How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Alhambra CA
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Alhambra CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Alhambra CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Alhambra CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Alhambra CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea 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 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 opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Alhambra CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many 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 essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 also check with some Alhambra CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Alhambra CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Alhambra CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Alhambra California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alhambra CA.