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Become a Phlebotomist in Aliso Viejo California

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Aliso Viejo CA

Aliso Viejo CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Aliso Viejo CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit 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 factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description

Aliso Viejo CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Aliso Viejo CA laboratoryThere are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Aliso Viejo CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Aliso Viejo California woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Aliso Viejo CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Aliso Viejo CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer 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 colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Aliso Viejo CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Aliso Viejo California

Aliso Viejo CA phlebotomist laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Aliso Viejo CA.