Los Angeles Phlebotomy Training: The 2015 Guide

los_angeles_phlebotomy_trainingLos Angeles County has more accredited phlebotomy schools than any other county in California.  Great news if you live there!  However, this means that sorting the good schools from the bad ones takes more effort.  You can see what we mean by reading the California Department of Public Health’s list of approved, certified California phlebotomy schools.

If reading that whole document seems like too much work, don’t worry.  We’ve taken the entire list of approved schools, narrowed it down to just the schools in Los Angeles County, and checked each school for its Yelp reviews.  The result is a list of schools that seem like safe choices (aka “green-light schools”), schools that can be a mixed bag (“yellow-light schools”), and schools you might want to avoid (“red-light schools”).

Green-Light Schools

AUMT Institute
Address 20300 S. Vermont Ave., Suite 105
Torrance, CA 90502
Phone 310-532-5133
Website http://www.aumt.org
Class Types Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/aumt-institute-the-phlebotomy-school-torrance
# of Stars (out of 5) 4 1/2
# of Reviews 23
Why It’s A Green-Light “Good payment plan”, “knowledgeable, amazing instructors”, “nice facilities”, “Ms. Kay and Mr. Rosales are good teachers”, “very affordable”, “flexible schedule”, “plenty of practice time”, “small class sizes”, “national exam is administered on-site”
Los Angeles ORT College
Address 6435 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone 323-966-5444 Extension 305
Website  www.laort.edu
Class Types Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/los-angeles-ort-college-los-angeles
# of Stars (out of 5) 4 1/2
# of Reviews 5
Why It’s A Green-Light “Friendly staff”, “helpful career center”, “experienced instructors”.
Harbor Career College (formerly Meridian Institute)
Address 4201 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 515
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone 323-936-1624
Website http://www.harborcareercollege.edu
Class Types Limited w/ Externship
Basic
Advanced
Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/harbor-career-college-los-angeles
# of Stars (out of 5) 4 1/2
# of Reviews 12
Why It’s A Green-Light “Friendly and welcoming staff”, “busy externship”, “passed my NHA exam on the first attempt”, “look forward to going to class everyday”, “prepares you very well for NHA exam”, “caring staff”, “knowledgeable teachers”, “helped apply for state license”, “Ms. Arpie is great”.

Yellow-Light Schools

L.A. Vocational Institute
Address 3540 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 410
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone 213-480-4882
Website http://www.lavocational.com
Class Types Limited w/ Externship
Basic
Advanced
Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/l-a-vocational-institute-los-angeles-2
# of Stars (out of 5) 2 1/2
# of Reviews 9
Why It’s A Red-Light Pros: “Christian is a great teacher”, “I had a teacher so passionate, but also sooo DOWN in my life”, “I was always excited to wake up just so I can attend my phlebotomy class”, “The only redeeming factor to this ‘school’ is Christian”

Cons: “most unorganized school ever”, “professors come and go when they please”, “I’ve been waiting 6 months to get my money back”,

Red-Light Schools

C & S HEALTH EDUCATION SERVICES
Address 17405 Chatsworth Street
Granada Hills, CA 91344
Phone 818-366-2350
Website https://www.facebook.com/CSHealthEducationServices
Class Types Limited w/ Externship
Basic
Advanced
Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/c-and-s-health-education-services-granada-hills
# of Stars (out of 5) 2
# of Reviews 11
Why It’s A Red-Light “incredibly disorganized”, “unhelpful staff”, “very little hands-on practice”, “learn by watching videos”, “the owner Sam Caraway is rude”, “they don’t return phone calls regarding refunds”
California School of Health Science
Address 12141 Brookhurst St Ste 201
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Phone (714) 539-7081
Website http://www.cshs.edu
Class Types Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/california-school-of-health-sciences-garden-grove
# of Stars (out of 5) 3.5
# of Reviews 19
Why It’s A Red-Light Pros: “decent teachers”, “very knowledgeable instructors”,  “I did leave with my certification”, “the teaching staff was friendly; no complaints there”

Cons: “took the school 6 months to find an externship”, “took the school longer than promised to deliver diploma”, “overall organization is terrible”, “supposed to be accelerated but took longer than it would have elsewhere”, “calling the front desk is like pulling teeth”, “it has been months and I’m still waiting for my refund”, “they really seem to only care about the money”

Alameda Phlebotomy Training Programs – The 2015 Guide

alameda-phlebotomy-trainingSo you’re a resident of Alameda and you’ve decided to become a phlebotomist.  Or maybe you’re already a phlebotomist and you just want to brush up on your skills.  Either way, you’ve come to the right place.

