How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Alhambra CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Alhambra CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into 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 a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Alhambra CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Alhambra CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Alhambra CA employers look for 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Alhambra CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Alhambra CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Alhambra CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Alhambra CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alhambra CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alhambra CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Alhambra California
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alhambra CA.