How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Alameda CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Alameda CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Alameda CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Alameda CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Alameda CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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 may be a more convenient option for many Alameda CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Alameda CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Alameda CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal 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 all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Alameda CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out 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 Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Alameda CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alameda CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Alameda CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Alameda California
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alameda CA.