How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Alhambra CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Alhambra CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes 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 a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Alhambra CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Alhambra CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Alhambra CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Alhambra CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want 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 Alhambra CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at 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. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Alhambra CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Alhambra CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 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 Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Alhambra CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. 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 part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Alhambra California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alhambra CA.