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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the course award me a Certificate of Competency or NHS Competency?

A genuine Certificate of Competency can ONLY be issued in the workplace. Once employed, you will receive further practical training which is specific to your work place and to your own employer's own policies and procedures. Ultimately you will be awarded a Certificate of Competency by your employer. Your “hands on” experience that leads you towards competency can only be gained with “on the job” experience and can take anywhere from two to six weeks or more, depending on when your employer deems that you are competent within the bounds of their specific departmental requirements.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some course providers claim to provide you with a competency certificate after completing their one or two day course. However any such certificate is worthless unless issued to you after formal work experience and workplace training. Always check that your training provider offers you a NATIONALLY RECOGNISED and ACCREDITED certificate. If in doubt check with your local hospital's Pathology Department and ask if they will accept a certificate of competency issued after a one or two day course!

Q: Can I get a job after completing your course?

Many of our students have secured phlebotomy positions immediately or soon after completing our course. Many of these success stories are highlighted in our Testimonials Booklet, which can also download from our website's Testimonials Page.

Q: Can I register for a place now and pay later?

Yes, You can reserve your place now by making one deposit payment of £105.00 at time of booking and then spread the cost of your course over 2 (£105.00) or 3 (£70.00) remaining instalment payments.

Your instalment plan can be set up by phone or alternatively by using our Booking Form, which you can print and post or complete electronically and email to us.

Q: Why have I booked a course but haven't received a booking confirmation?

When you book a course online you will immediately receive two automated email confirmations - one confirms your credit or debit card payment (from Barclays Merchant Services) and one from ourselves. If you have not received either of these then the chances are that these confirmations have either been diverted (by your email programme) into your "spam" folder, or that you have inadvertently mis-spelt your email address during the booking process. If you have received one, but not the other, then the missing email is almost certainly sitting in your spam folder. This frequently happens with "free" email accounts such as hotmail. If you still cannot find them, or would like a replacement booking confirmation, please email us directly (not via our contact form) to: info@geopace.com.  This then confirms the validity of your email address.

Alternatively, if you have made a booking but would prefer your booking details to be posted to you, then please email us separately stating at which address you would like to receive them.

Q: Do I need to do any preparation before the course?

We will provide you with a helpful Home Study Pack which constitutes part of your total learning time and is designed to be completed at home or at work before you attend. Although the study pack contains information covered on the course, by completing these selected exercises before you attend you will have a "head start" in these areas. You will also meet the total learning time required for you to be awarded 3 credits (at Level Three). Part of your Booking Confirmation (email attachment or by post) will contain details about how to access the download area of our website to enable you to retrieve these documents. You can request printed copies of these documents to be posted to you at any time. If you are unable to complete the Home Study Pack before the course please let us know and we will give you instructions for post-course completion.

Q: When does the course start and finish? How many breaks will we get?

The course runs over two full days, either two concurrent weekdays or one weekend. Start time on both days is 9.30am and finish time is 5.00pm. Please check your booking confirmation for exact times. We will have a morning and afternoon break of around 15 minutes, and a lunchtime break of usually 45-60 minutes. Please note that end of day timings are approximate and may over or under-run by up to 30 minutes.

Q: How large are the classes?

Most of our classes are between 8 and 12 people. We occasionally run slightly smaller or larger groups depending on facilities, group dynamics and the number of teachers tutoring the course. By keeping our class sizes small everyone has a fair chance and ample opportunty to practice and obtain "blood" from our artificial arms.

Q: Will I need to take notes during the theory sessions?

We suggest you make notes as we work through the presentation material, which is a mix of slides, demonstrations and short videos. However, we will also make available to you a full set of the notes at the end of each day, and you will also have support material to help you on both days.

Q: How should I be prepared?

We recommend that you arrive around 10 minutes before the start on Day 1 (to allow for registration), and 5 minutes before the start on Day 2. Please ensure that you bring a notepad and pen. For part of the practical sessions we will form into groups and practice on each other by looking for suitable veins with tourniquets (you will not be taking each other's blood). We therefore recommend that you dress with a short-sleeved or sleeveless top or T-shirt.

Q: Will the course be mainly classroom-based?

You will be spending a part of the two days looking at presentations, videos and making notes. However, there will be plenty of practical based sessions allowing you to look at and handle the equipment that phlebotomists use, as well as forming into groups for a quiz or two and, of course, practising on the artificial arms. We are sure that by the end of the course you will not only have had the opportunity to thoroughly practise your new-found skills, but will have had an enjoyable time as well.

Q: Will I actually take blood with a needle?

Well, yes and no! You will be taking “blood” from prosthetic (artificial) arms with realistic veins as well as very realistic looking blood in them. Everyone will have the chance to experience all steps that a phlebotomist takes to a obtain blood sample.

Q: Will real blood be taken?

No students on this course will actually take real blood from a live human!

Q: Will there be an examination at the end?

No, we do not ask you to sit a formal examination. At the end of each course topic there are a few multiple choice questions (usually 3 or 6 questions) and you will mark yourselves on these as you progress through the course. There are also some "fun" quizzes such as a crossword and a wordsearch which you can complete during the course or at your leisure. The MC questions and the quizzes, along with an on-going teacher assessment, will contribute to your final "score". 

Q: I have completed your course. When will I receive my certificate?

Upon successful completion of the course your OCN Credit4Learning Accredited Certificate is posted to you, usually this is within 8 weeks. Please allow a few extra days if there are public holidays between completion of your course and postal receipt. If you have a job interview coming up and have not yet received your certificate we can provide you with an email to confirm your successful completion of the course and to confirm your award status.

