How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Alhambra CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Alhambra CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Alhambra CA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance 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 quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Alhambra CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior 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 working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive 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 look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical 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 part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Alhambra CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
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 decided on the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Alhambra CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in 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 have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Alhambra CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Alhambra CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 no less than 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Alhambra CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alhambra CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Alhambra California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alhambra CA.