How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Adelanto CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Adelanto CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Adelanto CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Adelanto CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Adelanto CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Adelanto CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Adelanto CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Adelanto CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Adelanto CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? 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. At 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 might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Adelanto CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Adelanto CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Adelanto CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Adelanto California
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Adelanto CA.