Unfortunately, as of August 7, 2015 there is only one phlebotomy training program in Alameda County which is approved by the California Department of Public Health: Fast Response School of Health Care Education.  They offer basic and advanced classes, as well as full externships with hands-on venipuncture practice for those looking to meet their initial certification requirements.

Luckily, current and former students give them high ratings on sites like Yelp:

I am so glad I chose Fast Response to take my EMT and phlebotomy classes… After finishing EMT, I loved the school so much that I decided to sign up for the phlebotomy class. Carmie and Genetia are wonderful people to work with, and I couldn’t have asked for a better class… I passed both the NREMT and NCCT on my first attempts. That says something about the school as a whole.

Ashley from San Ramon, 4/29/2015

Just finishing my externship at a Sacramento laboratory I have had a amazing time all the way through my phlebotomy program. Fast response has opened up a door for a wonderful career for me and I’m definitely looking forward to my future in the medical profession. The tuition was a small price to pay for a career that I can grow in. They worked with my work schedule and curriculum was very straight forward class part time only took 4 weeks which worked great for me and a week externship. Thanks again fast response!

Jesi from Richmond, 6/26/2015

While it should be noted that the vast majority of reviewers gave Fast Response 4-5 stars, not every reviewer had glowing words for their programs.  One reviewer allegedly called to cancel her class (CPR, not phlebotomy) 30 minutes after she booked it, and was told that she would be unable to receive a refund:

I scheduled a CPR class with them, but due to me finding the class else where for a cheaper cost and much more convenient time frame I called back 30 minutes later to cancel. My response was that they pretty much could not give my money back due to their policy. I spoke with The owner and I am still in disbelief of how unprofessional, extremely rude and greedy he is from the start of my calm and collected explanation.  He had no reason to give me the disgusting attitude he gave me, I had given him no reason to treat me the way he did. he kept speaking over me and when I snapped and stated “he had no reason to be an asshole to me” he said: “fine no refund for you, you just called me an asshole” and he hung up…

Mabel from Hayward, 2/15/2015

The school responded to the above negative review with the following:

Our refund policy for our Continuing Education courses is clearly notated on our website:
“Cancellation Policy:  We do not issue refunds for course fees.  All registrations are final.  If you cancel or fail to attend the class you have registered for, you will forfeit your entire course fee.”

Our staff and the owner were only reiterating our policies to you verbatim.  You chose to use profanity. We do not allow our staff to be subjected to vulgar language and offensive behavior. That is why your call was terminated…

Even though you were unable to maintain a professional demeanor, we did provide you with a full refund.  We refunded you not because you threatened us, but because we no longer desired to engage with you and be subjected to your foul language.  We wish you the best of luck in pursuit of your continuing education.

Cathlin T., Business Owner, 2/17/2015

For more information, including contact info, check out Fast Response’s Yelp page.

Orange County Phlebotomy Training – The 2015 Guide

orange-county-phlebotomy-trainingOrange County doesn’t have quite as many phlebotomy schools to choose from as Los Angeles County does, but there are still enough choices to give you multiple good options (and save you a drive up to L.A.).  We know this because we’ve read the full list of California phlebotomy schools which are certified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  Feel free to check out work by reading the full list yourself.

If reading that document seems like too much work, don’t worry.  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 Orange 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

