How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Alhambra CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Alhambra CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Alhambra CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Alhambra CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Alhambra CA employers look for certification prior to 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Alhambra CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each 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 a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Alhambra CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little 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 any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer 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 also. You can also contact several Alhambra CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Alhambra CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position 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 high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Alhambra CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alhambra CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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 emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Alhambra California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential 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 contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alhambra CA.