How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Alhambra CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Alhambra CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Alhambra CA laboratories 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 called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Alhambra CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Alhambra CA employers look for 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Alhambra CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Alhambra CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Alhambra CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Alhambra CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Alhambra CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alhambra CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Alhambra California
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alhambra CA.