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Become a Phlebotomist in Alhambra California

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Alhambra CA

Alhambra CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Alhambra CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description

Alhambra CA phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, 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 has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Alhambra CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Alhambra CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Alhambra CA laboratoryThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Alhambra CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Alhambra California student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical 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. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Alhambra CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Alhambra CA medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

What to ask Alhambra CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Alhambra CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Alhambra CA job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Alhambra CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Alhambra CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA health care community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alhambra CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Alhambra California

Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alhambra CA.