How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Alhambra CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Alhambra CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Alhambra CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Alhambra CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Alhambra CA employers require certification prior to 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Alhambra CA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Alhambra CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting 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 desirable to future employers in the Alhambra CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Alhambra CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full 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 amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Alhambra CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Alhambra CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Alhambra California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alhambra CA.