How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Alameda CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Alameda CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Alameda CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport 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 Alameda CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete 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 phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Alameda CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Alameda CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Alameda CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Alameda CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of 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 imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Alameda CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alameda CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Alameda CA health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alameda CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Alameda California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alameda CA.