How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Adelanto CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Adelanto CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Adelanto CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Adelanto CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Adelanto CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Adelanto CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Adelanto CA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Adelanto CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Adelanto CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Adelanto CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Adelanto CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Adelanto CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Adelanto CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Adelanto California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Adelanto CA.