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Become a Phlebotomist in Alhambra California

How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Alhambra CA

Alhambra CA phlebotomist drawing bloodPicking the right phlebotomy technician training near Alhambra CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Alhambra CA phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Alhambra CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Alhambra CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Alhambra CA laboratoryThere are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Alhambra CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Colleges

Alhambra California student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical 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. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Alhambra CA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Alhambra CA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Questions to ask Alhambra CA phlebotomy schoolsNow 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 chosen the kind of program you intend 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? 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 amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as 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 qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Alhambra CA job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Alhambra CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Alhambra CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA health care community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Alhambra CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Alhambra California

Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alhambra CA.