How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Alameda CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Alameda CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards 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 main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Alameda CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Alameda CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Alameda CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out 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 portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Alameda CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Alameda CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy 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 be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to 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 offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Alameda CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential 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 assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Alameda CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see 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 Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 at least 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 comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Alameda CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alameda CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides 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, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Alameda California
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alameda CA.