How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Alameda CA
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Alameda CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Alameda CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Alameda CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Alameda CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Alameda CA students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Alameda CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Alameda CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Alameda CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Alameda CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Alameda CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Alameda CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Alameda California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alameda CA.