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Become a Phlebotomist in Alhambra California

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

Alhambra CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Alhambra CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomist Job Description

Alhambra CA phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Alhambra CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Alhambra CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Alhambra CA laboratoryThere are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Alhambra CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Alhambra CA student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Alhambra CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Alhambra CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Alhambra CA job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review 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 may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Alhambra CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night 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. 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Alhambra California

Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alhambra CA.