Phlebotomy Training Specialists
Address 14258 Beach Blvd
Westminster, CA 92683
Phone (888) 745-3268
Website http://www.phlebotomyusa.com/
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/phlebotomy-training-specialists-westminster
# of Stars (out of 5) 4
# of Reviews 8
Pros
Great Instructors
  • “My class was very small and Tania, the instructor, is very good at explaining and teaching… so good in fact, that after a few weeks you are well prepared to take the National exam.”
  • “The instructors knowledgeable and nice.”
    “My instructor, Crystal Martinez, is exceptional.  She not only has 17 years of phlebotomy experience, she still works in the field when not teaching.”
  • “Ms. Watson is the teacher she is very smart supper tuff but an amazing teacher, she has a soft side too lol.”
Lots of Practice
  • “Profressional, knowledgeable, practical applications, and a LOT OF PRACTICE.”
  • “Able to get certification in 10 class periods.”
  • “More draws than I could possibly want.”
  • “I was surprised at how many draws I got over the course as many as I wanted.”
  • “I’m very pleased with the ammount of hands on experience they gave me. I performed hundreds of venipunctures and was well prepared for my National test and for job interviews.”
Miscellaneous
  • “Very clean facility also.”
  • “The price is right and the instruction is OUTSTANDING.”
  • “The certification is less expensive than others offered in the area.”
  • “Curriculum is exceptional.”
Cons
  • “I started my class in December and am still waiting for my state certificate because they cant send in the correct documents for the state to release my certificate! “
  • “Shop around to find an approved school that is willing to at least answer their phone calls.”
  • “Ive called many times to get an answering machine.”
  • “I sent in my resume two months ago to get it reviewed, and I am still waiting for a response…my classmates still havent gotten placed for an externship yet either!”
  • “Dont get me wrong, the instructors are great, but the administration is what is lacking.”
FYI
  • “It is a very fast paced class so you do need to pay attention and do your homework – you start drawing blood on the second day,”
  • “Class is very short – only 10 days! Then you take your National exam. After passing, you get assigned your externship and receive your phlebotomy certificate.”
  • “After that, you have to get your California state license and take a CPR course before you can get a job. Tania also has a CPR instructor teach the CPR course so you can get it completed quickly. “
  • “Even though class is only 10 days, it does take a lot of time to complete the requirements for the license. I took the course mid-March and just got my email confirmation for my CA certification (in July).”
UC Irvine’s Phlebotomy Training Program
Address Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
UC Irvine School of Medicine
D440 Medical Sciences I
Irvine, CA 92697-4800
Phone (949) 824-5534
Website http://www.pathology.uci.edu/phlebotomy-training-program.asp
Class Types
  • Basic
  • Advanced
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/university-of-california-irvine-irvine-2
# of Stars (out of 5) 4
# of Reviews 160
Pros
  • The only University-based phlebotomy training program in Orange County.
  • Program faculty includes clinical laboratory scientists and experienced, certified phlebotomists.
  • The UC Irvine name looks good on a résumé.
  • The school has its own medical school where you do your lab externship, meaning you don’t have to wait for the school to find you an externship and you can complete your training faster.
  • Program is not lengthy- 2 weeks of class (8am – 4pm) and 3 weeks of clinical training (7:30am – 4pm, with 2 of those days starting at 5am).
  • Cost is reasonable – $1,600 including classes, training materials, textbook, supplies and administrative fee.
  • Payment plans available.
  • Maximum class size of 24 students.
Cons
  •  Only 2 sessions per year – Spring and Fall.
  • Financial aid is unavailable.
  • No evening or weekend classes offered.
  • Certification examination fee and the state phlebotomy technician certification fee are not included in the tuition.

Red-Light Schools

California School of Health Sciences
Address 12141 Brookhurst St., Suite101
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Phone (714) 539-7081
Website http://www.cshs.edu
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/california-school-of-health-sciences-garden-grove
# of Stars (out of 5) 3 1/2
# of Reviews 19
Pros
  • “…the teachers for this school were decent…”
  • “My instructor was very knowledgeable and helpful.”
  • “I did pass with ease.”
  • “The teaching staff was friendly, no complaints there…”
Cons
  •  “the two professors did not agree on a few topics which made studying for the state exam a bit difficult.”
  • “It took the school about 6 months to place me and the rest of my class at a site for the externship.”
  • “I completed my externship 3 weeks ago and still do not have my diploma in hand though it was promised the same week I finished the externship.”
  • “The overall organization of CSHS is terrible…”
  • “This was supposed to be an accelerated program which is why it cost more than other programs offered at community colleges, but it ended up taking me longer here than it would have at a public school.”
  • “…I basically wasted about $1,000.”
  • “the office is EXTREMELY disorganized…”
  • “I did not receive the supplies for class, that were “included” in my tuition, until the third week of my four week course.”
  • “The front desk is not helpful and you will need to push them to receive any needed information.”
  • “It has been months and I am still waiting on a refund.”
  • “…the upper management staff is laughable.”
Qbics Career College
Address 1125 E 17th St
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone (714) 550-1052
Website http://www.qbics.us
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/qbics-career-college-santa-ana
# of Stars (out of 5) 2
# of Reviews 4
Pros (NOTE: Pros are based on a review of the Certified Nursing Assistant course, not the Phlebotomy Course)

  • “Clinicals are done at a partner long term care facility in Westminster and you get a ton of experience.”
  • “I definitely feel prepared to take the state exam and work in a facility while I apply for nursing school.”
Cons
  • “I made an appointment with “admissions” to get info on their phlebotomy program, the woman was rude and offered very little help.”
  • “Very unprofessional, discouraging and rude.”
  • “…took along time to find no signs or anything, building looks like an old apartment building.”
  • “When we finally went inside there was one man working there and he couldn’t provide us with any information or paperwork, he couldn’t even answer any of our questions about the (program), he said we need to make an appointment to talk to someone and to get information…”
  • “…not too friendly or informative place to call a school.”
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