How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Alameda CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Alameda CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including 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 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 resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Alameda CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Alameda CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Alameda CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good 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. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Alameda CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (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 dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Alameda CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Alameda CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of 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 out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Alameda CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Alameda CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer 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 college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Alameda CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Alameda CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend 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 should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Alameda California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alameda CA.