How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Alameda CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Alameda CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Alameda CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Alameda CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Alameda CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Alameda CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Alameda CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, 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 requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college 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 phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Alameda CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alameda CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot 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 school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alameda CA health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night 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 also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Alameda California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alameda CA.