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Become a Phlebotomist in Alhambra California

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Alhambra CA

Alhambra CA phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Alhambra CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Alhambra CA phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Alhambra CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Alhambra CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Alhambra CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Alhambra CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

Alhambra California student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Alhambra CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Alhambra CA medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

What to ask Alhambra CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Alhambra CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 preps you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Alhambra CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Alhambra CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Alhambra CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alhambra CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Alhambra California

Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical 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 certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alhambra CA.