Q: How long does the certificate last?

Your certificate is recommended for renewal 18 months after the certificate date (a one day refresher course or online (e-learning) course), however we strongly recommend that you take our refresher course after 12 months if you have not actively worked as a phlebotomist. You will then be issued with a new certificate and up-to-date validity. For further details of our Phlebotomy Refresher Course please follow this link.

Q: Who are the lecturers?

We have a team of highly qualified tutors, some currently working within the NHS or Private Practices, and all having high competency skills in both teaching and phlebotomy. On any one course our tutors will alternate between teaching and leading you through the course modules. All of our tutors are friendly and helpful, and will make you feel at ease and very welcome. They will ensure that you progress well and have an enjoyable time, and are there also to make sure you pass the course effortlessly!

Q: Are there opportunities for funding for this course?

Yes, there are a number of institutions who may offer funding on condition that you fall into a qualifiable category. Your local JobCentre Plus may be able to help you with funding, or alternatviely visit your local library for a list of grants and fund providers local to you.

For national funding options see the National Careers Service website at: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/courses/funding/Pages/default.aspx

Q: What benefit will the Accredited Certificate be to me?

The successful completion of our course culminates in the awarding of an OCN Credit4Learning Accredited Certificate awarding you 3 credits at Level Three.

Nearly all applicants for junior phlebotomist’s posts in the UK, especially in the NHS, have no previous experience or qualifications. Applicants that can demonstrate that they have already made a significant commitment towards training are likely to have a strategic advantage and an improved chance of gaining employment.

Usually junior phlebotomy posts (Pay Band 2) within the NHS will offer you additional training. Once you have gained this competency and "hands on" experience with patients you may wish to apply for the better paid posts available elsewhere, including the private sector.

Q: Does this course give me a nationally recognised certificate?

The awarding body, OCN Credit4Learning, issues you with a Nationally Recognised Certificate. It is entirely at the discretion of an individual employer as to whether they choose to accept a specific qualification.

Currently there are no governing bodies for phlebotomists within the UK. Our course is designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in phlebotomy, along with an OCN Accredited Certificate, and therefore may give you a strategic advantage when applying for phlebotomy posts (for example NHS Pay Band 2 phlebotomy jobs). Many of our students have secured phlebotomy jobs following the successful completion of our course and this has led to prospective employees requesting a specific reference from us.

Q: I am visiting the UK to attend your course or planning to attend a course located outside of the UK. Will this course be helpful to me?

We have trained many students from outside the UK, either visiting here specifically to attend our course or attending one of our non-UK training venues. The awarding body awards you a UK Accredited Certificate and acceptability is entirely at the discretion of your employer or organisation. In many cases our students are looking to enhance their existing healthcare skill-sets to use outside of the UK or have no local training facilities that can match our extensive training itinerary.

Q: Will I be able to work on a self-employed basis?

The majority of phlebotomy positions within the UK are for part-time or full time PAYE positions, usually working within hospitals, clinics and surgeries as an employee. However, we are aware of some delegates who are working on a "freelance" basis and taking blood from residents of care homes. To offer such services you would need to have your own medical insurance and register your self-employed status with HMRC. The following links may be helpful:

INSURANCE - www.themdu.comwww.medicalprotection.org/uk,  or Google "medical indemnity insurance"

HMRC - A useful online guide: www.hmrc.gov.uk/courses/syob2/syob2/index.htm

Q: How can I enquire about your courses?

You can email us directly at: info@geopace.com, or use our "Contact Form" which you will find at the foot of our Contacts Page. Alternatively you can see a selection of our courses on the CoursesPlus+ website below:

Phlebotomy Training Courses
 

Q: Are your courses covered by Public Liability Insurance?

Yes, all our courses are fully insured with Hiscox Insurance. We have £2,000,000 Public Liability cover as well as Professional Indemnity and Employer insurance.

Please view the following link (PDF file) to see our policy summary here:

HISCOX BUSINESS INSURANCE

 

Did you Know...?

  • A new-born baby has only about one cup of blood in his or her whole body.

  • On average your heart beats at a rate of 70 to 75 beats/minute, pumping 5 - 6 litres of blood around your body. Therefore on a normal day, around 10 tonnes of blood is moved - the equivalent of 120 tank-fulls of fuel in the average family car!

  • Blood cells are made in the bone marrow. The bone marrow is the soft, spongy material in the centre of the bones that makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets.

  • More than 93 million units of blood donations are collected globally every year.

  • After donating blood you replace red blood cells within 3 to 4 weeks. It takes eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating.

  • Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets.

  • Of the four main blood types A, B, AB, and O, AB is the universal recipient and O negative is the universal donor.

  • Frozen blood plasma can be stored for up to one year.

  • One out of every 10 people admitted in a hospital needs a blood transfusion.

  • Dr. Karl Landsteiner first identified the major human blood groups – A, B, AB and O – in 1901.

  • Half your body’s red blood cells are replaced every seven days.

  • White cells are the body's primary defense against infection. Granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, roll along blood vessel walls in search of bacteria to eat.

  • An average woman has approximately 4.5 litres of blood in her body, while men have 5.6 litres.

  • The average life span of a single red blood cell is 120 days.

  • Blood is such a good stain that Native Americans used it for paint.

  • Each day 400 gallons of blood are filtered through the kidneys.

  • Blood accounts for approximately 8% of your body weight.

  • There are around 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body.

  • Two million red blood cells die every second.

  • In one drop of blood there are around 5 million red blood cells, 8,000 white blood cells and 250,000 platelets.

  • In just one to two minutes, blood circulates throughout your whole body.