a small class size of 40.” (Editor’s Note: this quote was taken from a review of the nursing program, not the phlebotomy program.)
  • “Their parking lot if FREE, but the space is very limited.”
  • “You literally had to get there over an hour before your class if you wanted a parking space in the parking lot, otherwise you would have to get a spot in on the street…”
  • “…because the school is located near some major hospitals and other well known schools, parking on the street can be hard to come by.”
  • “Parking sucks!!! if you cant find parking in the lot, you gotta find street parking.. and that itself can be a challenge…”
  • “I’ve seen parking police riding around handing out tickets to anyone they can.”


Yellow-Light Schools

Bay Area Medical Academy
Address 530 Bush St, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone (415) 217-0077
Class Types
  • Basic Phlebotomy
  • Advanced Phlebotomy
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page
# of Stars (out of 5) 3 1/2
# of Reviews 34
  • “…the phlebotomy course looks good too that teacher loves her job clearly and the students spoke highly of her…”
  • “My instructor was Brandy who is a fun, but no nonsense type. If I could just rate her I’d give five stars.”
  • “I had Brandie as my phlebotomy instructor and she was fantastic.  She was very encouraging and supportive of her students.”
  • “I took the phlebotomy class with Jessie. He was absolutely amazing!! Very funny, patient, and smart. I have learned so much from him in just five weeks!”
  • “The class, taught by Brandie, was amazing.”
  • “Jessie is an awesome instructor. He has high standards for the practice of venipuncture… He is truly a great instructor and I learned a lot from him. He is patient, kind, and most importantly… he is… HILARIOUS!!”
  • “The class portion is made really easy and the lab portion is basically a “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” type of thing.”
  • “Overall the instruction period was fast and easy. Five stars.”
  • “I also really liked the lab assistant to student ratio for the lab practical sessions. I was always able to obtain assistance from one of the lab assistants in a timely manner.”
  • “The classroom experience was solid. They covered everything we needed to know for the exam portion of the certification, and I felt well-prepared going into my externship (which led to a job offer).”
  • “The whole crew at BAMA does a great job at preparing you for the national exam…”
  • “I did my externship in Ohio (long story), so I really appreciated BAMA taking the extra time to coordinate with an out-of-state facility to make sure I get my hours done. Thank you!”
  • “They’ve been great keeping in touch with me about my externship which has just been scheduled; I’m excited.”
  • “The staff, instructors, assistants were very friendly and knowledgeable.”
  • “Mabel, the Career Services Coordinator, is a delight and helped me perfect my resume, interview skills and basically dropped interviews in my lap after I graduated until I landed a phlebotomy job at a major clinic.  She continues to send me job listings and made the whole grueling process of finding a job right out of school easy.”
  • “Everyone is friendly and willing to help out. They also help with finding a job with their interview workshops, job feeds through email, along with prospective employers coming in to interview students.”
  • “The program is expensive…”
  • “even if you turn in all your paperwork on time, they will somehow lose it. “
  • “…they do not return phone calls or emails in a timely manner.”
  • “I felt like the new lab assistants couldn’t completely focus on every student to give them feedback.”
  • “The process to obtain the license takes a million years.”
  • “…there is a POSSIBILITY that you might wait a ‘while’ until to get assigned an externship site… a while might mean several weeks or several months depending on how patient you are…”
  • “I did my class in January of last year, which ended very early February. It took me until mid/late August for my externship, and even for this, I had to pull strings.”
  • “I was a little disappointed by how long I had to wait to take the exam.”
  • “It is ten months later and I am JUST being set up for an externship.”
  • “…despite completing every stage of the process at every earliest opportunity, it will be 8 months before I complete my externship – mind you I signed on for a program that states in a catalog I was given on my first day that TTC (time to complete the entire program) was 3.5 months”
  • “It’s the middle of downtown SF, so parking is exactly what you would expect… it’s (bad). Take bart if you can, the building is literally ON the Powell street BART line. Very convenient.”
  •  “…a super short 1 week externship…”
  • “…they let you do all the blood draws on each other…”
  • “The longest wait was receiving our exam scores but that’s not something the school is responsible for (it’s the testing facility).”
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