Phlebotomy Technician Exam

Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) Exam Details

Altrain Medical and Dental Assisting Academy assists our students through the entire process of obtaining their CPT license. This exam is an industry certification developed by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). We teach everything that is on the exam throughout the program. We thoroughly prepare our students for the written exam with lecture, pretests and handouts and hands-on training. Each student will also receive study and prep materials from the NHA. We submit their application and include the exam fees and study materials in the tuition. Altrain Medical and Dental Assisting Academy is an approved testing center and the CPT exam is administered on site in a comfortable environment for our students.

The NHA certification is active for two years upon passing the CPT exam. Continuing education is required to renew the certification. This certification allows certificate holders to work in all 50 states.

2022 Fees – $200.00 (includes prep materials)

100 Questions (plus 20 pretest questions that are used to gather data)
2 hour time limit

The questions fall into seven topic areas, which the NHA refers to as “domains:”

  1. Safety and Compliance
  2. Patient Preparation
  3. Routine Blood
  4. Collections
  5. Special Collections
  6. Processing


Each domain has different subtopics that are categorized as either knowledge statements or task statements. Knowledge statements refer to information and concepts that the student will need to know. Task statements relate to physical duties that the student will need to know how to perform.

Domain 1 – Safety and Compliance

The Safety and Compliance domain has 15 knowledge statements and 14 task statements related to safety precautions, first aid, bloodborne pathogens, and more. For phlebotomy technicians, it’s crucial to remain compliant with safety regulations at all times because of the hazards of working with patient blood.

Domain 2 – Patient Preparation

The Patient Preparation domain includes 12 knowledge statements and 10 task statements related to work that takes place prior to collecting samples.

These include explaining procedures to patients, determining the collection site, verifying patient compliance, and more.

Domain 3 – Routine Blood Collections

The Routine Blood Collections domain is made up of 22 knowledge statements and 16 task statements.

This domain is the largest portion of the exam as it includes most of the day-to-day tasks a phlebotomy technician is responsible for, such as:

  • Following tourniquet application and removal procedures
  • Following order of draw when performing venipuncture
  • Labelling specimens
  • Performing post-procedural patient care
Domain 4 – Special Collections

The Special Collections domain has 15 knowledge statements and 7 task statements related to atypical blood collections, such as peripheral blood smears, blood culture collections, and collections for blood donations. Even though a phlebotomy technician won’t encounter these types of collections on a daily basis, it’s important to know how to perform them when needed!


Domain 5 – Processing

The Processing domain is made up of 8 knowledge statements and 7 task statements related to steps to take after a specimen has been collected.

Overall, it’s crucial for the phlebotomy technician to follow the correct guidelines and procedures after obtaining a specimen.

Core Knowledge and Skills

In addition to these five domains, the NHA has a list of “Core Knowledge and Skills” that will be used in the context of different questions on the exam.

In total, there are 16 core knowledge topics:

  1. The role of phlebotomy technicians in laboratory testing
  2. The role of phlebotomy technicians in patient care
  3. Medical terminology related to phlebotomy
  4. Aseptic techniques
  5. Blood components
  6. Blood group systems
  7. Phlebotomy-related vascular anatomy
  8. Cardiovascular system
  9. Hemostasis and coagulation process
  10. The impact of pre-analytical errors on test results
  11. Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act
  12. Documentation and reporting requirements
  13. Verbal and non-verbal communication
  14. Patient characteristics impacting communication
  15. Professionalism
  16. Ethical standards applicable to the practice of phlebotomy