How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Alameda CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Alameda CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Alameda CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Alameda CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Alameda CA employers require certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Alameda CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin 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 previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant 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 phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national 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 aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Alameda CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Alameda CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Alameda CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Alameda CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alameda CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Alameda California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alameda CA.