How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Adelanto CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Adelanto CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Adelanto CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Adelanto CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Adelanto CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Adelanto CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Adelanto CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Adelanto CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Adelanto CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Adelanto CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Adelanto CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Adelanto California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Adelanto CA.